Job Occupation: Forensic Handwriting expert
“Someone left a nasty note on the bathroom wall and we need to know which employee wrote it.”
“We’ve got a bomb threat and three suspects. Can you take a look at the note?”
“We’re hiring a new property manager. I’m sending you our top candidates and a job description. How soon can we get the results?”
“Our university would love to have you come and give a lecture on handwriting analysis.”
Although there’s no typical schedule for my protagonist, Claudia Rose, on any given day she might get a call or two like the above. Sometimes there will be a request from the media for an opinion on the handwriting of a high profile person in the news, or maybe a business organization looking for a speaker. The assignments she handles are wide and varied, and they may take her across the country or around the world.
At other times, with a ten second commute from bedroom to office, it would be easy for Claudia to wile the day away in her jammies, but that won’t do for out-of-town clients who want face time via web cam. So, on most days she gets dressed and made up as if she were going to work at an office.
Claudia is a modern fortyish single woman who lives in Los Angeles. In Poison Pen, she began a serious relationship with Joel Jovanic, a homicide detective with LAPD who has been pressing her for more. She loves him, he’s smart, good-looking, deeply in love (and lust) with her, but she’s still struggling with trust issues and a commitment phobia that originates in childhood (Dead Write tells why). Still, Jovanic is part of her daily life and sometimes brings his work home when there are questions about personality issues related to suspects, witnesses, and victims in his cases. And, even better, sometimes their work dovetails so they get to work together in an official capacity.
When she’s not analyzing handwriting or testifying in court, Claudia might be having lunch with her zany best friend, family law attorney Kelly Brennan. In Last Writes, they went undercover together in a religious cult, hoping to learn the fate of Kelly’s three-year-old niece. There’s also a troubled teenager in Claudia’s life, Annabelle Giordano, who undertook a program of graphotherapy with her in Written in Blood. Annabelle lives with Claudia and Jovanic while her father is away, so they get all the delights of a mouthy kid without the diapers. Some of the next book in the series, Inkslingers Ball is from her point of view.
My recently released book, What She Saw, is not an official part of the forensic handwriting mysteries, but Claudia and Joel, along with Dr. Zebediah Gold, play an important role in helping a young woman with amnesia unravel the terrifying mystery behind her memory loss.
Readers sometimes ask if, because her work mirrors mine, Claudia is me. My answer is no, she’s much braver than I am, and she likes coffee and flying. But like me, she testifies in cases of handwriting authentication and she prepares behavioral profiles for companies who are hiring, investigators who need background checks, etc. I also teach at the University of California Riverside and Santa Barbara, which Claudia hasn’t yet tried.
A day in the life of Claudia Rose may be an adventure or rather prosaic. Either way, I hope you will want to read about her.
Meet the author
Like Claudia Rose, Sheila Lowe is a court-qualified handwriting expert who testifies in forensic cases. She has more than thirty years experience in the field of handwriting analysis and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. The author of Handwriting of the Famous & Infamous, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis, her analyses of celebrity handwritings have appeared in Time, Teen People, and Mademoiselle. Her articles on Personality Profiling and Handwriting Analysis for the Attorney have been published in several bar association magazines.
Sheila’s clientele includes a wide spectrum of corporate clients, mental health professionals, attorneys, private investigators and staffing agencies, among others. Her award-winning Handwriting Analyzer software is used around the world and her profiles help uncover important information in background checks and pre-employment screening. She enjoys analyzing handwriting for individuals, too, helping them understand themselves and others better.