We’re thrilled to have here today Claudia Rose from Sheila Lowe’s new story of psychological suspense, Written Off. Claudia is in her early forties, a forensic handwriting expert who lives in “Playa de la Reina,” which is at the beach in Los Angeles County.
It is a pleasure to have her here with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so much for this interview, Claudia. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
I guess if I had a complaint it would be that it begins to look as if I do a lot of snooping a lot into places where I don’t belong. Of course, that’s how I always seem to get into trouble, so maybe I should learn to be more circumspect. But then, there wouldn’t be any stories!
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
My hope is that readers will see me as a compassionate, kind, caring person, and also as a competent professional who has earned respect in her field.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
My strongest trait is my compassion and willingness to fight for the underdog, in this case, children who had a bad start.
My inability to separate my work and personal life. I tend to get emotionally caught up with the people I deal with, and that’s often to my detriment. My mantra is “don’t get involved on a personal level,” but apparently, I haven’t said it enough.
If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be? That’s easy. If I had my druthers, Amy Adams would play me. She’s got the right color hair, though I can’t pretend to be as willowy. I enjoy eating more than I do exercise.
Do you have a love interest in the book? Yes! LAPD Detective Joel Jovanic and I have been together since the first book, Poison Pen, where we met at a crime scene. At the book’s opening, we have become engaged. He’s always trying to get me not to be an investigator, but I generally do my own thing. And, I know you didn’t ask, but I would choose Gerard Butler to play him—yum!
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
Right from the outset, I knew there was some hidden reason for my friend Zebediah Gold to send me to Maine. I just didn’t know what it was until I got there. And halfway through, the author decided to change the killer, so that led to some anxiety when I figured it out.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?
Roxanne Becker, the serial killer. I visited her in prison and listened to the story of her life. You would have to be in really dire straight to choose to change places with her.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
I was surprised at who killed Professor Maynard. As I mentioned above, that changed halfway through the book. How do I feel about it? Horrified.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?
Keep caring about your characters and their individual stories. Don’t be like some of the big-name authors I’ve been reading lately who seemed to just phone it in, or who change their characters into some twisted, ugly versions of themselves. Maybe they are no longer edited because they have too much clout.
Thank you for this interview, Claudia. Will we be seeing more of you in the future? One can only hope! As long as people keep reading about me, I’ll be back.
Like her fictional character Claudia Rose, Sheila Lowe is a real-life forensic handwriting expert who testifies in court cases. Mom to a tattoo artist and a former rock star, she lives in Ventura with Lexie the Very Bad Cat, where she writes the award-winning Forensic Handwriting mystery series. Despite sharing living space with a cat, however, Sheila’s books are decidedly non-cozy. Find out more about WRITTEN OFF here.