By John Rabb
To be a successful author, not only with sales but also having the ability to write great stories, start writing about what you know. Kathy Reichs did just that and now she is an international bestselling author and her stories are the basis for the hit TV show BONES. Her latest Bones Adventure BONES ARE FOREVER has just been released, taking the reader on a roller coaster ride with her character Dr. Temperance Brennan. Aside from teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, Kathy’s work as a forensic anthropologist has taken her around the world, from Rwanda to Guatemala and Ground Zero in New York City. She brings her experience and expertise to her writing, making BONES ARE FOREVER her seventh book in the series. She hit the writing scene about as well as any author could ever dream of with DEJA DEAD, winning the 1997 Ellis Award and hitting the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list. However, like any author or celebrity there is always more you could learn about them and we are very honored that Kathy took a couple minutes to answer some questions, not only about her latest release, but now you know what is on her DVR.
Can you give us a little taste of what Dr. Brennan is in for in your latest book BONES ARE FOREVER?
BONES ARE FOREVER was released on August 28, 2012. In this book, a string of infant deaths takes Tempe to Yellowknife, NWT, a diamond mining town in the far north of Canada. Working with our heroine are her old partner, Andrew Ryan of the Quebec Provincial Police, and Ollie Hasty, an RCMP sergeant with whom she shares a bit of awkward history. In Yellowknife the trio is drawn into a maelstrom of drugs, prostitution, and aboriginal unrest.
Many authors have problems with writers block, how do you handle this “disease” that seems to creep up on an author at the wrong time?
I don’t believe in writer’s block, because I don’t have time for it. With my schedule, when I’ve set aside time to write I have to produce copy. Oftentimes I’ll look back and dislike what I’ve written, but I have to keep the creative ball moving forward. In my opinion, it’s better to rewrite something awful than to have accomplished nothing at all.
For someone that is finding your Bones series for the first time, can they pick up BONES ARE FOREVER and jump right in and then go back and discover the rest of the series?
I try to write each book so that the story is sufficiently self-contained for new readers unfamiliar with my entire catalog. Of course, longtime fans will know the main characters, and I do try to develop Tempe’s life as I move through the series, but BONES ARE FOREVER is definitely designed to be enjoyable for newcomers. I hope first timers will give her—and me—a try. Then, I hope they go back and read all the books that came before!
Is there one scene or maybe just one sentence in BONES ARE FOREVER where you look back and say, “I nailed that”?
I’d have to go with the opening chapter in which Tempe discovers the remains of a partially decomposed infant. I think that scene and Tempe’s reaction really capture the horror of the moment. In writing those passages I tried to accurately describe the impact that scenes of violent death, especially those involving children, have on me and on others working in my field.
Would most people be shocked that the truth in forensic science is much stranger than fiction?
In some ways, truth can be stranger than fiction. I’ve worked cases in which the results were so improbable I felt like I was in a TV episode or novel myself. But real life often lacks the completeness and closure of fiction. In my novels, or on BONES, every case get solved, every villain gets caught. That doesn’t always happen in the real world. There isn’t always that rare species of mold on the tires, or that eyelash discovered in an acre of grass. Sadly, in reality, not every crime gets resolved.
Besides BONES, which is on Fox Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m., what is on your DVR?
THE NEWSROOM. It’s brilliant. Line after line I keep asking myself, “Why didn’t I write that?” I am also looking forward to the return of HOMELAND, filmed in my hometown, Charlotte, NC, DOWNTOWN ABBEY, and BOARDWALK EMPIRE.
(BTW, BONES is now on Mondays at 8 p.m.).
Again we would like to thank Kathy for taking some time away from her busy schedule. BONES ARE FOREVER is the book and it is out now. To find out more information about Kathy and everything she is involved in, go to www.kathyreichs.com.
Kathy Reichs, like her character Temperance Brennan, is a forensic anthropologist, formerly for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina and currently for the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale for the province of Quebec. A professor in the department of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she is one of only seventy-nine forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, is past Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and serves on the National Police Services Advisory Board in Canada. Reichs’s first book, DEJA DEAD, catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her novel, DEVIL BONES, was a #1 New York Times bestseller.
To learn more about Kathy, please visit her website.