Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Forensic Tip of the Day!

Hi all!

Time has flown - we've had the family down for Father's Day and it's been hectically crazy. I'm still writing and see the end in sight on THE DYING BREATH. Thanks to all who have posted your encouraging emails! I thought I'd share a recent, interesting email I received from Mrs. Huges's reading class. The questions were fun and my reply will directly follow the questions! Here they are:

Dear Mrs. Ferguson,

We are an eighth grade Teens Read class at Tippecanoe Middle School in Tipp City, Ohio, and we have read your books based upon the suggestion of our teacher. We really enjoyed them, and we can't wait until the fourth one. They're awesome!

We do have some questions for you.

#1--do you watch any forensic shows like CSI? Do you get your inspiration from these shows?

#2--How did you come up with the idea of the Christopher Medal? Does your religion have anything to do with this?

#3--When will the fourth book be published? Any sneak peaks?

#4--Do you know the girl on the covers of The Christopher Killer and Circle of Blood? Our teacher, Mrs. Hughes, told us about Walter Dean Myers whose son was on the cover of the book Monster. We wondered if this was true of your books as well.

#5--Do you respond to all of your fan mail?

#6--Do any other authors inspire you?

Thank you for your time.

Mrs. Hughes's Teens Read class:









Sydney is my reply! Enjoy!

Hi All!

What fun to get your wonderful email – thank you for your thoughtful, intelligent questions!

#1. I do not watch shows like CSI because, although they’re fun, they’re not accurate, and I’m kind of a stickler about realism. I DO watch the reality shows like Cold Case Files or Forensic Files – you’ll notice cases are much harder to solve in real life. My newest favorite is called I Survived. That one’s intense but awesome!

#2. Now that is an interesting question – did my religion have anything to do with the idea of using the Christopher medal? The answer is yes, since I was raised Catholic and I remember my grandmother (who I called Mammaw, just like in the book!) telling me to wear the medal to keep me safe. I am extremely drawn to the question of ‘what comes next.’ One of my favorite shows is Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International, so you can see that faith and science and how those two intertwine is very important to me. Through Lyric and Adam and now Justin, I hope to address questions on the afterlife. My next book after the Sleuth series concludes will deal with forensics and the paranormal!

#3. I’m a bit behind on my fourth book because my daughter (married to the amazing DJ Thompson!) had her first baby April 6th, but she had a complicated pregnancy (preeclampsia) and I had to leave to help her. These little ones just don’t cooperate! But The Dying Breath should be on the very next list. It’s the most intense one yet, since, as you know, Kyle is b-a-a-a-c-k. He is stalking Cameryn, there are some truly bizarre murders (wait’ll you see how I kill them in this one!) and those who have read my manuscript so far tell me it’s the best one of the four. I sure love writing it!

#4. I do not know the models on the covers, but I can tell you that the girl on my book Poison (it’s out of print) is my daughter Kristin. You can see the cover on my webpage at

#5. Yes, I respond to ALL my fan mail! Just this morning I got my blog up and running, so if any of you would like to post a question (I’d love it if you’d restate these as individual blog questions for me!) just go to my webpage and fire away!

#6. I am extremely inspired by Gloria Skurzynski, who is not only an award-winning author but my co-author (National Geographic Mystery Series) and my mother! So I grew up learning how to edit and really work on my craft. Beyond that, I love J.K. Rowling (genius!) and Stephanie Meyer (I just met her last week!) as well as Jeffery Eugenides and Alice Sebold. I LOVE to read!

What you may not know about me is that my best friend was murdered by a serial killer, so I have spent my life learning about the mind of a killer and what it would take to catch them. I’ve been to autopsies and have deeply researched this subject, trying, at least on paper, to catch those who harm others. In a strange way it helps me deal with Savannah’s death. Again, you can log on to my webpage and click on the typing computer for an interactive video that talks about my writing and my process.

Thanks so much for sharing your question with me. I hope to hear from Alex, Ellie, Krissy, Jayme, Logan, Evan, Schae, Rebecca, Sydney and Mrs. Hughes again soon!

Hugs from Colorado,

Alane Ferguson

Friday, June 6, 2008

Forensic Tip!

Hi everyone! Sorry I got a bit behind on my blog, but I'v been really pushing to finish THE DYING BREATH and I've been staying up late writing into the wee hours. (I can get a lot more done when the phone doesn't ring!) Also, I had a teen reading group ask me a lot of questions about my books that I answered via email, so I'm going to post those questions and answers soon. They were a lot of fun! Now, for my forensic tip of the day: Always wear a mask when using a Stryker saw to cut into a decedent's skull. Even though it only oscillates, the saw spews out bone-dust, which can be a hazard if inhaled. So play it safe and keep those masks on!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Forensic Tip of the Day!

Happy Monday! It's a glorious day here in Colorado - the sky is sea glass blue and the trees beyond my window are swaying in the breeze - it's perfect writing weather! I'm liking THE DYING BREATH the best of the four I've written because I've discovered I really like writing both science AND romance! So my forensic tip of the day is this: Even if you're a bit of a science geek like me (and Cameryn) you need to leave yourself open to the parts of life that aren't so easy to define. There are things that can't be measured or cut or examined beneath a microscope. Things like love. Always remember to let life in!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Froensic Tip of the Day!

Happy Sunday! this post was late because I was gone all day! I'm pleased to see people writing about the Justin/Cameryn age question - would any of your parents be all right with such a wide age margin?

My forensic tip has to do with music. Many pathologists keep music going to keep their minds slightly less focused on the grody aspect of what they do. It seems every pathologist has his or her choice of favorites that they play while working. I've even seen them move to the beat!