Monday, September 22, 2014

Bestselling Kathy Reichs will read Wednesday at Park Road Books

Kathy Reichs by Arthur Kade
You'd think after 16 bestselling novels starring the same leading character, a writer would be teetering on the smoky edge of burnout.

Not Charlotte's own Kathy Reichs.

Now with "Bones Never Lie," her 17th Temperance Brennan novel, due in bookstores this month, Reich tells me that burnout is not a problem for her.

"I don't have time for burnout," she says by email. "I am involved in too many things. I am constantly shifting between working on Temperance Brennan books, Bones episodes and young adult books in the Virals series. And throw in a bit of forensic work too."

Same with her characters. She keeps interested, she says, by keeping them engaged in new and different experiences.

For instance, Reichs introduces a new character in "Bones Never Lie" and a new challenge for Tempe. Tempe's mother is a bit unbalanced (she's been in and out of institutions) but she's a computer whiz and therefore invaluable in tracking down the killer Tempe is sleuthing.

"She's a complicated individual," says Reichs. "Engaging, witty, but also very much troubled. Therefore, at times, annoying as hell."

We've read about this killer in "Monday Mourning." He's the monster who escaped -- killer of girls -- those ghastly murders now linked to children in North Carolina and Vermont.

Reichs, who is vice president of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists and professor of forensic anthropology at UNC Charlotte, says she writes all day when she has a free day.

"In other words," she says, "if I am not traveling, touring for a book release or at the lab, I am at the keyboard from morning until late afternoon. I rarely work after dinner and a glass of wine."

By the way, back before Tempe, Reichs talked with the Observer's editorial editor Ed Williams about the possibility of writing op-ed pieces. She didn't, but she says she thinks journalism would've made a fascinating career.

Reichs will read from and sign copies of her new novel at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (9/24) at Park Road Books, Park Road Shopping Center, 4139 Park Road, Charlotte.