And yes, she has analyzed the Beatles’ handwriting.
by James Gray
When Sheila Lowe arrived from England at the end of 1963 she was a fourteen-year-old Beatlemaniac, writing stories about the Fab Four. Her school friends loved to read them, but they were a long way from the Forensic Handwriting suspense series she writes today. And even further from her Beyond the Veil paranormal suspense. But writing fiction is her ‘side hustle.’
More than fifty years ago as a senior at Anaheim High, Sheila got her start in the career that would last a lifetime. Her boyfriend’s mother had read some books about handwriting and personality and, wanting to see what kind of girl her son was dating, analyzed Sheila’s. The resulting insights instantly got her hooked, and as a shy teenager, her budding skills gave her an ‘in’ at parties, where she analyzed the handwriting of her friends and their dates. For the next ten years, she prowled the library and local bookstores for information, took formal courses, and eventually became certified in the field.
After practicing for nearly twenty years, Sheila got a call from an attorney who wanted her to testify in a forgery case that was going to court. When she protested that she didn’t know anything about forgeries, the attorney asked, “Do you know about handwriting?” When she said she certainly did, he talked her into testifying. The rest is now ancient history. Today, Sheila still does personality assessment with companies in the hiring process, as well as working with individuals, but she specializes in authenticating handwriting—forensic handwriting examination—and has testified as an expert witness in dozens of cases.
Upon moving from Valencia to Ventura in 2004, Sheila felt as though she had come home. She wanted to get involved in the community, but only knew two people, so right away, she joined the Ventura Chamber and the Ventura County Professional Women’s Network (VCPWN), where she soon was appointed to the board of directors and made some wonderful friends. Two of the fourteen years she spent as a member of the VCPWN board were as president.
Although it was her work in the field of handwriting that paid the bills, Sheila had always loved reading mysteries and wanted to publish one. When she heard coach Bill Osgood speak at a Chamber meeting about how to attain your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), she hired him to help with hers. She had started writing her first book, Poison Pen, back in 1999, but had set it aside, unfinished. Then, in 2000, an unthinkable tragedy struck. Her twenty-seven year-old daughter, Jennifer, became the victim in a murder-suicide, killed by boyfriend, Tom, a federal agent. Ironically, at his request, Sheila had analyzed his handwriting and discovered red flags for potentially dangerous behavior. The three of them discussed the difficulties that might arise in the relationship, but Jennifer was too much in love to listen, and a few months later, they were both dead.
So, taking out the manuscript and finishing the book gave Sheila something else to think about when her mind was filled with sadness. For several years, she tried to get the book published, but it wasn’t until those coaching sessions with Bill Osgood that everything fell into place. Penguin picked up the first four books, and number eight, Dead Letters, will be released later in 2020. They’re all audiobooks, too. Sheila teaches an online course in handwriting analysis and has published six books about handwriting psychology. She has her own software, and when the media calls with a celebrity handwriting, is with an opinion. And yes, she has analyzed the Beatles’ handwriting.