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Kathy Reichs

By Author, Film, Sci-Fi, Science, True Crime, TV No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, our special guest is the renowned Kathy Reichs, a forensic anthropologist turned bestselling author of Temperance Brennan novels. With a career that’s as remarkable as her literary acclaim creations, Kathy shares insights from her life journey. She went from being a curious child fascinated by science to becoming one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology.

Whether handling crime scenes or weaving humor into dark narratives, Kathy offers listeners an intimate portrait of a life rich with stories. So, stay tuned for a captivating conversation that traverses death investigations, literature’s imaginative realms, and everything that ties them together through the eyes of a master storyteller.

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you!)

(Use code “Gary” to get $89 off any service!)

In this Episode:

  • The early signs of drive and curiosity in young Kathy.
  • The rigorous path to becoming a board-certified forensic anthropologist.
  • Transitioning from academic writing to crafting thrilling novels based on real-life experiences.
  • Insights into Temperance Brennan’s character evolution—from books to the hit TV show “Bones.”
  • Behind-the-scenes look at scriptwriting for “Bones” and how it differs from novel writing.
  • The importance of setting in storytelling and why Kathy never writes about places she hasn’t visited.
  • How personal preferences sometimes make their way into characters’ quirks.
  • Hear about Kathy’s latest novel, “The Bone Hacker.”
  • Kathy also touches upon family influences, with two out of three children following in her footsteps in writing.

Quotations:

“I do put in detail. I never put in anything just for grisly sensationalism. It has to inform the reader and move the story forward.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I don’t shy away from because I think my readers want to know what it’s like at a crime scene or what it’s like in an autopsy room. So I do give them detail.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“You have to maintain your objectivity, your scientific distance, without getting emotionally involved with each victim, because you wouldn’t be of any good to them. But you have to still keep in mind that it’s a human being, treat that set of remains respectfully and hopefully get a name for that dead person, figure out what happened to them, and get them back to their family.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“Bones is, we were all on the same page. I had other offers and they just weren’t right. But one of the things we agreed on was that we wanted humor in the show. I put humor in the books.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“We had brilliant writers. You know, I’m not one of these authors who’s going to say they took my work and destroyed it. I had a wonderful experience. Everybody from the on-camera talent to the producers, to the crew, to the writers, everybody just was delightful. And we didn’t have a lot of drama. We didn’t have a lot of tension on the set like some shows do. And I think that’s partly why we lasted as long as we did.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“That’s the definition of a thriller: that your protagonist or those close to your protagonist have to come under threat. One of the components of a thriller versus just a mystery.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“Setting is a really strong component of my books. It’s almost like another character in my books. So I’ll never write about a place I haven’t been.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I think you have to go to a place to absorb. You could Google Earth it, but you’re not going to get the smells and the sounds and, you know, the tastes, the flavor of the food, and yeah.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I started out in academics and then I started doing forensic anthropology casework and then based on that, I wrote commercial fiction and then went into the world of TV production. So I kept taking side paths.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I’ll never run out of ideas. I’ve worked on so many cases when I was still actively doing forensic work. But also I’ve constantly got my antenna out for things, for whatever I’m reading, talking to colleagues, reading forensic journals, attending forensic meetings, and listening to presentations. I’m always on the lookout for ideas, story ideas.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“If I can get through one or two pages in a day, that’s a really good day.”

“French is hard. It’s really hard. Spanish is easy. If it’s written, you pronounce it. French, they’re all these letters in the words. They have no purpose. You don’t pronounce them.” ~ Kathy Reich

“I try to make things up. I try not to use cliches ever. There may be a few that sneak in, but I do try to not use cliches.” ~ Kathy Reichs

Guest’s Bio:

Kathy Reichs’s first novel, Déjà Dead, catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan books include Death du Jour, Deadly Decisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, Bones of the Lost, Bones Never Lie, Speaking in Bones, and the Temperance Brennan short story collection, The Bone Collection. In addition, Kathy co-authored the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are Virals, Seizure, Code, Exposure, Terminal, and the novella collection Trace Evidence. The series follows the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great-niece, Tory Brennan.  Dr. Reichs’ latest novel, Two Nights, was released on July 11 and features Sunday Night, a tough-talking, scarred heroine.  Dr. Reichs was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years, she consulted with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina and with the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has traveled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI), she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted in the recovery of remains at the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reichs is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC, and Montreal, Québec.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Website: https://kathyreichs.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathyreichsbooks/

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/kathyreichs/

X: https://twitter.com/KathyReichs

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ph/kathyreichs/

Jonathan Maberry

By Author, Film, Movies, Sci-Fi No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, join us for a riveting episode as our host, Gary Scott Thomas, sits down with none other than the master of thrills and chills, Jonathan Maberry! They dive deep into his fascinating life and work as a prolific author whose career spans across novels, short stories, comic books, the big screen, and more. Jonathan’s life reads like one of his novels—from martial arts expert to bestselling author. Our host couldn’t get enough of his Joe Ledger series and Pine Deep trilogy. And neither will you once you dive into those heart-pounding action scenes!

So tune in to this incredible episode and discover the passion and stories behind your favorite Maberry books! Also, brace yourself for spoilers!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to use code “Gary20” to get 20% off your order!)

In this Episode:

  • A Life Full of Stories: Jonathan shares his wildly varied bio, proving that his life is just as captivating as the worlds he creates.
  • The Joe Ledger Series: Get ready to dive into the mind of a master storyteller as Jonathan discusses the completion of the 13th book and his preparations for the 14th. 
  • Crafting Fight Scenes: Find out how Jonathan’s martial arts expertise translates into gripping combat sequences that are packed with physiological and psychological layers. It’s like watching a high-octane fight scene on the page!
  • Character Depth and Evolution: Hear Jonathan’s insights on the development of his book protagonists and how they evolve throughout his captivating stories. 
  • Hollywood Adaptations and Casting Challenges: Get the inside scoop on past discussions about adapting the Joe Ledger series into TV shows or movies. And let’s not forget the all-important casting choices.
  • The Future of Joe Ledger: Join in on the excitement as they talk about possible future adaptations and Jonathan’s appearances in other book series. The possibilities are endless!
  • Narrative Technique Discussion: Discover how Jonathan’s ideas are born from current events or scientific advancements, weaving impactful storylines that center around character experiences. It’s like a masterclass in storytelling!
  • The Story of Our Fathers: Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane as Jonathan shares stories from his upbringing. A glimpse into his past that adds an extra layer of depth to his work.
  • Comic Book Morality: Explore the intricate world of comic books, including the beloved Marvel and DC comics, as Jonathan delves into the moral complexities they tackle. 

Quotations:

“It’s always annoyed me when I watch movies or TV shows where the hero, you know, gets in a gun battle or fist fight and, you know, either brutalizes someone or kills someone. And then in the next scene, there’s no emotional resonance to it. It’s like, it’s like, that’s just another day. And I know a lot of guys in law enforcement and the military, including a lot of guys in the special forces. And even, you know, even though a lot of them keep good game faiths, you know, there’s a reason why PTSD is such a big thing. Because, you know, you are crossing that barrier of, you know, that taboo barrier of ending human life in a combat situation.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Even though you may have 100 percent justification, there is still a part of you that’s always going to be the moral, empathetic human being who just killed someone, and if you don’t have that moment, then there is; that’s the real cry for help. When you can pull a trigger and not have it affect you at all, that’s symptomatic of a pathology that is very frightening.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Fact that violence always, always leaves a mark.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“That humanism matters far more to me in an action hero than any kind of politics ever would.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Our job as writers is not to give a bunch of good characters a nice bed. So we think of, like, whose lives would be most dramatically impacted.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“It’s all about character experience,  picking different people and seeing how their lives will be impacted by something, and then building the story around that rather than just focusing on the big, central conceit of whatever the theme is going to be.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Having had a horrible father, I know what not to do; you know, I know what I don’t want as part of my life.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“A father’s, a blood father, can be the family we’re born into, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the family, um, that we want to have, especially since that person has to be the father where a stepfather chooses to be the father.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Professional daydream is what I should put on my business card because it is the best job in the world.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

Guest’s Bio:

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times best-seller, five-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, anthology editor, comic book writer, executive producer, magazine feature writer, playwright, and writing teacher/lecturer. He is the editor of Weird Tales Magazine and president of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers. He is the recipient of the Inkpot Award, three Scribe Awards, and was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold in more than thirty countries. He writes in several genres, including thriller, horror, science fiction, epic fantasy, and mystery, and he writes for adults, middle grade, and young adults.

Jonathan is the creator, editor, and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW Publishing that was adapted into a Netflix series.

He is the editor of many anthologies, including The X-Files, Aliens: Bug Hunt, Don’t Turn Out the Lights, Nights of the Living Dead, and others. His comics include Black Panther: DoomWar, Captain America, Pandemica, Highway to Hell, The Punisher, and Bad Blood.

Jonathan and his wife, Sara Jo, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Rosie, live in San Diego, California.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Dan Levitt

By Author, Education, Science No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas had a mind-bending conversation with Dan Levitt, the author of What’s Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body’s Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night’s Dinner. From contemplating his daughter’s vegetarian diet to delving deep into the history of scientific discovery, Dan took us on a ride from the Big Bang to modern biology. He also shares something enthralling about Robert Oppenheimer, Georges Lemaître, Fred Hoyle, Martin Kamen, Sam Ruben, Einstein, and all things geeky.  So, join us to hear more discussions about extensive research filled with fascinating stories that may blow your mind!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Use code “GST” to enjoy an exclusive 10% discount on your favorite shoes!)

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you so you can save 20%!)

In this Episode:

  • How questioning Dan’s daughter’s vegetarian diet led to an intriguing path of scientific discovery.
  • The eye-opening revelation that every particle in our bodies originated from the Big Bang.
  • Hear stories and tales about science history, controversies, DNA discovery, tragedies, triumphs, and many more!
  • Discussion about the human complexity, mitochondria story, and challenges faced by scientific pioneers.
  • Reflections on life’s wonders and geological disagreements regarding evolution due to limited evidence but constant reinterpretation lead us closer to truth over time.

Quotations:

“History of science. I love it.” ~ Dan Levitt

“We are puzzle-solving creatures and the satisfaction of puzzle-solving drives us forward.” ~ Dan Levitt

“Many times the scientific breakthroughs don’t come with Eureka. They come with, oh, that’s weird.” ~ Dan Levitt

“No one had any idea how life could have evolved, and no one thought that you could even study it.” ~ Dan Levitt

“One of the things that is incredible that scientists have been able to do is reconstructing how we got here from the Big Bang—from this crazy, just random explosion of these tiny sub-subatomic particles and an energy package. Uh, it doesn’t necessarily explain why we’re here, right? Cause, you know, who knows what went before? Uh, but it certainly does explain why we’re here and it’s incredible—just incredible that we can do that.” ~ Dan Levitt

“One of the interesting things that I found when I was writing my book because I traced so many different kinds of discoveries is, you know, a lot of discoveries were brilliant insights like Einstein and relativity and Lemaître and the Big Bang.” ~ Dan Levitt

“It’s interesting because, you know, you have to also come up with new ideas and then defend it when people say you’re nuts.” ~ Dan Levitt

“That’s a large part of the scientific process, is, you know, coming up with an idea, and if you find the evidence and you believe in it, you know, you’re going to have a lot of skeptics, because scientists are trained to be skeptical, and that’s why science works because people are constantly saying, well, yeah, that sounds nice, but couldn’t it be this, or couldn’t it be this, or couldn’t it be that, right?” ~ Dan Levitt

“As our instruments get more powerful, we’re going to learn all kinds of things that we had no idea about.”  ~ Dan Levitt

Guest’s Bio:

Dan Levitt is the author of What’s Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body’s Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night’s Dinner. The book brings together a lifetime of discovery and research that led to a sweet spot where history meets science. He fondly recalls a chemistry kit his parents gave him when he was seven; he had a great time recording his results in a small notebook. He still misses those musty cards that he used to browse as he researched assignments as a student in Philadelphia’s public schools. In high school, his favorite class was chemistry, and that’s what he thought he would study, but then he found cognitive psychology at Swarthmore College.

In the Peace Corps in Kenya, Dan taught high school physics, biology, and world history in a remote village. Living close to Mount Kilimanjaro, walking by anthills as tall as people, and seeing snakes, hippos, and other wildlife gave him an intense curiosity about the natural world. He returned to Philadelphia to take a job developing exhibits and videos at the Franklin Institute Science Museum. That led to an interest in documentary filmmaking. After getting an MFA, Dan moved to Boston and started his career writing, producing, and directing documentaries for Discovery, Science, National Geographic, History, HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute), and others. His productions include films on dinosaurs; how Galileo, Newton, Einstein, and Hawking made their greatest discoveries; the archeology of Custer’s Last Stand; and scientists’ efforts to uncover the cause of Malaysia’s Nipah virus. His work has received numerous awards, including two Cine-Golden Eagles, Emmy Award nominations, and the coveted Spur Award for scriptwriting from the Western Writers of America.

While dreaming up films, Dan was seized by an idea for a book and decided to go for it. What’s Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body’s Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night’s Dinner, published by HarperCollins, is his first book.

He considers himself lucky that his career combines science, history, and writing, all of which he loves. He lives in Cambridge with his other loves: his wife, two kids, and their dog, Maxwell Smart.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Shawn Inmon

By Author, Personal Growth No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas had an exciting episode featuring Shawn Inmon, the renowned talented full-time author behind the captivating book series “The Middle Falls Time Travel.” This incredible conversation is filled with intriguing insights on work ethics as they dive into a shared history in radio and the exciting world of storytelling. But the most interesting part? Their in-depth discussion about Shawn’s books and a sneak peek into his unique writing process.

Join us to hear more of his brilliant stories, and be ready to immerse yourself in the world of Shawn Inmon’s books!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Use code “Gary” to get $89 off any Mike Counsil Plumbing and Rooter service!)

In this Episode:

  • Shawn’s Career History
  • Las Vegas Trip Down Memory Lane
  • Insight into Shawn’s Creative Process
  • Diving into Shawn’s captivating Book Series
  • Reminiscing Early Days on the Radio
  • The Story of How I Got Fired

Quotations:

“I have just never been afraid of just opening a mic and speaking. That’s never been my problem. You put me in front of a microphone and I’ll tell you a story or I’ll think of an anecdote or I’ll tell you a horrible joke or something.”  ~ Shawn Inmon

“I’m one of those people who needs to be doing something. I don’t like to just take days off and sit around the house. I like to work.”  ~ Shawn Inmon

“I hear this voice in my head, which I’m a typical writer, I hear voices,  and the voice said, I have a story.”  ~ Shawn Inmon

“Everybody’s needs are different, and I want to kind of focus on all the different ways we can find healing and we can find family.”  ~ Shawn Inmon

“I think the day I die, there will probably be a half-finished Middle Falls story on my computer.”  ~ Shawn Inmon

“I’ll tell you the hardest thing, the hardest thing is faith and trust in yourself. Uh, a lot of writers suffer from what’s called imposter syndrome, thinking I’m not really good enough.”  ~ Shawn Inmon

“So I gotta continue to have faith to stop listening to that voice that says, Sean, you’re a crappy writer; you’re never going to write another good sentence.” ~ Shawn Inmon

Guest’s Bio:

Shawn Inmon is a small-town kid who dreamed of being a writer. Today, he is now a full-time author who lives in Tumwater, Washington, USA. He worked several dozen jobs—retail, real estate, traveling with the Unlimited Hydroplanes, crabbing in Alaska, morning disc jockey and station manager, and many others he can’t remember to list. These jobs gave him a wonderful base to write what he knows because he knows a little about a lot. He achieved his dream of becoming a full-time writer in 2016 and has never looked back. One reviewer called him “The King of Redemption stories.” Shawn says he doesn’t feel like a king of anything, but he does love a good tale of second chances.

He is the author of the ever-growing The Middle Falls Time Travel series, 18 books and counting, and The Alex Hawk Time Travel Adventure series. He is also the author of Feels Like the First Time, a bestselling memoir of growing up in a small town in the seventies, falling in love, and messing everything up.

He lives with his high school sweetheart—now wife—Dawn, two happy-go-lucky Chocolate Labs, and a slightly schizo cat named Georgie.

Guest’s Contact Info: