First news, and it's good, is that my mentor has given me the green light to send my thesis into the formal review process. So, later today, I must go get the fancy paper required for the signature page, print everything out (including the sig page; later, once the thesis is accepted, the entire thing must be printed on the fancy paper), and get it into the mail to the university (express mail, of course). Yay! I am very happy about this, and hope the review process goes smoothly. My mentor could ask me to make changes once he gets the thesis in hard copy and reads it closely (I hope not since he's seen several drafts already) or either of the committee members could ask for changes too. They worry me a bit, but I hope they will accept his recommendation and go with it. (Does a PhD from Harvard trump other PhD's? One can only hope….)

Posted by Picasa

Saturday was my RWA meeting. We had the most fascinating, personable, and interesting guest speaker! Dr. Robert Mann, a forensic anthropologist and author of Forensic Detective, works at the identification lab here in Hawaii. These are the guys (and gals) who identify the remains of missing servicemen and women. They also get called in on police cases. Dr. Mann worked on the Jeffery Dahmer case (yick!), for instance, and a wealth of others too (9/11 identifications). His book is fascinating, and even if it wasn't, I'd have bought it for his personality alone.

What a great guy! He gave a 2 hour talk, with Q&A, then went to lunch with us and spent the entire afternoon talking about bones and writing. He credits his coauthor with making his work readable, and appreciates what goes into writing a good book. Not a bit of ego on this guy, even though the subtitle to his book is “How I Cracked the World's Toughest Cases.” That was a publisher choice. In fact, he told us that the publisher insisted on three words in the title: “Forensic,” “Detective,” and “I.”

He was the lucky recipient of a book tour, and he brought slides to share and anecdotes to tell. He also offered to give us a tour, at some future date, of the identification lab. You can bet we'll be taking him up on that one!

If you're interested at all in CSI type stuff, or if you write romantic suspense, I'd encourage you to give Dr. Mann's book a try. Very readable!