ASC Honors-Lifetime Achievement in the Field of Arts, Science or History celebrates the lifetime achievements of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg resident in the visual, design or performing arts, history, literature or science. Thanks to the generosity of the Cato Corporation, ASC is also able to honor lifetime achievement in teaching art, science and history for Pre-K-12 teachers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region with the ASC Honors-Cato Lifetime Achievement in Teaching Awards.
By Bea Quirk
Kathy Reichs has been an international best-selling author of forensic thrillers since the publication of Deja Dead, which won the Ellis Award for best novel in 1997. She’s also the producer for the hit TV show, ‘Bones,’ which is based on her work.
The forensic anthropologist-turned-author could live anywhere. But she has chosen to stay in Charlotte, where she and her family have lived since 1978 when they left Chicago “after one too many snow storms.” Her children attended Charlotte public schools and North Carolina colleges.
“We have season tickets to the NFL, NBA, the Symphony. We go to gallery crawls, and the Bechtler is wonderful,” she says. “Charlotte has all the benefits of a big city without the detriments and drawbacks.”
Although Reichs no longer teaches, she remains a faculty member on indefinite leave at UNC Charlotte, here she began teaching after a few years at Davidson. She has also decreased the time she spends on cases in the field (and lab) to focus on writing.
In the past, Reichs has used her specialized expertise to teach FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains and assisted with identifying remains found at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For several years, she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina and the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale in Québec.
“I write science-driven thrillers — for me, the key is the science,” Reichs explains. “”But I keep the science brief and don’t use jargon. I don’t dumb it down, but I keep it interesting and entertaining.”
Reichs now has 15 books in her Temperance Brennan series. She also has two featuring Temperance’s niece, geared towards young adults. Her publisher has always been Scribner. But she doesn’t advise others to use the route she did to get published.
“I sent the manuscript to a friend of my daughter’s who worked at Scribner,” Reichs recalls. “It was crazy to do that. But I got a lucrative offer from them in one week. I have never received a rejection letter.”