Kathy Reichs came to MTSU here in Tennessee on Wednesday 4/14, and since I'm only about 40 minutes away I was able to go. My big night out, lol. Another girl said it was the highlight of her life and Kathy was like "you need to get out more!"
Kathy seemed very personable and was funny in a squinty sort of way
. She signed at about 1000 books afterward--some people brought like boxes filled-why?? I purchased her first 3 books and she signed all of them. I apologized about it not being the hardcover and she was like "ah it's the same story." (I'm practical--3 paperbacks for price of 1 hardcover).
Anyway, the lecture was really more of a presentation complete with gross pictures.
I know a lot of us know this stuff already, but will repeat just in case. I apologize, I wish I had done this the night after, but have been crazy busy and memory is a getting fuzzy. Wish I had a recorder, would have just transcribed it
1. She still does split her time between North Carolina and Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Medecine Legale
in Quebec, as well as being a consultant/exec producer for Bones. She reads the scripts when they're done to make sure it's accurate as far as the science goes. She also wrote an episode, "Witch in Wardrobe" which I think airs in 2 weeks.
2. She's a member of DMORT (Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team) for several states in the southeast US. They are called in for mass casualties such as plane crashes, Hurricane Katrina. She did also spend time at Ground Zero after 9/11. She also helped with identifying victims of genocide in mass graves in (I think Rowanda?), anywhere from 2 to 100s in the graves. She also testified in those cases.
3. One of the labs she works in does have entomologists and other specialists and she often consults them for her books. However, her bone storage looks like a walk-in-closet with shoe boxes, nothing close to Angela's office.
4. When Hart Hanson picked up the idea and they began working together she allowed him full character development other than the character couldn't be younger than 30, which makes perfect sense with all that schooling Bones had to have had. She thinks of the TV Tempe as the predecessor to Tempe in her books, but they are really not much alike since Hart developed the TV Tempe.
5. Hart picked her up from the airport in his old red Jeep and her 1st trailer was one of those old camping ones with a port-o-potty.
(I'm not sure if she was joking about the trailer or not, but I'm pretty sure the Jeep part was real, as I've heard stories on the internet) She helped design the lab set and helped to make sure all the props/instruments were authentic. They are, however, much flashier than real life because it's TV. "Angelator" is real technology, it was used in a King Tut exhibit, but she doesn't know of active crime labs that use it. The main sets like the labs and FBI offices are in 2 huge airplane hangers. The diner is on a street in the Fox lot that is used in other shows, they just change the facades.
6. TV Writers' room...7-8 full-time writers. Large (looked like dry-erase boards) on the wall, divided into 6 acts. Writer pitches the story and they map out the basics; the A plot is the case, the B plot is usually character development. One of the writers takes it home and writes it then brings it back for notes, critique, etc. and it goes from there.
7. There is a skeleton in the writer's room or set that has a prop from each show of the current season and they auction it off at the end of the season ( I want one)
8. Show was definitely picked up for a 6th season, thinking it might be an 8-season show!!
9. Why did she start writing? She made full professor and "could do whatever the hell I wanted." She had already written for journals, etc. Her contract is for one book a year. She usually delivers a book in October and it takes until the following August with publishing/marketing etc to get to bookshelves.
10. Her books are based on real cases, but she often combines cases, and obviously changes names, etc. Usually she starts with a victim and manner of death and then builds the story around that.
*Unfortunately this is where I had a hard time keeping up since she went through the books so quickly. It really made me want to read them, which is why I got 3 more.
11. She is not too much like her character other than the jobs. She has 2 daughters and son. Tempe's daughter is a combination of Kathy's two daughters, but they argue about which one it is based off of. She is NOT a recovering alcoholic. (I didn't know this part about Tempe, which is why I decided to get the 1st three books and start from the beginning).
12. For research for one of her books (I think Bones to Ashes) she worked with a famous linguistic professor (Foster?) who helped confirm that the Unabomber was Ted Kadzinski. (He had compared the published manifesto to known writings of Ted to confirm it was him). She likes to bring in other fields like this to help solve the cases.
13. David Boreanaz is cuter in person.
(I wanted to ask her about TJ but got all nervous). She pronounced TJ's last name like "Tine" Maybe this is just a Southern dialect thing? Cause the cast says "Thine" on the DVD commentary. ?
14. She wouldn't give any spoilers except stuff that is widely known, like the Gravedigger, "Freddy" in the last episode, Billy Gibbons back for the finale, etc.
15. Canadian killers like to stuff body parts in hockey bags.