As the daughter of the county Medical Examiner who kept his office in their home, Beverly Hills forensics expert Jennifer Dornbush, author of “Forensic Speak: How to Write Realistic Crime Dramas,” attended her first on-site death investigation (an airplane crash) when she was ten years old. Besides a few nightmares and therapy sessions, her childhood gave her some very uncanny experiences for storytelling.
Dornbush trained at the Forensic Science Academy and spent decades investigating fatalities.To round out her death investigation knowledge, she completed over 360 hours of CSI training, and claims although she dare not call herself a forensic professional, she definitely considers it a serious hobby.
“I’m glad to see that new TV shows are hitting the mark much more realistically,” she said, “such as ‘Gracepoint’ where the actors wear real protective gear, the investigative forensics clock is slowed down so that the whole case is not solved and wrapped up in an hour, and where more time is spent on the emotional impact on the victims’ families.”
Her forensic television comedy, “Home Bodies,” received a Humanitas New Voices Award, and her female-driven crime drama, “The Coroner’s Daughter,” is being developed for TV.
Dornbush leads seminars on forensics and fiction at the Writers Store, and at several writers’ conferences. She has worked on Fox’s “Let’s Be Cops,” and other shows, and teaches screenwriting at Azusa Pacific University and Act One. She is excited about a new study at Cal State LA where ways to test tissue-specific DNA is being developed, while she waits anxiously for someone to invent a safe tele-transporting method to avoid the Los Angeles traffic.
She will share her experiences at the Sisters in Crime LA meeting on Sunday, November 2 at 2:00 p.m. In addition, Maxine Nnunes, who has written and produced for TV and writes for the Los Angeles Times, as well as writing the Nikki Easton mystery series, will read from her best-selling book, “Dazzled.”
The event is free and open to the public. South Pasadena Public Library, 1115 El Centro Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030. More information: www.sistersincrimela.com. Disclaimer: Neither the City of South Pasadena nor the Public Library sponsor the event.
Morgan St. James is the author of 11 novels and over 600 articles about the business and craft of writing, many of them for yeahstub.com. In addition to the bi-monthly Writers’ Tricks of the Trade eZine, her radio show of the same name, with co-host true crime writer Dennis N. Griffin, will be debuting on Blog Talk Radio November 12 at 6:00 pm PST/ 9:00 EST.
For more information about St. James visit www.morganstjames-author.com.