How Carolyn Elizabeth’s debut novel was inspired by her own experience as a pathologists’ assistant

You’ve read it countless times before—two women make eye contact across a crowded room and the air between them crackles with mutual desire. Now imagine that room is a morgue—sexy, right?

In 2006 I was completing a Master of Science in biomedical anthropology and for fun assisting with autopsies at the hospital. While working in the forensic anthropology lab cleaning bones for a research project, I told my colleague I was going to write lesbian fiction about autopsies and skeletal analysis one day. I had never shared my dream to write with anyone.

I followed that degree up with an MS in pathology. I spent some time training at a busy downtown medical examiner’s office. I sometimes watched the evening news to get an idea what the next day was going to be like.

One of the things that always struck me as fascinating—besides the fact that performing an autopsy was something I enjoyed—was the contrast between the macabre scene of a dead body on a steel table with workaday life continuing on unchanged around it.

There were bright lights, clanging instruments, and power saws. Sometimes there was music, casual conversation and laughter—not the solemnity you might expect. I wanted to capture that mood without trivializing tragedy and create a compelling mystery.

Except, did I mention this is a love story between two women who meet in a morgue?

Over a decade after I spoke my intention to write death investigation stories out loud to the universe I present Gallows Humor, the first Corey Curtis and Thayer Reynolds romantic thriller.


Gallows Humor is available now for pre-order and comes out on March 14th.

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