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Heather Mahalik is currently Principle Forensic Scientist and Program Manager at Oceans Edge, Inc, and the course lead for the SANS mobile device and advanced smartphone forensics courses. With over 11 years’ experience in digital forensics, she currently focuses on mobile device investigations, forensic course development and instruction, and research on smartphone forensics. As a prolific forensics professional, Heather brought a great deal of expertise and knowledge to Packt, helping to make Practical Mobile Forensics a great success, and we caught up with her to get some thoughts on her experiences as an author.

Why did you decide to write with Packt, what convinced you?

Packt approached me with the idea and introduced me to the other authors, who ended up being co-authors of the book. I was lucky to be sought out and not have to seek a publisher.

As a first-time Packt author, what type of support did you receive to develop your content effectively?

Packt provided our team an editor and others to support our efforts on the book. Our Acquisition Editor was fantastic and always responded immediately. I never felt that any question was unanswered or that I didn’t have the support I needed. They were also very flexible with us submitting chapters out of order to allow the normal flow of writing.

What were your main aims when you decided to write a book, and how did Packt, in particular, match those aims?

I wanted to release a book quickly on mobile forensics that emphasized the use of open source tools. Packt allowed us to progress quickly, update as needed and get the book out.


What was the most rewarding part of the writing experience?

Working with my co-authors. Seeing their perspectives on each topic was eye opening.

What do you see as the next big thing in your field, and what developments are you excited about?

Handling smartphone security – device security, encryption, and application obfuscation.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Stay positive, write a little bit every day and hang in there.

Follow Heather on Twitter (@HeatherMahalik) or take a look at her blog.

If you have been inspired to write, get in touch with our experienced team who are always open to discussing and designing potential book ideas with talented people. Click here for more details.

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