5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Indie Author Interview: Jennifer Chase

Interview with Jennifer Chase - Author of the Mystery / Crime Thriller: Dark Mind (Emily Stone Series)

Jennifer Chase holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s in criminology. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She’s a member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

Jennifer Chase is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and a criminologist. She has authored four crime fiction, thriller novels: Compulsion, Dead Game, Silent Partner, and Dark Mind. She has authored a non-fiction book How to Write a Screenplay incorporating a step-by-step process to write a screenplay. She currently assists clients in publishing, ghostwriting, book reviews, blogs, articles, screenwriting, editing, and research.

Interview with Author Jennifer Chase

Interview with Author Jennifer Chase
Author Jennifer Chase
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Jennifer Chase: I have been writing for most of my life even though I made my main living in the corporate world. Before I wrote my first novel, I had written ten screenplays. My first novel Compulsion was actually going to be a screenplay, but something changed as I outlined the story and a novel ended up being the best approach. I loved writing the novel so much that I continued with other books.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
There are too many awesome writers to list, but some of my writing influences have been Dean Koontz, Jeffery Deaver, and David Baldacci. I love many different genres, but the books that stand out as a young teen to present day are the Nancy Drew Mysteries, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Secret Garden, and then Stephen King horror stories and Dean Koontz thrillers.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t know if there was an actual day that I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I’ve loved books and writing as far back as I can remember. When I was about five years old, my mom would take me to the library and I would check out more books than I could carry. I often dreamed what it would be like to be a writer and to share stories with readers.

"I’m an outliner."

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?

I approach book projects with structure, so I’m an outliner. I like the idea of having a road map to my novel, but that doesn’t mean you cannot take that little dirt road occasionally. I generally write in the afternoons in a four-hour block with Sundays off. It works well for me because I clear my day of errands, appointments, administrative duties, and promotional functions.

What do you find easiest about writing? What’s the hardest?
Ideas flow nonstop for me – everything around me inspires me. When I’m writing one series, I’ve already had more ideas for several other series. I never get stumbled by writer’s block or lack of ideas. I love that! There are so many things to write about and characters to create, and so little time. The most difficult part of writing is the grueling process of editing and rewrites. It’s a challenge to get through the final edits, but it’s all part of the process so I’ve made my peace with it.

Jennifer, please tell us a little about your novel 'Dark Mind' and the 'Emily Stone Series'.
Dark Mind takes readers along with vigilante detective Emily Stone to the island of Kauai in search of an abducted child. In the process, a serial killer begins to hunt victims on the island paradise. Emily searches deep into the jungle to stalk a killer.

The Emily Stone Series are suspenseful adventures of one woman’s calling for justice as she shadows police investigations with her natural ability of criminal profiling and forensics. She covertly emails the information to the police detective in charge of the particular case. Cases of abducted children and serial killers are what drive her to find these ruthless and little understood killers. These books are crime thrillers with a twist and a different kind of alpha heroine.

Dark Mind (Jennifer Chase)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
The inspiration came from my own experience of living next door to a psychopathic neighbor. It wasn’t just your normal obnoxious or rude neighbor, but a dangerous person who threatened my life for more than two years. He had detailed ideas of how he would kill me and it’s too graphic to explain. So I decided to write a story with this person as my inspiration and I created Emily Stone.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
My target audience would be anyone who enjoys crime, thriller, and mystery books with action and a serial killer in the spotlight. I enjoy weaving actual procedures of crime scene investigation, forensics, and criminal profiling throughout the stories.

You can purchase any of my books from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most Internet and physical book stories in the US.

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
I have had an incredible time researching and writing my books since 2008. I’ve also been extremely fortunate to receive awards for three of my four books. Dead Game received the Bronze Thriller Award, Silent Partner received the Silver Suspense Award, and recently Dark Mind received the Bronze Action Award, all from Readers Favorite. In addition, two of my books were semi-finalists for mystery/thriller categories. I’m thrilled and very thankful that my books are receiving exposure and gaining a readership.

How long did it take you to write the book?
It takes me approximately two months to outline (that is my choppy first draft) and research a book, and then another two months to write the first draft. However, with rewrites, additional research if necessary, and editing, it can take another month or two.

Please, tell us where you self-published the book.
For my first two books, I used Outskirts Press. After careful consideration, I decided to publish my books with my own publishing company, JEC Press. It’s a lot of work, but I found that for me, it works well.

How smooth went the self-publishing process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing a book?
It’s quite a process if you’ve never published a book before and there’s definitely a learning curve. Overall, it went smoothly. There are going to be things that you would have done differently, if you had known, like with promotion, final edits, availability in other countries, etc. My advice is to talk to writers and publishers, and do your research before taking the plunge.

"You can’t be too careful when it comes to editing."

Did you hire an editor and/or Cover Designer for your book?
Yes, I hired an editor. This is probably one of the most important things you can do as a self-published author, even if you’re a competent editor yourself. Hire an editor and have several people do a final edit read through for you too. You can’t be too careful when it comes to editing.

I designed my covers under the guidance of a graphic artist if I had any questions. I love to show versions of my cover and receive feedback from friends and readers.

"Write, write, and write every day!"

Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
Write, write, and write every day! Write what you love and not what you think you should or what someone tells you to write. Do your homework in regard to self-publishing and know all your options before you decide which avenue is best for you.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
Yes, I’m in the middle of my next thriller in the Emily Stone Series, Dead Burn. I’ll give you a little teaser, Emily Stone gets caught up with an arson serial killer and a hit man.

Are you planning to move forward as an Indie author or are you looking forward to have one of your next books to be traditionally published?
That’s a great question. I’m working out the details and outlining two other new series, one paranormal and the other crime fiction. For now, I’m happy with self-publishing, but who knows what the future might bring and I’m open to other possibilities.

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
Technology continues to evolve every day. We’re going to see more and more readers embrace the e-readers; however, I still believe that there will always be some physical bookstores.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
I write ¾ time. I’m a consulting criminologist and I have degrees in police forensics and criminology. I also help writers with publishing. I love my schedule because it’s flexible and allows me to write on a regular basis.

How can readers connect with you?
I welcome questions and comments from readers! [See Links below].

Thank you very much for the Interview, Jennifer.

About the Book Dark Mind (Emily Stone Series)

Dark Mind (Jennifer Chase) - Click to Read an Excerpt
Vigilante detective Emily Stone continues her covert pursuits to find serial killers and child abductors, all under the radar while shadowing police investigations.

Her toughest case takes her to the beautiful island of Kauai.

It doesn’t take long before Emily is thrown into the middle of murder, mayhem, and conspiracy.

Locals aren’t talking as a serial killer now stalks the island, taking women in a brutal frenzy of ancient superstitions and folklore. Local cops are unprepared for what lies ahead.

In a race against the clock, Emily and her team must identify the killer before time runs out.

Links to the Author and the Book

Link to Jennifer Chase's Website

Link to Jennifer Chase's Facebook Page

Connect with Jennifer Chase on Twitter: @JChaseNovelist

Link to the eBook Dark Mind on Amazon with Excerpt

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