Monday, 17 October 2011

Interview With Jennifer Chase

Earlier this summer, I was lucky enough to review a fabulous book called Dead Game by Jennifer Chase.  It was a cracker of a thriller and I loved every minute of it.  Jennifer is an award winning author and criminologist and all round extremely interesting and very clever lady and I was lucky enough to poke my nose into her life when she agreed to answer some questions for my blog.   Thanks so much Jennifer, really looking forward to reading more of your work - you know I'm now a fan for life!

You have quite a CV Jennifer.  Can you tell us a little about you and your life?
Thank you for having me here today!
I’ve always loved to write whether it was scribbling out funny lines for my stuffed animals when I was a child or writing short mystery stories in high school.  I think I secretly wanted to be Nancy Drew! 
Things don’t always turn out the way you want – sometimes it just takes longer to get to where you want to go.  I ventured into the business and corporate world in the exciting occupation of accounting.  Yes, I know, I still get funny looks about transforming from accountant to thriller writer.  It’s a process!  I’ve written professionally in areas of copyrighting and articles in magazines and newspapers, but I still wanted to write a novel.  There’s that process thing again!       

As well as writing, you have lots of experience to offer people in many ways.  Can you tell us a little about what else you do?
Lately, I’ve been working on my latest novel project Dark Mind and keeping focused on the steadily approaching deadline before the holidays.  I offer assistance to other writers with blog articles, ghost writing, and research with crime scene and police procedures as well as publishing services.  In addition, I study crime trends and keep my skills and experience honed in criminal profiling as a consultant.  My plate is full, but I love every minute of it!       

What inspired you to create Emily Stone and how long was she a work in progress? 
Emily Stone was created out of a personal experience I had with a violent ex-neighbor who threatened my life for more than two years.  It was a hair-raising experience that seems more like a movie now looking back.  It was during that time that I became interested in forensics and criminal psychology before all of the CSI shows on television.  I was hooked and went back to school to earn a forensic bachelors degree and a masters in criminology.  I developed friendships with local law enforcement individuals.  But, writing kept surfacing in my mind.  My experience with the neighbor inspired Emily Stone who hunts down serial killers and pedophiles anonymously and then emails her findings to the local police.  I thought about this idea for about eight years before I wrote the first chapters of Compulsion.

I would love to see Dead Game as a film.  If you could cast a famous actress for the role of Emily Stone, and an actor as Rick, who would you cast and why?
I’ve thought about this because I love movies as well.  There are some wonderful actors out there.  I have to say I could see Angelina Jolie as Emily Stone because she’s proven that she can be tough as nails but feminine.  As for Rick Lopez, I could see Leonardo Dicaprio because he’s an amazing actor and I think he could bring this character to life.  Also, the serial killer Samuel in Dead Game, I could definitely see Christopher Walken playing the role.  What an incredible trio that would be!  

Being nosey, where do you find your most inspiring place to write?
Inspiration can strike me at any time especially when I’m out walking with my dogs on the beach or in a large park.  Nature and solitude seem to strike an inspirational chord with me and my mind freely contemplates all sorts of ideas.  However, I find that I do my best writing when I’m in my home office.  I feel comfortable, relaxed, and everything is right where I need it. 
As you know, I'm a huge James Patterson fan and Dead Game reminded me very much of his style of writing.  What types of book do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?
First, wow, thank you for that wonderful compliment.  I love Patterson novels too.  I think his earlier novels have influenced me with the short, quick chapters that keep you reading.  I love to read suspense thrillers as you can imagine and there are many, many authors out there I love to read.  I’m finding new independent authors everyday!  I enjoy reading Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Jeffrey Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, David Baldacci, Lee Child, Vince Flynn, and oh my, I could on and on.  I do try and read other genres such as science fiction and horror.   

What role does social media now play in the promotion of a book for an author?  How do you relate to the whole social media revolution?
Social media has made so many opportunities possible for authors, whether they are independent or mainstream.  It’s amazing.  However, there are so many opportunities and ways to promote your books that it can be overwhelming.  How do you choose?  What really works for your specific genre?  There are not enough hours in the day to do everything.  I’m the type of person that asks a lot of questions.  I’ve spoken to other authors, promotional specialists, and publishing companies to try to gain some insight.   

I’ve approached social media with the basics, such as Twitter, Facebook, and blogs with people who love to read and write crime fiction.  I’ve found great connections, increased book sales, and found real friends, which are priceless to me.  Also, I have an active blog that I write about 2-3 articles weekly.  I try to keep things simple and not jump into the newest social media craze until I see what it has to offer and the time it takes. 

What's next for you, are you writing more and if so, can you tell us a little more?
I’m just completing my third Emily Stone novel Dark Mind, which will be available in time for the holidays.  Emily’s next adventure takes her to the island of Kauai hunting a child abductor, but she runs into the island’s first serial killer.  It’s her toughest investigation yet because of the difficult island climate, unprepared police department, and uncooperative local community.  I’ve created this thriller to have several suspects to keep readers guessing too! 


You can read my review of Dead Game here.

No comments: