Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Author Interview with JENNIFER CHASE

Jennifer Chase is an author, freelance writer, and criminologist. She has recently authored a debut thriller novel "Compulsion". In addition, she currently assists clients in ghostwriting, book reviews, copywriting, screenwriting, editing, and research.
Who is the one person who most encouraged or influenced you to be a writer—and why?

I don’t know if I can say that just one person encouraged or influenced me the most to become a writer, but I do remember a memorable day when I was a freshman in high school. My English teacher, Mr. O’Connell, called me up to his desk after class one day. I actually thought I was in trouble because I was an outspoken teenager. Instead, he sat me down and asked me if I ever thought about becoming a writer. I really didn’t know what to think about that idea, but he said that I really should think about it. He thought that I had the talent and discipline, and it seemed to suit my personality. It was a great confidence booster for me during my teen years.

I have to also give credit where credit is due. My mom always encouraged me to become whatever I wanted to be in life – even if it meant that I wanted to be a writer. My favorite thriller writers also inspired me to want to write my own novel: Dean Koontz, Jeffery Deaver, and John Connolly.

You hold degrees in police forensics and criminology and certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. How have these backgrounds helped with your writing career?

I find everything about the field of police forensics to be fascinating and it always leaves me wanting to learn even more. I’m very interested in the connection between crime and criminals. Basically, why and how certain people commit a particular type of crime interests me. I wanted to write a thriller novel, but I felt I wasn’t quite ready yet. After I received my degrees and certifications, it helped to give me the confidence to write about serial killers and crime scene investigations in a thriller genre. I don’t have to spend extended lengths of time to research many of these areas, which is a great advantage for me. It just seemed to be the missing piece for me to become a crime fiction author.

How long have you been writing? Other than mystery/crime novels, what else do you write?

I’ve been writing ever since I was a little girl, when I would write short stories about many of my favorite animals. I’ve loved to read books ever since I was able to read on my own. I really didn’t write with any degree of seriousness until I was about 13 years old. When I entered the corporate world, writing took a backseat for me through different periods in my life. It was not until a few years ago that I wanted to complete my first novel. I felt the timing was right.

I have completed nine feature length screenplays in the crime, suspense, drama, and comedy genres. Movies have been a big influence in my life and I always wanted to write a screenplay. In addition, I have helped clients with copywriting and ghostwriting assignments. I enjoy the variety of writing work because it helps to keep my mind sharp.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a writer has been to stay motivated through the long process of writing a full-length book. I enjoy almost every minute when I’m writing a story, but there are times that it’s difficult to stay focused and motivated. I’ve learned to plan out my writing schedule with short breaks for photography and exercise that helps to keep me energized and on track.

What is the title of your most recently published book? Briefly tell us what it’s about and let us know where we can buy it.

My novel Compulsion is a suspense thriller novel about a woman named Emily Stone, who tracks down child serial killers on the West coast. She uses her police background and natural ability to get inside the criminal mind in order to gather detailed, on-the-scene evidence. In doing so, she stealthily tracks down the most deplorable pedophiles and serial killers. Then, she anonymously sends her information to the police detective in charge of the case, and another monster is swiftly taken off the streets. Her secret identity is imperative not only for her protection, but to ensure that her hunt will continue uninterrupted. But, when two brazen serial killers are terrorizing women right in Emily’s hometown, she gets too close to the action. She soon becomes the hunted and must rely on help from a local police detective.

Compulsion is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and from both online and local book retailers. It is also available in e-book and Kindle formats.

What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?

I’m in the process of writing my second thriller novel titled Dead Game with Emily Stone as she tracks down an ingenious high-tech serial killer who uses the front of a prominent video game company to elicit unsuspecting victims. This book will be released by the end of this year and will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and from both online and local book retailers.

Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?

Write what most inspires you as a writer. Don’t write only what you think you or someone else thinks “you should” write. Writing is a discipline that’s difficult enough without writing what you’re the most passionate about.

With that being said, take your time with your first piece of work and make sure that it’s edited properly or--if at all possible--hire a professional editor. Have some of your closest friends and family members read through the story to help to give you some constructive criticism before sending to agents and publishers.

What writer’s organizations claim you as a member? How has membership helped your writing career?

I’m a member of AuthorsDen, GoodReads, Book Blogs, Book Marketing Network, CrimeSpace, and PolicePulse. It has been a great experience for me to network with writers and readers. I’ve really enjoyed the feedback generated from my book and also reading a variety of books from other members. It’s been a positive experience and has helped to jump-start my writing career.

Do you have any upcoming book signings or appearances? If so, give us all the details.

I have just recently finished with several book signing appearances along with interviews, both written and radio. At this time, I’m concentrating on my second novel, Dead Game, and I will take up book signings and interviews after the release date.

Here’s your opportunity to tell us anything else you care to share.

I really want to thank my readers for their wonderful support and feedback. I love to hear any comments and questions about my book, forensics, and criminology. Thank you, Linda, for this great opportunity to share a little bit about my debut novel and myself.

What are the addresses of your website(s) and blog(s):

1 comment:

  1. Compulsion sounds like a great read, Jennifer. I like the idea of a female protagonist tracking down bad guys anonymously. It reminds me of some real-life gals who do computer tracking of internet criminals for the FBI. Makes for excellent stories.