Friday, August 28, 2015

Jennifer Chase - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Jennifer Chase. She is the award-winning Mystery writer of the Emily Stone Thriller Series.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Author's Blog: Author Jennifer Chase
Blog: Book & Crime Talk
Twitter: @JChaseNovelist
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
The love that author Jennifer Chase has for books and writing began with the weekly trips that her mom would take with her to the local library. Jennifer would load up her arms with books and spend the week pouring over them until the next visit brought the opportunity to discover even more authors and stories. Before long, she was taking pen to paper and a lifelong connection with creating characters and plotlines was made.

Jennifer has found her niche in the writing world by integrating another passion, criminology, into her work. She holds a bachelors degree in police forensics and a masters in criminology, academic pursuits that developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. She also holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling and is a proud member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

This research background has assisted Jennifer in writing multiple crime thrillers, including Compulsion, Dead Game, Silent Partner, Dark Mind and Dead Burn, earning multiple readers' choice awards and other accolades along the way, including a recent gold medal awarded for Dead Burn by a panel of professionals in the publishing industry as part of the International Book Awards. She also has published a non-fiction book, How to Write a Screenplay, which offers a step-by-step guide to this special craft. In addition to her own writing work, Jennifer assists other authors with their own publishing efforts and does some consulting work in the criminology field.

Jennifer Chase was born and raised in California and still lives there with her husband, dogs and cats. In addition to writing and studying, Jennifer enjoys spending time outdoors, both at the beach and hiking, and engaging in some amateur photography.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: Dark Pursuit. Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called Body of Crime. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Thank you! I am very excited about my latest release Dark Pursuit. It is another installment to my award-winning Emily Stone Thriller Series. Emily Stone is pushed to her ultimate limit, physically and mentally, as she races against the clock to find a missing girl and ultimately faces a serial killer.

Yes, Body of the Crime is a debut thriller for my Chip Palmer Forensic Mysteries Series. Chip Palmer is a criminal profiler and expert witness for all types of homicide cases. The guilty and convicted hate him, so he must live a reclusive life in order to dodge constant death threats from psychopaths and prominent crime family members. Body of the Crime will be released this fall.

You have a great following on twitter. Since you started before the social media buzz, what impact has social media relationships had on your current success? How did you build your following in your niche? How much has it changed your book launch process?

The social media has no doubt improved my exposure and has helped me to gain readership. With all of the positive aspects, it can be a time drain and divert your focus. It is important to have a plan on how long to engage in social media every day and stick to it. In the beginning, I followed people who enjoy mysteries and thrillers and found sites that promoted these types of books. Social media has definitely played a big part in my book launch process. For example, virtual blog tours are quite effective as opposed to in person book signings.

Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

Yes, I have done book signings - not as many as I would like. It is fun to have a face-to-face conversation with readers instead of a virtual one. Interview and speaking engagements are a part of my promotion, whether or not I have just released a new book. I will have some signings and speaking engagements in the near future. Announcements and dates can be found at my blog/website:

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

Thank you so much. I try not to think about the book covers too much or force the creativity as I write the story. Most of my Emily Stone book covers are actually two photos merged, which gives an overall theme of the story. By merging two photos, I feel that I create more of an original image. At this point, I have not involved readers in the process, but I will be writing other series in the future and that might be fun.

You have a great book trailer for the Emily Stone Series.
It looks very professional. Do you know how much impact it has had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailer?

It is difficult to tell how much of an impact the book series trailer has had on my sales. However, it does make my series stand out and it is a wonderful marketing tool. I had the awesome opportunity to meet a film director, Andy Palmer of Petri Entertainment, where I really liked one of his thriller trailers, and jokingly I said to him I would love a book trailer. Well, be careful for what you wish for because with some planning and vision, my trailer was made. I wanted the trailer (teaser) to reflect the feel and theme of the series instead of based on just one book. I wrote a five-six page script and we worked out the rest. I am so honored that such talented actors Kim Poirier and Carlos Alazraqui, along with an amazing movie crew, made my novel characters come to life. You can see the 5-minute trailer here:

You have written several short stories. Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work?

Short stories are an interesting aspect of writing. Some people say they are dead in the water as far as sales, while others claim that it is a wonderful way for readers to sample your work. I agree with the later. I have so many ideas that writing a short story is a wonderful project in between novels. I have received many requests that some of my supporting characters should have their own books. What better way to highlight some of these characters in short stories?

I like the idea of bundling a series of novels. You have put together a set of your novels for the Emily Stone Series. What was the impact on your other sales? What was your main objective in bundling your novels?

I thought long and hard as to whether or not to bundle the first three books. I think it is s a great idea only if you have enough in your series. I also included a free short story and the first three chapters of another book. It just made sense. I have found that most readers, who bought the bundle, then bought the next novels in the series. This type of bundle helps to add to your author store and continue to give you more exposure for the series.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I do free book giveaways on Amazon when I release a new book and physical book giveaways on Goodreads during the same time. I think authors need to be careful when doing free giveaways. You need to have a purpose and not hope that a free book at any time will boost sales of the other books. It is a little bit of a balancing act to know when and how long to put a book up for free.

Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?

Yes, I do maintain a list and blog subscribers. I have to admit that I have not had enough time recently to really nurture it. I use social media, my blog, and my Facebook author page to keep in touch with readers about new books and any other announcements.

You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?

My blog is really written in two-parts. I use it to talk about my books, crime, and thrillers in general, and to inform the general readership about forensics and crime scene investigation. I have an academic background and degrees in forensics, criminology, and profiling. I love to share the real information about these subjects. At the same time, my background is also integrated into my crime fiction novels. I feel that both parts to my blog complement each other. And yes, it is a challenging balancing act to maintain everything and to find time to write. I think most authors today have the same challenge. I find that I reevaluate my schedule in order to fine-tune it.

Thank you so much for the interview opportunity and great questions.

Author's Book List
Dark Pursuit - Emily Stone Series Book 5
Vigilante detective Emily Stone has covertly hunted down killers and closed more serial cases than most seasoned homicide cops combined. Her exceptional profiling skills and forensic techniques, along with deductive crime scene investigations, have made her a compelling force that cannot be beat.

She has reached her ultimate breaking point and now must face her toughest opponent yet – her biggest fears.

With preciseness, the Tick-Tock Killer has taken his next child victim and promised to dump the body precisely four days later, mocking police and the community. Stone struggles to balance her inner demons and ghosts from the past, against the wits of a brutal and cunning serial killer in an all-out battle of psychological warfare.

Can Stone save the next child in time? Dark Pursuit is an action-packed cat and mouse game that will take you to dark places rarely explored.

Order the Book From:

Dead Burn - Emily Stone Series Book 4
Terrified California residents face the shocking dilemma of yet another serial killer roaming freely in their neighborhoods. However, this time it is an evolving serial killer anomaly that relentlessly searches for, hunts down, and ingeniously traps his victims before unleashing his fiery rage. Always two steps ahead of the cops and fire investigators, the killer hones in on the next sinful target leaving a trail of bones and ashes behind as evidence. It rocks the criminal justice system to the core as a string of arson murders hits inside their turf.

Vigilante detective Emily Stone hunts serial killers and child abductors, covertly and under the law enforcement radar, with her intrinsic skills of criminal profiling and forensic investigation. With Stone’s toughest case yet, the arson serial killer immediately crosses her radar and sends her into the dark territory of a lethal pyromaniac’s mind – to the point of no return.

While following the clues of the relentless firebomber, Stone grabs the attention of a government anti-terrorist organization called GATE that oversees all law enforcement cases across the U.S., which now focuses their sights on her proven abilities. They have very specific plans for her, whether she likes it or not.

Everything teeters on the edge of reality, as Stone must battle for her life between a hired assassin and an arson serial killer. Lines are drawn on both sides of the law. Friendships and lovers are tested.

Everyone sins… Are you willing to pay for yours?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Dark Mind - Emily Stone Series Book 3
A Serial Killer Plagues an Island Paradise

Vigilante detective Emily Stone continues her covert pursuits to find serial killers and child abductors, all under the radar while shadowing police investigations.

Emily searches for an abducted nine-year-old girl taken by ruthless and enterprising slave brokers. Following the clues from California to the garden island of Kauai, she begins to piece together the evidence and ventures deep into the jungle.

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.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Dead Game - Emily Stone Series Book 2
In her independent efforts to catch child killers, Emily Stone discovers the evidence that the cops can’t — or won’t — uncover. Now, this covert investigator is back on the hunt for the world’s most sick and twisted murderers. But even with help from ex-police detective Rick Lopez, this time she’s facing her most dangerous opponent yet.

The headlines in the San Jose Mercury News blare updates on a serial killer who seems able to slaughter with impunity. Men, women — it doesn’t matter; the victims serve only to satisfy a perverted need to kill. The killer watches the moment of death on multiple computer screens, over and over again. The only connection is that they’re all devotees of the latest video-game craze — a sophisticated brain-puzzler called EagleEye.

When the killer goes after Lopez’s law-enforcement mentor, Lopez and Stone decide to give the cops a little extra, unsolicited help. What follows takes them deep inside a shocking high-tech world, a kind of social-networking community for serial killers. But when they start getting too close to the truth, all hell’s going to break loose.

Now, Stone and Lopez become the killer’s next target as Stone must make a difficult decision to leave the ones she loves in an all-or-nothing effort for survival. Can they stay alive long enough to blow the whistle on this unlikely perpetrator?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Compulsion - Emily Stone Series Book 1
When Serial Killers Terrorize a California Beach Community, One Woman Stands in Their Way

Emily Stone doesn’t have a badge. But that hasn’t stopped her from tracking down some of the West’s most dangerous child-killers. Armed with a digital SLR camera, laptop computer and her trusty Beretta, Stone uses her innate gift for detective work to identify the perps — and then anonymously e-mail the evidence to the cops.

Now, the hunt for two brazen serial killers on the loose right in her own coastal California town threatens to expose Stone’s identity — unraveling her carefully constructed cover and jeopardizing her life’s work. But when she gets too close to the action, this razor-sharp hunter becomes the hunted. Cooperating with the handsome local police detective could be the only hope for stopping the rampage directed at unsuspecting young women — and saving herself. Can they piece together the clues in time?

Compulsion mixes CSI-style investigation with a ripped-from-the-headlines plot and a dose of romance for a keeps-you-guessing, fast-paced and savvy thriller, right up until the shocking finale.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Silent Partner - One K9 Cop, One Serial Killer
One Cop, One Serial Killer, One Witness
Who Will Survive?

Northern California’s elite Police K9 Units arrive at an abandoned warehouse after a high-speed chase and apprehend two killers after they have fled a grisly murder scene. This barely scratches the surface of a bloody trail from a prolific serial killer that leads to unlocking the insidious secrets of one family’s history, while tearing a police department apart.

Jack Davis, a top K9 cop with an unprecedented integrity, finds himself falling for a beautiful murder suspect and struggling with departmental codes.

Megan O’Connell, suffering from agoraphobia, is the prime murder suspect in her sister’s brutal murder.

Darrell Brooks, a psychopath who loves to kill, is on a quest to drive Megan insane for profit.

Everyone is a suspect. Everyone has a secret. Someone else must die to keep the truth buried forever. Silent Partner is a suspense ride along that will keep you guessing until the bitter end.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

First Watch - A Short Story
What started as a routine traffic stop on a deserted country road, turned into a terrifying battle of life and death. Could all the horror stories be true?

The chase is on…

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Never Forgotten - An Emily Stone Short Story
Vigilante detective Emily Stone has proven her abilities, forensic knowledge, and criminal hunting aptitude in locating serial killers and child abductors. She solves these cases all under the law enforcement radar. Her relentless drive propels her to dedicate her life to this cause.

What was Emily Stone like as a teenager? What changed her life so drastically, which set in motion her fate as a phantom investigator? You might be surprised as Emily embarks on her first investigation that hit close to home. Find out her secrets in NEVER FORGOTTEN.

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How To Write a Screenplay - A Step By Step Process
A Simple Building Block Process to Write a Professional Screenplay from Beginning to End!

This complete instructional manual will give you a ten-step building block process to get you motivated, keep you on track, and will ultimately propel you to create the first draft of your screenplay. It is designed for beginners and intermediate writers. Each building block is divided into three categories of lessons and comprehension, testing, and assignments. Every assignment will build on the previous one to give you a solid, structured foundation that will ultimately become your screenplay. Watching movies and reading scripts are a fun part of the process. This book is designed to be interactive, enjoyable, and will give you results. Why not start writing your screenplay today?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

1 comment:

  1. Thank you James for a fun interview! What a wonderful way to end the week.