Monday, December 6, 2010

Author Jennifer Chase Returns to WITS E-zine to Discuss New Novel

Today we welcome back Jennifer Chase, author of the new thriller Silent Partner, to our writing blog. Jennifer has previously published the novels Compulsion and Dead Game and this new release shares the same psychological tension and gripping crimes as the first two books.

SARAH: Welcome back to Writers in the Sky! We’re glad that you have made our company a regular stop to discuss your work.

JENNIFER CHASE: Thank you! It’s a pleasure to be here.

SARAH: Please share the premise and general plot of Silent Partner with our readers.

JENNIFER CHASE: Silent Partner is a crime fiction thriller. The story revolves around a police K9 officer, Deputy Jack Davis, who becomes involved with an agoraphobic woman accused of brutally murdering her sister. Readers are first introduced to the life of K9 officers as they apprehend two murderers after a high-speed chase. 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. There are twists and turns from the beginning to the end that will keep you guessing. Also, my previous series heroine, Emily Stone, is a secondary character in this story.

SARAH: You make the relationship that exists between dogs and humans, both while hunting criminals and just relaxing at home, a central theme of your book. And, you often speak of your own love for dogs. What was it like to write and bring to life a topic for which you have such a personal passion?

JENNIFER CHASE: Honestly, I never thought about incorporating a canine supporting character before. I’ve written previously about characters having a dog, but not as an integral part of the story. Silent Partner was originally penned as a screenplay after I researched and trained with the local police K9. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to rewrite this story into a novel format. I felt that for a police procedural type of story it added a fresh, new dimension to the typical cop thriller. The more I thought about it, the more I became excited about the possibilities of the story. It was challenging for me as a writer. But make no mistake, this isn’t a warm and fuzzy dog story; this is a cop thriller that involves finding and apprehending a serial killer.

SARAH: Emily Stone was the primary character in your first two novels. She plays a pivotal role in Silent Partner as well, but this book also introduces and features Deputy Jack Davis. Why did you decide to make this shift with the third novel?

JENNIFER CHASE: My first two novels, Compulsion and Dead Game, featured Emily Stone and that was a fantastic writing experience for me. I didn’t realize that I was going to write a series until I finished Compulsion. I wanted to keep this series fresh and evolving, so I decided to take a break and write a cop thriller in between before writing my third Emily Stone novel. But, I did incorporate Emily Stone and Rick Lopez as background characters, along with some surprises, in Silent Partner.

SARAH: Your publication page lists JEC Press as the publisher of Silent Partner, meaning you decided to go a different direction in terms of publishing this time around. Is JEC Press your company (an assumption I am making from the initials)? If so, is this an aspect of your work in the writing industry that you would like to expand?

JENNIFER CHASE: Yes, JEC Press is my own publishing company. I’ve learned quite a bit from publishing my first two novels, some great, some interesting, and some disappointing. I decided to research the prospect of starting my own publishing company and I spent time talking to authors, publishers, and marketing specialists. For me personally, it just seemed like the next logical step in the writing business. I felt that I have more flexibility with my own books and others, such as allowing major bookstores to return books if necessary, keeping the retail price down, and more control in words per page (more) that in turn saves more paper. I feel that I can offer better customer relations because I understand the publishing world from both the writer and publisher perspective.

SARAH: How has your writing process changed and stayed the same since you began your first novel, Compulsion?

JENNIFER CHASE: I’ve found that outlining offers the best foundation for writing a novel and my extensive outlining process has stayed the same in that regard. I’ve learned a few tricks by experience to move through the outlining process faster so that I can be more relaxed and confident as I write the actual chapters. However, there are no shortcuts through the editing and rewrites. I wish there was!

SARAH: I’m sure that your marketing efforts are becoming more refined and focused with each release. What have you learned through the process? Can you list the top three ways in which you recommend all new authors publicize their work?

JENNIFER CHASE: Marketing a book requires a combination of efforts and there is no simple recipe. What’s amazing is that there are so many ways to market via the Internet that weren’t available five or ten years ago. I keep a few things in mind for the publicity of my books. Never stop marketing or promoting your book! Keep everything moving forward. If something doesn’t work, then cross it off your list and move on. Don’t let it bog you down. I would recommend for new authors to have an active blog as well as a simple website. Keep these sites updated on a regular basis and interesting because you will always have new visitors stopping by. The social networking capabilities out there is extremely effective with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and writer/reader specific sites such as Goodreads, AuthorsDen, and Shelfari. And, always take the opportunity to promote yourself and book through local venues such as book signings, interviews, artist events, businesses specific grand openings, flea markets, and any type of author appearances.

SARAH: What is next for you? For Emily Stone?

JENNIFER CHASE: As you’ve probably guessed, I’m currently working on Emily Stone’s next adventure that will take place on the island of Kauai. I’m now refreshed and ready to write about more of her harrowing searches for serial killers, child abductors, and pedophiles. The island offers many colorful opportunities for chills, thrills, and of course a truly evil serial killer that is swept up in the folklore and history of the Hawaiian Islands. This will be Emily’s most dangerous serial killer opponent yet.

SARAH: Where is your book available? Do you have a Web site or blog where we can learn more about you or your book?

JENNIFER CHASE: Silent Partner is available at Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered from any retail bookstore. My blog: My website:

SARAH: Any other comments you would like to share about your new novel, Silent Partner?

JENNIFER CHASE: This has been such a wonderful project and I hope that readers enjoy a little more insight into the unique connection and bond of police K9 units. I welcome questions and comments anytime about my books, publishing, or me.

SARAH: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to have another discussion with you and learn more about your new release Silent Partner.

JENNIFER CHASE: Thank you, Sarah.
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