Author Interview in the HBS Author’s Spotlight #DarkPursuit #Thriller

AuthorInterviewI had the distinct pleasure of being highlighted in the HBS Author’s Spotlight.  Here’s the interview.

Posted with permission by James Moushon at HBS Author’s Spotlight from 8/28/2015 original posting.


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,

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

Amazon Author Profile

headshot2Author 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, Dead Burn, and Dark Pursuit, 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 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. DarkPursuitIt 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 CrimeBodyoftheCrime 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.

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Analyzing Crime Scene Characteristics

crime-scene-picCrime scene characteristics are extremely important to all criminal investigations, especially homicides and all serial crimes.  After the forensic analysis of the physical evidence found at the crime scene is completed and the victimology is established, then the task of determining the specific characteristics of the crime scene begins.

This is the most interesting part of the investigative process of finding out who committed the crime and why.  It definitely piques my interest and it is one of the main reasons that I studied criminology.  I find it fascinating what makes people tick and why they chose to commit a crime in a specific way.

What were they thinking? 

What drove them?

Did they actually think they could get away with it? 

Why do they pick certain weapons or points of entry? 

Did they have other choices?

outdoorcrimesceneCrime scene characteristics are the overall distinguishing features of the crime scene left by the offender’s behavioral decisions toward the victim and the actual crime location.  It’s important to remember that every criminal offender leaves behind a crime scene that is distinct in its own way from all the others based on environmental influences, victim-offender interaction, and physical evidence left at the scene.


Based on Edmond Locard’s Exchange Principle:

“Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects. All of these and more, bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, it cannot be wholly absent. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value. ”

—Paul L. Kirk. 1953. Crime investigation: physical evidence and the police laboratory. Interscience Publishers, Inc.: New York.

All objects in the universe are unique.  No two things that happen by chance ever happen in exactly the same way.  No two things are ever constructed or manufactured in exactly the same way.  No two things wear in exactly the same way.  No two things ever break in exactly the same way.”

This is a simple key observation for approaching a crime scene expressed by authors, Joe Nickell and John F. Fischer.  This is perhaps one of my favorite quotes.


Important crime scene characteristics examined by investigators or profilers:

Location Type (indoor, outdoor, vehicle, or underwater)

Point of Contact (primary, secondary intermediate, and dumpsite)

Location of Scene

Method of Approach (surprise, con, blitz)

Method of Attack

Use of Force

Method of Control (control oriented, verbal threat, controlling, sexual, lethal)


Victim Resistance

Victim Compliance

SherlockHolmesAll of these important aspects listed of the crime scene are evaluated and are generally reflective of the person(s) responsible for the crime.  In combination, the physical evidence, victimology, and the actual crime scene characteristics work together to unravel the investigative puzzle to begin to create the criminal profile and to catch those who are responsible.


Research and Writing Tip:

If you are writing a detective story or police procedural, take some time to think about your crime scenes. How are you going to write them? How is the protagonist or the killer going to approach them? What are the key pieces of evidence they are going to discover? How are you going to piece it all together for the reader? Try sketching out the crime scene on a piece of paper first.  Good luck!


Please join me:



 Author Blog:

Book & Crime Talk:
Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting


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BEST THRILLERS REVIEW: Mystery Fans Looking for the Next Tana French


Book Review: Dark Pursuit, an Action Thriller by Jennifer Chase

By Bella Wright for Best Thrillers

The Bottom Line: Mystery fans looking for the next Tana French will find new thrills in Jennifer Chase’s EMILY STONE SERIES.

Can a notorious serial killer be stopped before his next victim is executed?

That’s the challenge facing detective Emily Stone, the heroine of author Jennifer Chase’s eponymously named series. Emily hunts down serial killers for a living, but she’s never seen a case quite like the one portrayed in Dark Pursuit.

Her adversary has become known in local media as the Tick-Tock Killer, so named for his four-day kill cycle. Emily, who is an expert profiler, is searching for a narcissist who loves the notoriety that his work has brought him. The victims are young girls between six and twelve years old. They are smart and popular, from good families, with above average intelligence. While the killer has a consistent profile, the way he disposes of the bodies is another matter. According to Emily’s theory, he working on a rating system, which lower-ranked girls dumped in a grave, and higher-ranked girls are put on display.

Chase’s writing is particularly good when her heroine is making deductions based on new data that factors into the killer’s profile.

The Tick-Tock Killer isn’t Emily’s only challenge. She also faces gender discrimination from a powerful deputy won’t hesitate to use violence to push Emily out of her profession. Fortunately, Emily’s partner and lover, retired police officer Rick Lopez, has her back.

Dark Pursuit races right out of the gate (with an chill-inducing pursuit on a creepy dark road) and never lets up until the final play is made. Thankfully for Chase’s new fans, readers can jump into Dark Pursuit even if they haven’t yet read previous books in the series.

So what are you waiting for? Tick-tock…

Amazon US

Amazon UK


Meet Emily Stone:


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Book & Crime Talk:
Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting


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Modern Forensics: A Criminal’s Worst Nightmare


Photo courtesy of

Cutting-edge technological innovations in the field of forensic science has always been spurred by criminals and their insatiable pursuit of the perfect crime. Here are a few modern forensic advances that strike fear in the hearts of those nefarious characters who walk amongst us.

Ballistics: High-Speed Photography

The precise and skillful investigation of a crime scene is a crucial first step towards unlocking the mystery surrounding a crime. Modern advances in high-speed photography have led to the development of ballistic investigations that literally slow down time.

Now, investigators can see (to a microsecond precision) the trajectory and velocity of projectiles such as bullets, glass and debris. The high-speed photography provides ballistics specialists with an opportunity to pinpoint and match contact marks and exit wounds. The result of this technology has led to more efficient, informed and productive crime scene investigations.

Digital Surveillance: X-Box

The ever increasing popularity of smartphones and gaming consoles has opened the door for criminals looking for covert locations to store their illicit data, such as photos, audio and video files. Specifically, game consoles have been used as place to store incriminating data because of the knowledge that law enforcement will generally focus on the home’s desktop or laptop computers, as opposed to their seemingly innocuous X-Box machine.

Because of the different nature in which X-Box’s are designed, the identity and extraction of data, for forensic investigators, is more challenging than with a personal computer. In response to this issue, computer scientist David Collins has designed a utility that enables investigators to extract an image of the data from an X-Box, which subsequently allows them to explore the directory structure of the hardware.


Photo courtesy of

Bodies, Chemicals and Blood Spatter

There are many more exciting advances in forensic science technology, including a new device that detects chemicals released by decomposing bodies. This is highly useful in missing persons cases. In the Pacific Northwest, a chemist is mastering a technique which detects the source of impurities in a certain chemical. This technique will hopefully lead to more arrests from terrorist attacks.

A couple of physicists recently came up with a mathematical equation that analyzes how droplets from blood spatter falls off ceilings and walls. This will aid investigators in better determining what specifically happened during the criminal attack.

Whenever criminals find a new method to aid them in their illicit behavior, forensic science is usually right there with a potent response. What are some ideas or techniques that you would like to see in the future?


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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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In Search of the Cadaver in My Garden

uglyflower (2)What you are about to read is a true account of an actual event.  The names have not been changed because no one will care.

First, let me start at the beginning, and don’t worry it won’t take long.  I moved to the country a few years ago.  It’s lovely with wide-open spaces, room to breathe, tons of trees, and wildlife.  Many times when I wake up in the morning I think that I’m at a vacation house instead of my own home.  Also, I can jump in my car and drive ten to fifteen minutes and I’m on the beach.  It’s the best of both worlds.  It’s a perfect place for a writer to work.

My academic and consulting background is in forensics and criminology.  Basically, I study crime and criminals.  I love to blog about all kinds of things pertaining to these fields.  I don’t know about you, but I seem to gravitate toward any new information about thrillers, crime, criminals, and serial killers.  I hope you are enjoying my blog.

I would like to think of myself as being aware of what’s going on around me.  I pay attention to who is near me either at home or out in the community.  I’m a detail oriented person who has a lot of curiosity thrown in for good measure.  So you can imagine my surprise when I was taking a break from writing one afternoon from writing and I smelled… well… something dead.  There was absolutely NO mistaking that smell.  Unlike what was reported from murder trials – you know the smell of death. You might think since I live out in the country it’s most likely a dead animal, like a pack rat, squirrel, or even (heaven forbid) a neighbor’s cat.



Or should I say dead wrong.

I smelled this dreadful “odor” for a couple of days.  I looked around in my flowerbeds and around some potted plants, to no avail.  I decided to ask my husband if he’d smelled the “dead” smell.  Maybe he had some insight?

“Honey”, I said.  “It smells like something’s dead in the front yard.”

He agreed with me.  “I smelled it too.  You mean you haven’t found it yet?”  He said with a cynical smile, knowing how much it irked me not being able to find its source.

I told him that I was going to hunt it down no matter what.  The temperature was rising and it was going to soon ratchet up to all time stinkfest.

I began at my front door and used my nose.  I wasn’t going to quit until I found the source of the smell.  I felt like I was Emily Stone in one of my novels hunting down a serial killer.

I was on a mission.

The stink kept getting stronger and stronger.  I knew I was close… So I followed my nose so to speak…

The smell was the strongest at a particular area.  I searched, but there was nothing there.

It was very curious indeed.

I just had to know where that horrific smell was coming from.  Now it was personal.  I was going to stay outside until I found the little decomposing critter.

Then it hit me…

I turned and looked under a large bottlebrush bush and there it was!  It was… one of the most striking and amazing looking lily I had ever seen.  The plant was three feet tall with a deep magenta bloom, which was at least twelve inches long.

I remembered something a gardening neighbor told me about this plant.  It actually SMELLS just like ROTTING FLESH!  Yes, you read correctly – rotting and decomposing flesh.  I cannot imagine anyone planting this plant in their garden or even near their house.  It is called appropriately by many street names: stink lily, voodoo lily, cadaver lily, dragon lily and so on.  Its official name is Dracunculus vulgaris.  The photo posted above is the actual culprit or victim in my garden.

I finally found the cadaver in my garden.

Case solved!


You can follow a real serial killer hunter searching for the victim.  If you have not checked out this live-action 5 minute thriller yet, you might want to…


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Book & Crime Talk:
Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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Would You Take a Shortcut on the Dark and Deserted Road? #Horror #Free

FirstWatch_cov_ebookSummer is a great time to catch up on reading, whether it’s a full-length novel or a short story. If you’re looking for a quick horror read, try FIRST WATCH.  It’s FREE today and through the weekend!  PLUS, a bonus of the first three chapters of DARK MIND.


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… in FIRST WATCH

“Fright of the night.”

“Gives a whole new meaning to protect and to serve.”

” It was definitely a worthwhile read for fans of horror.”

Available at:

Amazon US

Amazon UK



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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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My First Character Profiles

Toys_scriptwriting“If we experienced life through the eyes of a child everything would be magical and extraordinary. Let our curiosity, adventure, and wonder of life never end.”              ~Akiane Kramarik

Many times I have been asked when I first began writing and at what point did I want to become a writer. As a child, we have many hopes and dreams. And sometimes, these dreams do come true, but maybe not exactly as we had envisioned.

I have loved books for as long as I can remember.  I would spent weekly visits at the library and would borrow as many books as my little arms could carry. Stories about animals were my favorite. It was no secret, but I was a child of the dreaded “flashcards” phenomenon, which meant that I could read and add and subtract equations before I attended the first grade.

I was about four-years-old when I devised a new slant for my tea table guests. You see, I did not like to play with dolls, but rather I would play with my stuffed animal menagerie. Imagine if you will, that I would arrange my animals from my favorite bears, dogs and wild cats around the table. I did not stop at that – I took tiny pieces of paper and wrote simple lines for each character. It was perhaps simple chitchat or a silly comment. I guess that was my first rough draft of a screenplay!

I guess the moral to the story is that you never know when or how you will become a writer, author, and yes, even a criminologist when you are young. The tricks is to stay young at heart and always see through the eyes of a child.

Would love to hear your comments on how you see the world and writing as a child.


Research and Writing Tip:

The next time you are outlining a new storyline, try to imagine what your characters would say to each other if they were sitting around a table. It does not have to be a child’s teatime table of course; it could be a boardroom table or a quiet corner table in a restaurant. Then turn the tables and imagine your characters as children. What would they say or do? What would their mannerisms be? Would any of them get up and leave. It is a great way to begin to profile your characters. You’ll be amazed by the growth and depth that will emerge from your characters.


Please join me:



 Author Blog:

Book & Crime Talk:
Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting

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