A Writer’s Basic Instinct of 20 Questions

It’s time to lighten things up a bit and put all the thrills and chills of serial killers aside. 

I’ve been busy working on a deadline for my third Emily Stone Novel, Dark Mind.  I thought it would be fun to share some of the most common questions I’ve received from book signings, interviews, appearances, and guest blogs.

How do you come up with your story ideas?

Everything around me and in the world inspires me.  I like to use my interest in the criminology and the forensic fields to be the blueprint to the story.  The rest is imagination and worse case scenario situations.

Do you write everyday?

When I’m working on a book project, I write six days a week.

Where do you write?

I write in my home office where I can completely focus and be the most productive.  I find it too distracting to write in other locations like outside or in a café.

What’s around you when you write?

I have a corner desk with my computer, books, lots of notebooks, bulletin board with things (inspirations) that pertain to my story, a dry erase board, and plenty of sticky notes.  And, usually my two Labs at my feet.

Do you spend the entire day writing or do you take breaks? 

I spend most of a long day writing (afternoons).  I do take frequent breaks to stretch my legs, go for a walk with my dogs, run quick errands, workout, and just take time to breathe to get refocused on my story.

Do you write mostly on the computer or in a notebook?

I write mostly on the computer; however, I do make notes and have a complete outline in a binder that I refer to and make additional notes.

When do you research?

I do most of my research before I begin writing.  I find myself looking for more information during my current book project and sometimes I begin the research for the next book before I’m finished with the current one. 

Do you work on one book at a time?

For the most part I do, but sometimes the mood strikes me to begin research and notes for the next book to keep everything moving along.  I’ve also found myself writing some short stories.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember.  Writing has been a part of my life since I was a teenager.  I can’t imagine doing anything else.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing instead?

I’ve only wanted to be a writer, but if I couldn’t I would have applied for the FBI or another investigative agency.

Do you write mostly in the day or at night?

I write during the day.  I find when I write at night I don’t get enough sleep and then I’m cranky that I can’t finish my quota of words for the day.

How long does it take for you to write a novel?

This varies, but it seems to take me approximately six to eight months to complete a novel.

Is it difficult to write from the opposite sex point of view?

At first I thought this would be challenging, but I don’t find it difficult at all.  I’ve worked with men, have men friends, and I’m the only girl with two older brothers.  All of these experiences have helped me to write from the male point of view.

How do you feel about writing in a primarily male dominated genre?

I’ve been asked this question quite a bit.  I don’t see it that way.  There are many women who write in this genre.  I just love to write thrillers and I never stopped to think about it being male dominated.

Is it difficult to write about serial killers?

It’s challenging and disturbing, but I enjoy it because I feel that the possibilities are endless in creating these types of characters.  It’s a great avenue to create for my protagonists.

What’s your second favorite genre after thrillers?

I enjoy mysteries, horror, and sci-fi (paranormal) stories.

What famous writers have inspired you throughout your life?

There have been so many incredible writers that it’s difficult to list especially the classic writers such as John Steinbeck.  Books by Stephen King, James Mitchner, Jeffrey Deaver, David Baldacci, and Dean Koontz have inspired me over the years.  There are just too many writers to list.      

What’s your favorite food to have when you’re writing?

When I’m in the middle of writing a book, I try to have things that are easy and healthy for me to grab in a hurry to keep my energy and focus.  I have things in my frig ready to go like cold chicken, gourmet pasta salad, deviled eggs, cut up veggies, apples and mangoes (my favorite), and Greek yogurt.

What book are you reading right now?

I’m reading several books: The Sixth Man by David Baldacci (thriller), Criminal Profiling (4th edition) by Brent Turvey et al (non-fiction), and Prayer of the Dragon by Eliot Pattison (mystery).

If you were on a long car trip, what three famous people would you like to ride with?

That’s a tough question… so many interesting people out there.  I would pick Dean Koontz (author), Jon Bon Jovi (singer and rocker), and Martin Sheen (actor).  I think that’s a balance of creative people that would be fun.  I sure hope I’m driving.

 * * *

Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting


About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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