Laurie: I’m very happy to have author Jennifer Chase with me this morning for Mondays Are Murder. Jennifer, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat.
Three of your novels follow the same protagonist, Emily Stone. Please tell us about her. What is her occupation? What makes her stand out from other female crime solvers?
Jennifer: Emily Stone is an unusual character and a different kind of crime solver. She has been aptly described as a vigilante or phantom detective because of how she approaches her work, or I should say life calling. She has made it her mission in life to track down serial killers and child abductors – alone and anonymously. As an ex-police officer and daughter of murdered parents, her own compulsions, fears, and desires drive her to shadow and solve police investigations through careful forensic and profiling techniques, which she then sends a single, covert, untraceable email to the detective in charge.
Jennifer: Most definitely. I’ve been having a great time creating more adventures and serial killers for her to solve. I’m working on a new book right now that entails a pyro serial killer.
Laurie: I’m glad to know we’ll be seeing more of Emily Stone. Your latest novel, Dark Mind, takes place in my home state, Hawaii. How did you do your research for a story set on Kauai?
Jennifer: I love Kauai and I have visited the island several times. One my visits a few years ago, I was sitting on a beautiful, deserted beach and I thought to myself “what if?”. Basically, I thought about what would happen if there were a serial killer on the loose and what it would mean to a small, tropical island. My imagination took over. Crazy I know! Even though I’ve been to Kauai, I still had to research some of the history, folklore, and fantastic rural settings. I learned some fun and interesting tidbits that I incorporated into Dark Mind.
Laurie: I recall a serial killer who terrorized Oahu some years back, in fact in my own neighborhood. He killed a friend of mine. I don’t think I’ve ever been more frightened.
In Silent Partner, your protagonist is a man. How hard is it, as a woman, to get into a man’s head and write from his viewpoint?
Jennifer: It was a little bit awkward at first, but I’m very comfortable with all of the characters in my books. I had already been getting into the mind of male serial killers so the transition was smooth. The main character in Silent Partner, K9 Deputy Jack Davis, was a combination of imagination and my research experiences. I had spent time with the local K9 units during training exercises with my own dog. I got to know them well and was able to observe them during both training and patrol activities.
Laurie: Are there authors who inspire your writing? Who are they?
Jennifer: There are so many! Nevertheless, the authors who stand out to me for writing inspiration are Dean Koontz, Jeffrey Deaver, and David Baldacci.
Laurie: Your non-fiction book is entitled How to Write a Screenplay. Tell us about your experience with writing screenplays.
Jennifer: I’ve written more than ten screenplays and critiqued dozens more. My love for movies, especially crime and cop thrillers, has been a constant throughout my life. Years back, I wanted to learn how to write a screenplay. I noticed that there are many books out there and classes, but nothing just laid it out cut and dry so I decided to create and teach my process. I’ve taught beginning screenwriting online for more than two years and have given screenwriting workshops at various venues in California.
Laurie: It sounds as though your writing and teaching keep you busy. Do they comprise a full time career, or do you have a day job?
Jennifer: Writing is my full time job, but I’m also a criminology consultant. My plate is very full on some days!
Laurie: What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
Jennifer: I love photography and being outdoors whenever I can. Living near the coast of California, I spend my off time hiking, beach combing with my two Labradors, and visiting small towns and places of interest for a photo opportunity.
Laurie: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Jennifer: Thank you so much for the opportunity to chat with you today! All of my books are available in paperback and ebook formats. I love questions and comments. Please visit me at: