Today we welcome back Jennifer Chase, author of the new thriller Dead Game, to our writing blog. She shares a discussion about her book with Sarah Moore, Author’s Assistant for Writers in the Sky. Jennifer has joined us once before, to talk about her first book Compulsion.
JENNIFER CHASE: I can’t believe that is has been almost a year since my last novel! It’s been a great time for me. I’ve been interviewed, participated in book signings, networked with readers and fellow writers. And of course, I’ve spent a fair amount of time writing Dead Game. It’s been a challenging year with new experiences, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
SARAH: Share the premise and general plot of Dead Game so that we will know the genre and storyline of your book.
JENNIFER CHASE: Dead Game is a thriller novel that revolves around Emily Stone who continues to anonymously hunt down serial killers and child pedophiles.
Here’s the book synopsis:
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?
SARAH: What made you decide to make technology and the virtual world a focus of Dead Game, which is quite different than what we read in Compulsion?
JENNIFER CHASE: What I realized was how much we rely on technology for so many things in our lives. Just look around when you venture through your day. Everybody seems to have cell phones for texting, email, surfing the web, and playing games. That is what gave me the idea to use technology and the virtual world for serial killers. I wanted to create a different type of serial killer and how he would search for his specific victims as they use their technology throughout their day.
SARAH: How long did it take to write Dead Game? Have you evolved in the way you develop your work since writing Compulsion? What lessons did you apply to the process the second time around?
JENNIFER CHASE: It took me about the same amount of time to write Dead Game as it did Compulsion. From book outline through publication, it took approximately nine months. It worked out well for me to have an extensive outline that became my choppy first draft and then the writing of the actual chapters went smoothly. This process seems to work well for me and I will continue to use this type of outline with future books.
One of the lessons I learned the second time around was that just because you’ve written a book once doesn’t mean it’s any easier for the next book. Of course, your confidence is boosted that you can actually write and complete a book, but I’m finding that every project has challenges and obstacles that you must overcome. There really isn’t any easy shortcut, only tuned up techniques that you’ve learned through the creative process that works best for you. For me, it is taking the extra time to outline and research makes all the difference in the world. This technique is especially helpful if you want to stay on a schedule and not spend a considerable amount of time with rewrites.
SARAH: You chose to use the same publisher again—Outskirts Press. What about your experience the first time made you stick with them for the publication of Dead Game?
JENNIFER CHASE: I felt that Outskirts did a great job on the book with the appearance, cover, and quick turnaround. They are very professional and answered all of my questions. I wanted Dead Game to be consistent with Compulsion and I definitely wasn’t disappointed with the finished product the second time around. They produce top quality books.
SARAH: How you are promoting Dead Game? How has the success of Compulsion affected your marketing efforts this second time around?
JENNIFER CHASE: I have a very active blog that has been a great marketing tool for promoting my books. I couldn’t have done this without the professional services of Full Circle Administrative Services. In addition, I’m on several social networks (Goodreads, Author’s Den, Bookblogs, and Twitter) along with interviews, appearances, and book reviews that are scheduled in the near future. It’s an ongoing process and it seems that there is always something new to learn every week about marketing. I try to stay on top of ways to keep my books consistently promoted. The beginning marketing of Compulsion has helped to pave the way for my future books.
SARAH: What are you doing the same and what have you decided to do differently with the promotion of your second novel when compared to the first?
JENNIFER CHASE: I’m promoting Dead Game the same way as the first novel. This time it seems to be a little bit easier since I’ve established one novel already. I didn’t have to start from scratch. The great part was that I was able to begin promoting Dead Game before it was released in order to generate interest as well as anticipation from readers of Compulsion. I also have a book trailer for Dead Game that I didn’t have with Compulsion, which is a valuable and fun marketing tool.
As for some different promotion techniques, I will be generating new readers through guest blogger spots and articles in the crime and forensic areas that I didn’t do the first time around.
SARAH: I know that Dead Game was just released, but can you let us know what we might expect next?
JENNIFER CHASE: I’m currently in the process of writing a suspense/thriller with a working title, Silent Partner, from a screenplay I wrote about a K-9 cop that becomes involved with an agoraphobic woman accused of murdering her sister. He finds himself caught in a web of lies and deception that leaves him wondering if he can protect her from her fears, both real and imagined, before it’s too late.
In addition, I’m outlining the third Emily Stone novel that I will begin writing by summer. She will be tracking down a serial killer on the beautiful garden island of Kauai. The story will answer the question of how Emily will stop a diabolical serial killer on the island paradise.
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: Dead Game is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most other Internet and retail bookstores. You can also purchase a signed copy from my blog or website. If you’ve missed Compulsion, I have a great combo deal for both books on my blog as well.
SARAH: Any other comments you would like to share about your new novel, Dead Game?
JENNIFER CHASE: I really want thank everyone who has supported me and read Dead Game. I appreciate all the comments and reviews. This book was a satisfying project for me and I enjoyed creating a serial killer with a voyeuristic style for thriller lovers.
SARAH: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to have another discussion with you and learn more about Emily Stone and Dead Game.
JENNIFER CHASE: Thank you.