Monday, October 27, 2014


When the twelve authors who released the anthology, Deadly Dozen, last year it changed the Ebook landscape forever.  Writers everywhere began collaborating in hopes of attaining even a percentage of the success the original DD Ebook accomplished, including a group I was involved with called the Thrilling Thirteen, which was extremely successful, but not Deadly Dozen successful.

So how did this work, and why?  Well, you start with super accomplished veteran authors like Diane Capri and J. Carson Black and Vincent Zandri.  Then fill it in with a collection of tremendously talented and motivated authors who were willing to allow their thrillers to be downloaded for  just pennies and you can see where this is headed.  Twelve novels from twelve quality writers for just .99 cents.  The result?  Over 100,000 copies of Deadly Dozen were downloaded in a very short period of time.  What did this do for the writers?  Well for the ones who weren’t already NY Times bestsellers, they became one themselves.  A title which can’t be taken back.  Add to that a USA Today bestseller label and you’ve got the daily double of writing accomplishments.

What about the readers?  They received the best value in this deal.  Not only did they get twelve quality books for .99 cents, but it spawned an avalanche of anthologies that go on to this day.  An avid reader could buy years worth of reading material for just a few measly bucks.  Not bad, huh?

Well, when the Deadly Dozen consortium invited me to participate in the second anthology, Deadly Dozen 2, I said yes before the question got out of Cheryl Bradshaw’s mouth.  I am flattered to be part of this prestigious group and more than anything I wish the readers will appreciate the volume of excellent storytelling they will receive for just .99 cents.  For me this was an opportunity to align myself with a group of well established authors with big time names in the publishing world.  An affiliation I do not take lightly.

Now, here’s the link to that new anthology, Deadly Dozen 2.  Get those fingers twitching:

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Rarely do you see a real professional turn their career into fiction with the grace of Jennifer Chase. Think John Grisham turning his attorney skills into courtroom thrillers.  This is what criminologist Jennifer Chase has done with her life's work.

With the creation of her Emily Stone series, she's utilized all of her years as a criminologist and created a protagonist who's not only tough, but armed with knowledge the average law official simply couldn't attain.  Jennifer was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us.  But first--

Below is a remarkable short film trailer of her series:

Here's Jennifer to discuss her series:

1- With all of your forensic background and technical skills, what gave you the urge to create fiction?

Actually, writing came first and then forensics. I’ve loved books and writing for as long as I can remember, so the urge to write has been part of my DNA for quite some time. As I began to study forensics and criminology, I had the idea for my first book Compulsion, which was loosely inspired by a violent neighbor who threatened my life for more than two and half years. I found that a forensic background and writing crime fiction complimented each other. I love being both creative and scientific. It’s the best of both worlds for me.

2- How much of Emily Stone is really you? And what traits are simply not in your repertoire?

Ah, I love this question. Yes, Emily Stone is the more intelligent, savvy and tougher version of me. She takes the next step and hunts down killers and the most feared and heinous members of society, something I think about quite often. All my characters, the good and bad, are some part of me I suppose even if it’s just the dark part of my mind. Emily Stone encompasses the traits that I would love to see in someone out there helping law enforcement anonymously, but it’s not in my repertoire. After my first hand-to-hand combat fight with a killer, I’d probably run screaming for my mommy. Lets face it, law enforcement is overburdened, outmanned, and in need of more specialized training when it comes to serial crime and cold cases. I felt that Emily Stone filled a need as a phantom detective. It’s my version of a law enforcement forensic superhero.

3- What aspect of writing do you find the most challenging and the most rewarding?

For me, setting out to write a full-length novel is the most challenging. It’s a huge undertaking and a little bit scary too. There’s a little bit of me that feels like maybe I can’t do it this time, but I’m a person who has always loved a challenge. I try to take each novel to the next step, not only for my readers, but also for myself as a novelist. Funny thing, the most challenging part of writing is also the most rewarding for me. There’s nothing better than the feeling of finishing a first draft of your novel.

4- When a criminal acts irrationally, like keeping your dead girlfriend's corpse in the house for a couple of months, doesn't that create a great insanity defense all by itself? And do you suspect that can be staged?

The use of the insanity defense is used rarely, despite what we see on television. However, there have been a few successful cases. And, it’s possible (but unlikely) to stage all the “psychological” elements, both before and after the homicide. This would take someone who knows quite a bit about psychology and the criminal justice system. They would have to know how the local detectives would investigate the case along with prosecutors, etc. As with the case you stated above, it appeared that the individual killed his girlfriend in the heat of the moment and then didn’t know what to do. Basically, he didn’t want to get caught carrying out a body from his apartment and couldn’t stomach dismembering her. He committed the crime and then knew it was wrong afterward. People do strange things under stressful circumstances. A psychological history and the use of drugs would play a significant part to his defense. I don’t think this case would fit the requirements of an effective insanity defense.

5- What are your thoughts on the tendency for authors with traditional print publishing contracts deciding to go Indie instead? Do you see that trend continuing or is it just a temporary blip in the new digital publishing world?

I think it says a lot when an author with a traditional publishing company decides to go independent instead. We’ve been told over and over that getting that big publishing contract is the way to go and the only way you’ll be successful. Or, is it? I’m in awe of Indie authors who are kicking butt and selling loads of ebooks. That’s fantastic! I think that a little competition is healthy for publishers. I don’t see this as just a trend. Readers have spoken loudly and don’t care if a book is published by a big publisher or self published. The bottom line is the book must be good. Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t a need for mainstream publishers, but nothing ever stays the same and it’s time for publishers to make some changes too.