Welcome back, everybody, and Happy New Year. After a hand injury and longer-than-hoped absence from this blog for most of December, I’m delighted to be back. And if you’re a writer, specially one who writes Crime/Forensics/Police Procedural kind of stories, you won’t want to miss this.
I have the wonderful privilege of chatting with Jennifer Dornbush, author of Forensic Speak. One of you will win a copy of this amazing book. I took Jennifer’s Forensic and Fiction class when I attended the ACFW conference last Fall. Honestly, I doubt they could have selected anybody better to teach it. What an awesome class. Her stories fascinated me so much, I asked her to share some of them with you.
Renee-Ann: Welcome, Jennifer, and thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule. I’m delighted you agreed to chat with us. First would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Jennifer: Renee-Ann, Thank you for inviting me to your blog. Such a pleasure! Me… well, I’m a storyteller… I knew that’s what God had called me to be since I was 8 years old. I tell stories through screenplays, books, speaking, and teaching. I’ve lived several places but the past eight years I’ve been in Los Angeles with my awesome husband of 20 years this December! That’s like triple the time of most Hollywood marriages! 🙂 I come from humble beginnings. I grew up outside a small town in northern Michigan where my father served was the local Medical Examiner, which is where I get a lot of fodder for my stories and my interest and experience in forensic science.
Renee-Ann: Congrats on your 20 years. 😀 How did you come up with the idea for this book? And why did you write it?
Jennifer: It’s ironic because I never meant for Forensic Speak to be published. It started as a project for my studies at the Forensic Science Academy. I was the only writer in my class of 50, and the director of the academy graciously allowed me to produce the “Forensic Handbook for Writers” to complete one of my graduation requirements. Later, some of my TV writer friends prodded me to get it published. One of them was so insistent she sent me a link from my current publisher who was requesting submissions. I queried them and they returned my email within 30 minutes. They loved the idea. But it took another year to hammer out the details and get the contract. I’m so grateful for that one pushy friend! 🙂
Renee-Ann: What kind of take-away does this book offer its readers?
Jennifer: Forensic Speak is a mega-tool for writers of crime, suspense, thrillers, and mysteries. Every writer will find at least one thing (probably more) in this book to help them create more authentic and engaging stories.
Renee-Ann: What was the biggest challenge and the most exciting part of writing it?
Jennifer: The biggest challenge I find when starting any new project is just getting that first draft on paper. As one of my mentors put it: getting your butt in the seat is the hardest part. But once that happens I get distracted by emails, FB, Twitter, news-links, texts, and on and on. I have to turn it all off and then give myself a reward for getting my pages written. You’d think after 12 years of writing full time that I’d be over this hurdle, right? Haha! The most exciting part of writing is “having written.” I love rewriting.
I should be writing my pages right now, but I’m procrastinating with your blog questions! 🙂
Renee-Ann: Humm, somebody’s got to take the blame, I might as well… hahaha! Do you have any advice for beginner writers who want to write “crime” stories but who aren’t familiar with the forensic side of things?
Jennifer: Not to self-promote, but get a copy of Forensic Speak. It’s written simply, yet contains highly specific forensic information for writers. It will give you a base from which to start and tons of suggested resources where you can do more research. I also recommend finding experts in the field and asking if they will help you with questions you have. Retired experts are the best because they have time and they love to tell their war stories!
Renee-Ann: What great advice that is. So now, we’re going to draw a random name among the comments, but where can people get this book?
Jennifer: Of course, you can get it on Amazon. But I love supporting my awesome publisher, who always offers it at 25% off. Here’s the link.
Renee-Ann: And how can your readers contact you, and/or read more about you?
Renee-Ann: Any final words or piece of advice you want to share?
Jennifer: Don’t bury your talent. Use what God has given you. Be okay with mystery in your life. Let it surprise you. Bless and love others, by doing this you bless and love God.
Thank you Renee-Ann for this moment! Blessings!!!
Renee-Ann: And thank you so much, Jennifer. I look forward to reading all the comments.
So now, go ahead and leave a comment, telling us WHY you should win a copy of Jennifer’s book, Forensic Speak, and we will select a random winner on Wednesday 14.
Until then, blessings!