Title: Sneaking Out #1
Author: Chuck Vance
Series: Chased #1
Genre: Mystery, Young Adult
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Dunemere Books
Could you sleep next to a murderer?
Luke Chase—yes, that Luke Chase, a modern hero ripped from the headlines—didn’t mean to get caught up in Mrs. Heckler’s murder. He just wanted to hook up with the hot new British girl at St. Benedict’s, and if that meant sneaking out to the woods after hours, then so be it. But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would go down for it. With suspects aplenty and a past that’s anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to find the true killer.
For fans of “A Study in Charlotte” and boarding school lit, “Sneaking Out” (book one in the “Chased” series) immerses readers in the privileged prep school world, with a mystery that exposes the dark side of life on a residential high school campus.
I love mystery and I love crime. It’s just always been that way since I was a child. My favorite board game as a kid was 221 B Baker Street, which was based on Sherlock Holmes’ stories and you had to solve the mysteries. My favorite children’s picture book was THE MYSTERY AT NUMBER SEVEN RUE PETIT. My favorite class in middle school was Law, where we studied all of the most famous court cases. I’ve always been a fan of puzzles—jigsaw and crosswords—so maybe that’s why I enjoy creating puzzles in my head and then turning them into mystery books. I am intrigued by the who done it, and also the why they done it. I also find it interesting that the most banal people can end up being murderers.
When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process(outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
It’s very easy to say what I hate about the writing process: I hate outlining, starting a book and inputting edits! Those are my least favorite parts! I love when I am in the middle of writing a book, and particularly, when I have stopped writing and I know exactly what the next chapter will be so when I sit down, it’s all there. I have a real thing about naming characters, I sort through those in my head first and I can’t be influenced by other people’s ideas. I also enjoy creating peripheral characters, the supporting cast, because they all have to be unique and memorable in their own way and that can be fun. I spend time on the backstories of my characters, it really helps to know what they will do in a situation.
When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
Crime/Thriller and mysteries are my favorite. My favorite contemporary writer is Michael Connelly and my favorite book of all time is THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt. I really enjoyed reading John Douglas’ true crime books, and I have devoured almost all of Agatha Christie’s books. I am on X in Sue Grafton’s alphabet series, almost done! (sad there is no Z.)
If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
Nabokov. No one had a better command of language than he did. I also admire that not only was he an amazing writer, but he was an expert lepidopterist (he even classified some butterflies) as well as master chess player, accomplished tennis professional and a teacher. The guy was brilliant and in such a variety of areas. I love his playful prose, his vivid descriptions and his sense of humor. (I did my senior thesis on him.)
Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
I have always wanted to write. Not only that, but I have always written. I always wrote short stories and poetry as a child. When I was an angst-ridden teen, I holed up in my bedroom and unleashed everything on the page of my blue spiral notebooks. Becoming a writer was inevitable to me.
Chuck Vance is a pseudonym for a bestselling writer of both adult mysteries and novels for young adults. Vance attended boarding school in Connecticut and graduated from Columbia University. Vance has lived in New York, Moscow, London, Paris and Los Angeles and is frequently on the move.