Friday, May 6, 2016

INTERVIEW with Author Jodie Bailey

Jodie Bailey is the author of the CBA bestseller and Selah Award winner Quilted by Christmas from Abingdon Press.  Her second novel, Crossfire, from Love Inspired Suspense won a 2014 RT Reviewers Choice Award and was an RT Book Reviews Top Pick. She is passionate about telling a great romance while sharing with readers how faith in Christ can lead to freedom.  She is a (retired) Army wife, a mom, and a former schoolteacher who loves the Outer Banks of North Carolina and long cruises on the Harley.

I'm so glad you're able to join us. Sort of like a coffee chat (only I don't drink coffee.) You don’t drink coffee?!? What is wrong with you?!?

I've often wondered the same thing! LOL! I haven’t read Compromised Identity yet, though it’s on my to-read list. Is it connected to your earlier book,  Smokescreen?

Smokescreen and Compromised Identity are part of a three-book series about a covert military unit that hunts down terrorists who are using the internet to fuel missions in the real world. The third book, Breach of Trust, comes out in September and, interestingly enough, it was born when readers started asking for the story of Tate Walker, a minor character from the first two books. Apparently, people were interested!

I don't blame them. I love it when we get to hear more of the story about other characters! You’ve gotten some glowing reviews from RT Book Reviewers and Best Reads. In fact, Best Reads added, “She should be reported for cruelty to her characters.” Ha! I had to laugh at that! But I’ve always heard that authors are supposed to chase their characters up a tree and then throw rocks at them. So how do you decide what “rocks” to throw at your characters?

It all depends on what that character’s weaknesses are. I tend to be a character-first writer, who knows the characters before the plot. All of us have something we fear, deep down inside. The trick is to find that fear, that weakness, in a character and then exploit it as much as I can. Come to think of it, that makes me sound like you should never want to have coffee with me.

Hahahaha! I'll be careful! Do your characters ever “favor” someone you’ve actually met?

I never purposely use people I know as characters, but traits do come in. My husband is a soldier, and one of his expressions or mannerisms will pop up every once in a while. Things people have said or done occasionally creep in. When I wrote Quilted by Christmas, it was shortly after my grandmother died and the grandmother in that book, Jemma… Well, the more I wrote, the more pieces of my grandmother showed up in her, and the more I wrote Jemma’s best friend, the more she became like my other grandmother. It was never on purpose, but it just kept happening. I grieved and celebrated through that book.

What a wonderful memory, though. I’ve read that the heroes or heroines of a book have some part of the author within them. Do Jessica and Sean have anything about them that is definitely you?

This is true! If we’re doing it right, there is some part of us that bleeds onto the page. When I was younger, I suffered from panic attacks. I got to be well acquainted with fear until God delivered me from that. Sean is battling fear that he is trying to hide from others, and I drew on my own experiences for some of his. Jessica has some insecurity that digs at her, and she loves to cook, which I love to do when I have the time! She makes bruschetta chicken for Sean in the book, which is something I really enjoy.

That sounds delicious! Since your setting and characters are all military, how did you research? Do your military connections share any stories that you pass on?

My husband retired from the Army after 22 years, and I spent 15 years volunteering with the military, teaching and working as an FRG leader. I got to know a lot of soldiers and their families, and I got to experience all of the things the Army throws at a family. So, so much of those experiences come into play. The military really is a whole other world with its own vocabulary, and those things come out in the stories. And yes, stories I’ve heard and things I’ve seen have made their way into books here and there. For one story, I knew no one who did the job my character did, so I put out plea for help and a friend hooked me up with a friend who called another friend who got me a visit with the one person in a 300-mile radius who did this job. Not only did they give me insight into the job, but they brought in some friends to help me plan the crime that the book centered around. THAT was a lot of fun.

What a blast! Good to have those connections! What does your day look like? Do you have children, pets, hubby at home, an office, or another job? How long do you write, roughly, each day, and then what do you like to do?

My husband, my daughter and I share our home with two dogs, one of whom is quite… vocal. Quite. Vocal. I spend anywhere from four to six hours writing each day, depending on the day and the scene. I spend my mornings first with Jesus, then with my treadmill, and then with my computer. Four afternoons a week, I advise the yearbook staff at my daughter’s school. The staff is made up of some of my former students, and it gets me out of the house to hang out with some amazing kids who challenge me and keep me from getting too deep in my head.

You just gotta love teenagers! Don't you? What else do you love, or should I say, which do you prefer?
  • Beach or mountains                           Beach!!!!!
  • Coffee, tea, (hot or cold) or soda       Sweet tea, though I try not to drink it often.
  • Movie theater or DVD at home         DVD at home. My couch is my friend
  • Dogs or cats                                        I love my dogs! But I’ve loved the cats we’ve had too.                                                                           But I think dogs edge out cats.
  • Scrapbooking or gardening               I used to be an avid scrapbooker. Then I ran out of time!

Jodie, thanks so much for "swinging by and saying Hi!" I so enjoyed getting to know you and hope that Compromised Identity has an outstanding month! Can't wait to read it! Jodie is giving away a copy of Compromised Identity AND Smokescreen. Enter to win by leaving a comment with your email address!


Here's the short version of Jodie's newest, Compromised Identity.

Staff sergeant Jessica Dylan confronts a female soldier in the act of stealing her laptop—and almost pays with her life. But a blue-eyed mystery man rushes to her aid just in time, and Jessica learns the handsome army staff sergeant has been investigating her. Sean Turner believes a ring of cyberterrorists who’ve been attacking military bases are now specifically targeting Jessica. And he’s determined to figure out why they are tracking her every move. As the threats against Jessica escalate and attempts are made on her life, Sean vows to stop the hackers. Yet the heart-scarred soldier is set on keeping an emotional distance…especially when they discover what the terrorists are really after.

Learn more about Jodie and her books at www.JodieBailey.com 

22 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed getting to know Jodie! Thanks for sharing this great interview!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it Britney! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. What a great interview! Jodie is a new to me author. We have the military in common. My father and my former husband were military men. I have been around the military lifestyle for 50 years. My youngest daughter is married to military Policeman and they are serving in the Far East. I will be glad when they return to the United States.
    phoneticpanda(at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Wow, Kathy! Many thanks for y'all's service! Thanks for visiting!

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  3. What a great interview! Jodie is a new to me author. We have the military in common. My father and my former husband were military men. I have been around the military lifestyle for 50 years. My youngest daughter is married to military Policeman and they are serving in the Far East. I will be glad when they return to the United States.
    phoneticpanda(at) gmail (dot) com

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  4. Great interview and this book sounds very exciting!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Connie! Glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. Nice interview. My grandfather(mothers dad)and my father both were in the military. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom.

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    1. Thank you, Kim! Thank your family for their service!

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  6. What a fun interview, Jodie! I enjoyed getting to know you better and hear about your latest book. I just got my copy yesterday and can't wait to read it!

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    1. Thanks, Jerusha! Hope you enjoy it! And I appreciate the FB and Twitter love!

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  7. So nice to get to know you better, Jodie! I've been on an NCIS series kick lately so I'm thinking your books will be right up my alley. :D

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! I tell people there kind of like NCIS, so I hope you like them!

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  8. LOVE this series!!! So much tension and fabulous twists in each story!

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    1. Thanks, Kimberly. You're a blessing beyond belief when it comes to those stories!

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  9. I have never read any of Jodie's books, but am glad to be able to add them to my to read list! I love anything with suspense! Thanks for the giveaway!! jdennis298(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi, Jordan! Thanks for stopping by! Suspense is fun to write... there's always something going on!

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  10. Such a great interview! Jodie, I've read almost all of your books and I really enjoy them. I'm reading "Compromised Identity" right now.

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    1. Thanks, Sumer! That's awesome. I hope you enjoy it!

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  11. I've read Compromised Identity. It's good! Yea, Jodie!

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    1. Thanks, Hope! :-) I just finished Irish Encounter a couple of months ago. Great job, girl!

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