Today, I’m joined by supernatural thriller author, J.S.Bailey, as we talk about her latest release, Doctor Who, and doing what she loves.
The Fun Stuff:
What part of the world do you come from?
I was born and grew up in and around Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, and live here still! Though I sometimes dream of what it would be like living somewhere else, I feel that Cincinnati is where I’ll always be. (Though I do love to travel.) There is always something to do and see here—we have everything from museums and amusement parks to book festivals and hiking trails. Now it just sounds like I’m writing a travel brochure. 😉
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I’d toyed around with the idea of becoming a teacher, but deep down I always wanted to be a writer. I started writing at such a young age that I remember virtually nothing else. Also, I am not teacher material—wouldn’t want to traumatise the children!
List three words to describe yourself.
Quiet, introspective, and quirky.
Who would play you in a film about your life?
Probably Felicia Day. We don’t look anything alike but have similar backgrounds. She could emulate my social awkwardness fairly well, I think.
What’s your favourite snack food when writing?
I don’t eat while writing since I’d rather not get crumbs in the keyboard. I do enjoy potato chips/crisps!
If you had a super power, what would it be?
I would love to be a healer. There are so many broken people in this world, and to have the ability to make them better would be worth any sacrifices that would come with such a gift.
The Sensible Side:
Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
I started “writing” at roughly the age of five, when I would compile my own picture books that I illustrated myself. I began writing more seriously in high school and published my first novel while in college. I am a very slow writer and spend much of my time playing the piano, crocheting, knitting, watching Doctor Who or Supernatural, reading, and colouring in colouring books for grown-ups. I also have multiple book signings every month to help get my stories into the hands of new readers—I meet so many fascinating people that way.
Where did the inspiration for The Chronicles of Servitude Series come from?
Several years ago my husband told me I should write a series of novels about demon hunters who have superpowers. I thought it was silly, so after I finished writing my standalone novel Rage’s Echo I started writing a series about exorcists who have super-refined spiritual gifts that are *almost* like superpowers. I mean, that’s like the same thing, right?
What do you like the most about writing supernatural thrillers?
I find it enjoyable to write about spooky and bizarre things happening right here in our own world. I do enjoy fantasy and science fiction, but for the most part those take place in imaginary places. I think setting fantastical stories here and now makes them more relatable, and perhaps a little more hair-raising.
Can you give us a brief excerpt from one of your books?
Graham Willard had a decision to make.
He stared out his bedroom window at the rain falling upon the yard and surrounding woods. The moon peeked through a gap in the storm clouds, illuminating the pair of rain-washed automobiles parked in front of the detached garage at the bottom of the hill. The man tried to remember if he’d left his Grand Marquis unlocked and hoped that he had. It would enable a speedier getaway.
He drew back from the window and dragged in a deep breath. Not so long ago, making a decision such as this would have taken him no longer than a second. If asked the same question he was now asking himself, he would have responded with a resounding “No!” and gone about his business as if nothing improper had been suggested.
But the seed of an idea had taken root in his mind, planted by an invisible hand that came from nowhere. It arrived during breakfast on a sunny morning that dawned after a long week of rain, when the grass outside the dining room window was so speckled with dew that it looked like tiny pieces of the sun had fallen from the sky and come to rest among the blades. He could remember it quite clearly: he’d asked the young man to bring him more sugar for his coffee, and when the lad’s back was turned he suddenly imagined himself lifting a gun and firing it into the back of his skull.
At first he’d waved the idea away as he would a pesky insect, dismissing it as the fantasy of an aging mind. He would never do it. The young man was his friend. He loved him much in the way that a grandfather would cherish his grandchildren.
But the pesky insect would not go away. The seed planted itself and began to grow.
His heart continued to pound. Yes, maybe he could do it. His friend would not suspect a thing until it was too late. But if the young man’s heart could be changed . . .
That was it. He would give the young man a choice. If he chose wrong, he would die.
With a trembling hand, the old man picked up the gun that lay on his bedside table and made his way toward the door.
Which is more important to you – plot or characters, and why?
To me, plot and characters are equally important. You can have the most exciting plot in the world, but it will fall flat if you populate it with boring, one-dimensional characters. It would also be a tragedy if you write fascinating characters and give them little or nothing to do. I struggle the most with characterisation, and often during rewrites I have to focus my attention on bringing my characters fully to life.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I don’t have a favourite! I enjoy many genres, from science fiction to thrillers to horror. Some of my favourite authors are Dean Koontz, Ted Dekker, J. K. Rowling, Edgar Allan Poe, and Roald Dahl. Some indie authors I enjoy are GS Jennsen and EJ Fisch, both of whom write science fiction.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
I get to do what I love!
Who does your cover design?
Blue Harvest Creative designs my covers and interiors. Aren’t they lovely? Yes they are!
What can we expect from you in the future?
In October I’m releasing a 16-story anthology called Ordinary Souls. It will feature horror, science fiction, and contemporary stories about ordinary people thrown into extraordinary situations.
How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Interested readers may find me lurking on Twitter