Thursday, October 9, 2014

Today we have the privilege of visiting with Jodie Bailey, who writes novels about freedom and the heroes who fight for it. Her novels include Freefall and Crossfire from Love Inspired Suspense, as well as Quilted by Christmas from Abingdon Press. Her devotions have appeared in Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home and Sweet Freedom with a Slice of Peach Cobbler. She is convinced a camping trip to the beach with her family, a good cup of coffee, and a great book can cure all ills. Jodie lives in North Carolina with her husband, her daughter, and two dogs.

So tell us, Jodie. What do you love about being a writer, and what do you like the least?

I recently left my teaching job to write full time, because God made it VERY clear it was time. He left no room for doubt or questioning.  I say that because it’s a serious decision to leave the sure paycheck behind. That said, the thing I liked least about writing was trying to find the time to do it between being wife, mom, and teacher. I know a lot of people who do it, but it was next to impossible for me.  What do I love best? Sitting at my desk—which sits in the same place my grandmother’s sewing table sat—and staring out the window while plotting out a scene. I love that creative energy, and I love that I get to use mine sitting at the same place my grandmother used hers.

Are you a plotter, a pantser, or a combination?

Both.  And it depends on the genre I’m writing.  I’m a plotter by necessity for suspense, though I don’ t necessarily like it.  I’ve had to learn to plot because of the need to drop clues and because of the way my publisher works.  Suspense, for me, is more plot driven, therefore I need to know the plot.  If I’m working on a straight contemporary fiction, it’s very much character driven for me. It’s the character who comes to me first, and the process comes through following her through her life, from one episode to the next. That’s all pantsing.  I heard someone refer to it as “organic writing” once, and I love that term so much!  It sounds a lot more sophisticated and like I know what I’m doing.  J

What do you do to get past writer’s block?

I don’t believe in writer’s block so to speak, but I do believe you can spend so much time at the keyboard that you get stifled.  It’s a peril I face, day in and day out in front of the computer. So, I get in my car, bring my iPod, and drive. There isn’t a destination. It’s just me wandering the back roads, singing to the music, and not thinking. Somewhere in the there, the “boys in the basement” (to steal a quote from Stephen King) get to work and new ideas come.  When we lived in Georgia, I used to drive up into the mountains and wander around.  Now, in the flat country, I just keep turning and turning randomly until it’s time to use the GPS to get back home.

What does your typical writing day look like?

I sit down at my desk every day and praise God I have a “typical writing day.”  I’m a very routine-oriented person when it comes to work most of the time.  I get up, have breakfast with my family, get some exercise in, have quiet time with God, then hit the chair.  I spend any time left up until 9:30 checking email or Facebook, then I take every wireless device out of the room and sit down at my desktop, which doesn’t have internet.  If I don’t do that, I’m constantly on Facebook.  At noon, I stop for 30-45 minutes, have lunch and watch an episode of “Psych” or “The Middle” or “Leverage” then get back to work until it’s time to pick the kiddo up from school.  Every once in a while, the sanguine side of my personality kicks in and I have to be around people, so it’s a coffee shop or the like, so I can recharge.

Do you have any rituals you like to go through before you start writing?

I sit down at my desk, look out my window, and thank God for this opportunity.  And then, I give the day to Him.  My husband bought me a coffee warmer, so there’s always a nice hot cup right beside me.  (Funny thing about writers and coffee, isn’t it?)  I read through my last scene, then get to work.  I “write hot” without really stopping to revise until I’m done with the first draft.  It makes revision slower, but it gets the story out!  On revision days, I have my printed manuscript with the proverbial red pen.  I read one chapter, then key in the revisions. On and on. I do that twice, so there are three printed copies I revise/edit before I send it to anyone.

Thanks for taking the time to visit with us, Jodie!

Readers, make sure to stop by tomorrow, when  you'll have the opportunity to enter to win a free book.  This week, Jodie is giving away one copy of each of these two titles: Quilted by Christmas and a novella anthology, Holiday Defenders. Both are Christmas themed and would make lovely gifts!


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