I would like you to welcome J.S. Bailey to my blog today. She is a Christian speculative fiction author and has a new novel out called Rage’s Echo. It’s a ghost story so I thought it befitting to have her grace my blog before October was over.
Tell us a something about yourself that is not in your author bio.
I’m addicted to Mexican food. Seriously. Hardly a week goes by in which I don’t concoct homemade burritos; sometimes from scratch. (I’m aware this doesn’t have to do with my writing in any way, but eating burritos is a big part of who I am.) 😉
I play the piano. I don’t exercise as often as I should. I love Freddie Mercury. I love my readers, too.
Do you have a specific place you like to write/music you listen to, etc?
I write wherever I’m able to. This might be the kitchen table, the desk at work, or a table hidden in some corner of the library. I only listen to music while writing on rare occasions. Sometimes I listen to Muse, the Piano Guys, Beethoven, and Chopin. I can’t have the music very loud though or I can’t concentrate.
Do you have any authors that have influenced your writing?
Lately I’ve been drawn to “creepy” stuff, though that doesn’t always show through in my writing. Right now my biggest influences are Ted Dekker, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and Roald Dahl. Any author who can successfully freak me out is greatly admired because I don’t scare that easily and I’m always looking for a thrill. I guess you could say I’m a literary adrenaline junkie. Maybe.
When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
I have no recollection of making a conscious decision to be a writer. I started writing little “stories” when I was five and six years old and have been doing it in some way or another ever since. I became more serious about writing in high school, when I penned a giant monstrosity of a novel called The Queen of Despair. It was about shapeshifting aliens. I have no idea what happened to the file it was saved in. (Not that I’m particularly concerned.)
It was in college when I decided that I’d like to write full-time. That still hasn’t happened yet, though.
How do you come by your ideas?
I get asked this a lot, and the answer is simple—EVERYWHERE!!! Everything I see, everything I read about, and everything I hear gets funneled into my brain (which is sometimes a rather frightening place). Sometimes the brain mixes ideas together in a way that will make an interesting story. Each story I’ve written contains little snippets of reality blended in with the fiction. (No, I have not had a ghost follow me home. But thanks for asking!)
What made you decide to write in your current genre?
I used to be big into sci-fi (hence the shapeshifting aliens), but I learned that I like suspenseful novels that are full of food for thought even better. So of course I would end up writing my own.
Have you ever started writing something and then scrapped it?
All. The. Time. I have more failed stories than finished ones. Sometimes when writing a story I get to the point where I realize something isn’t working so I set it aside permanently. Other times I go back and rewrite them, turning them into something better.
My second novel Rage’s Echo was released on October 1. It’s about a paranormal investigator named Jessica who has the misfortune of being followed home by the ghost of a murder victim named Jerry Madison after her investigation of a cemetery. Part of the book is told from Jerry’s point of view, so the reader gets to learn what is keeping him from “moving on.” Hint: Jerry might not be the nice guy he’d like everyone to think he is.
By the time I finished writing Rage’s Echo, it had turned not just into a ghost story but into a parable about forgiveness and letting go of the painful things that keep us trapped in the past.
What made you decide to write about this particular subject?
I’ve always loved ghost stories and finally took it upon myself to write my own. Also, I used to watch Ghost Hunters each week and wondered what it would be like if some lonely spirit tailed an investigator back to his or her house.
Are you currently working on a new project? If so can you tell us what it will be about?
I AM working on a new project—but if I told you about it, then I’d have to… Well, you know. It might possibly have something to do with demonic entities and people who are blessed with spiritual gifts that are so refined they’re almost like superpowers.