Dear Readers, here’s another author who is new to the blog. Give him a warm blog welcome. This sounds like a dynamite book.
Welcome, Dony. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Good question. Some of my characters have a lot of me in them. For instance, Reagan Rainey, the protagonist in The Warrior Spy, has a lot of me in him, but he definitely has qualities that are all his own. In any case, the characters in a work of fiction are one of the most important things to me not only as an author, but as a reader, too. I take each one seriously, almost treating them as if they were real people. Ask my wife … lol. One of the true joys—and sometimes frustrations—that I believe all fiction writers share is the process of character creation and development. I know it’s one of the things I most enjoy. Perhaps it’s because it permits us to explore ourselves in ways that are fun, emotional and sometimes even a little scary. By shining a flashlight into those dark corners of our imaginations, we discover more about ourselves. So in that way, I suppose I put a lot of myself into my characters.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t know about quirky, but if unexpected is what you’re after, I can tell you that I love to laugh. It may surprise some to know that I love a good practical joke. Nothing “over the line” or hurtful, but like I said, I love to laugh. Big belly laughs. As a cop (my day job), if you can’t find something to make you laugh, you’ll burn out quickly, especially in the current cultural climate.
I think that’s true in any profession. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was in high school, I used to write stories for laughs (did I mention that I love to laugh?). I really wish I’d saved them. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but it was probably mid 2010 when I first considered writing seriously. People have often told me, “You should be a writer.” Actually, when I did my entrance testing for my freshman year of college, I tested into honors English. Tested, but I never pursued English or writing in college. I guess I was too interested in sports back then. I credit much of my love for writing to my middle school and high school English teachers. I had some good ones!
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy a broad range of books, both fiction and non-fiction. I read thrillers and mysteries; biographies; books on politics, history, and historical figures; books on faith and personal enrichment. I have a passion for books about real heroes, military operations, and exciting exploits of derring-do.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I spend time with my family. They keep me grounded … and laughing. I read the Bible (there is real peace there) and also lots of other books. I listen to music, I exercise, and most importantly I allow myself to act like a kid sometimes … okay, lots of times. You can’t take yourself too seriously in life. Life is serious enough. When my son or daughter has soccer practice, I run around the complex or find a patch of grass and knock the soccer ball around or juggle. Nostalgia probably comes into play here—I played soccer (and basketball) since I was a kid all the way into college, but I just love walking across a field of freshly cut grass, better yet with my soccer cleats on. Even now, it’s just really invigorating and refreshing. I love the outdoors, too. Hiking, being on a beach, and even shooting hoops in my driveway are all ways that help me disconnect from the stress of life.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Honestly, I use an all-source method when it comes to my characters’ names. Names from my past, names I’ve heard or seen while reading some history book, names I unearth online or in old phone books. Oftentimes though, the names just come from my imagination. You wouldn’t believe how much time and energy I put into my character names though. It’s painstaking sometimes, but then again I’m a bit of a perfectionist.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
That’s easy. Being a father. It’s not only the accomplishment I’ve most proud of, but one of the things in life I take extremely serious. I approach fatherhood with, of course, love, but also vigilance and ferocity. Raising my son and daughter to be children of God is my life’s mission. And I will do whatever it takes to see that the mission has the chance to succeed. There are no guarantees in life. I know that, but when I’m dead and gone, I want my kids to be able to remember me as a guy who loved them without condition, who gave everything he had so they would grow up to be respectful and respectable human beings, hard workers and to be able to think for themselves. Most of all, I want them to passionately pursue the truth, hope, and love that is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. In a sense this is not an accomplishment, but a work in progress. Yet sometimes success is measured one day at a time.
That is so true. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A bald eagle. They are solitary, graceful, and independent creatures, yet boldly fierce when they need to be. I’d say that the fact that the bald eagle stands for freedom and liberty also has a lot to do with my choice.
My husband loves bald eagles. He has ball caps and shirts with them displayed. He wears them a lot. What is your favorite food?
It’s a toss-up between pizza and a good cheeseburger sub … and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Your diet preferences sound a lot like my husband’s, too. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Finding the time to write. It’s incredibly hard to juggle my day job (working different shifts and being on call), family time, exercising, driving kids to sports practices and games, and squeezing in a little “down time” with writing and researching. Notice that I used the present tense, because it’s an ongoing battle. I know it always will be. But through much prayer and perseverance, and a very supportive wife, I adapt and overcome. The key to writing, and many things in life, is resolve. Unwavering, stubborn determination to succeed. Simply refuse to quit even in—especially in—those moments when you are frustrated and discouraged, which, if I may say, is my advice for anyone out there pursuing writing in particular, but anything worthwhile. Never quit. NOT EVER! You will fail. It’s a given. But will yourself to always get back up and try again. Failure, or should I say daring to fail, is the secret to success. And of course be faithful to God, because He is always faithful to His children.
Very good advice. I wouldn’t be where I am today with Jesus as the center of my life. Tell us about the featured book.
The Warrior Spy is the first book in my Warrior Spy Thriller series. It’s about a Delta Force special operator named, Reagan Rainey. He’s a man of faith, but also a lethal American warrior. I think of him as a modern-day George Washington, and I think readers will, too. Perhaps more on what went into the creation of Reagan Rainey as a character is for another time, but I think he’s a guy that patriotic Americans, especially these days, are in search of. And if I’m honest, the type of leader the country desperately needs in the White House.
Put succinctly, The Warrior Spy is about
America’s best counterterrorism operator being
sent to uncover a diabolical plot that is designed to push the United States
to war. The book weaves elements of espionage and special ops with political
intrigue. It’s a tale of old adversaries engaging in modern-day spy warfare. In
the balance hangs merely the fate of nations. It’s about America. It’s
about the power of prayer and about good versus evil.
Reagan Rainey’s indomitable drive to serve God and country propels the story forward at a fast pace that I think readers of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor in the general thriller market, and Joel C. Rosenberg and Bob Hamer in the Christian market will thoroughly enjoy. Time and time again, Rainey is thrust into peril, but he simply will not quit the mission unless and until he discovers the very real threat his nation is facing and who is behind it all.
Sounds like a book all Americans need to read in the current political climate. Especially before the elections. Please give us the first page of the book.
First page of The Warrior Spy (plus a little more, wink):
Bullets snapped by his head like popcorn on a stove. Reagan Rainey crouched behind a low-slung stone wall, at least what was left of it. They were everywhere, men with AK-47s shouting angrily in Arabic, far more than what original intelligence estimates had indicated. Several rounds jack-hammered against the exposed engine block of an old Land Rover behind him, throwing a brilliant shower of sparks into the obsidian darkness.
Rainey hurled the grenade into the swarm of terrorists pouring toward him and his team. His voice was nearly drowned out by the cacophony of gunfire. The resulting explosion rattled the mud brick structures all around them, pocking walls and shredding bodies. As Rainey’s team began to push forward, a man appeared on their right, shouldering an RPG. But just before the terrorist could fire upon them, his head exploded.
Thank you, Wizard.
The Delta Force sniper in the overwatch position had just saved their butts.
America’s shadow warriors, games faces on, swiftly curled inside the first structure on the west side of the compound and advanced down a short featureless corridor carved into the sun-baked, wasteland of southern Qatar. Reaching the first corner, Rainey and his stack of guys stopped in quiet chorus, remained still. Except for their eyes, which continued scanning for threats.
Several sporadic cracks of gunfire coughed in the distance, muffled by the earthen walls. Somewhere on the other side of the compound the guys from Blue Team were still taking names and doing so with extreme prejudice.
Then all was quiet. Eerily so.
His radio clicked. Rainey clicked back a response, then a voice came alive in his earpiece: “Bronco, we’re clear on this side of the compound. He’s not over here. Got a few phones, a laptop, and some digital media though.” Rainey clicked his radio in acknowledgment as the sweat trickled down his back beneath his gear-heavy vest.
Rainey knelt along the blind corner, dug into a pouch on his vest. Behind a mask of coal-black face paint, he studied a tiny, telescoping mirror for threats and danger zones, for booby traps. There was a long hallway that descended into the bowels of the compound now transformed into hues of green and gray by his helmet-mounted NODs (night optical devices). He quietly stood, gave several hand signals, then readied his rifle and fell back in line behind his fellow operator, Mouse.
Rainey took a breath. Protect us, Lord. He reached out and squeezed Mouse’s shoulder, wordlessly signaling that he was ready to move.
Wow! What an opening. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can find me at my website and on Facebook and Twitter. They can also check out my author pages on Amazon and Goodreads. I try my very best to be responsive to readers’ e-mails, posts, and tweets. Also, I would encourage readers and those perhaps seeking more information about me or the book(s) to contact me via e-mail. In addition they can sign up for my e-mail newsletter: Dony Jay’s Reader Intel Bulletin. They can do so through my website.
My ultimate goal is to forge a genuine and lasting relationship with readers. I want them to know that I’m just like them; I will always consider myself a reader first.
Finally, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you,
Lena, for giving me this opportunity. I
have been blessed in so many ways. God is good. And He is faithful.
Thank you, Dony, for sharing this book with us. It's a great pleasure and a privilege to introduce you and your book to my readers.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Warrior Spy: A Thriller (A Warrior Spy Thriller) - Paperback
The Warrior Spy: A Thriller (A Warrior Spy Thriller Book 1) - Kindle
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