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
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
Lena, thank you again for the opportunity to share with your readers. I enjoyed the interview and wish you continued success. God bless!
would love to win angela in ky
Wow, this sounds really good! I'm thrilled to read this! Makes me think (from the description) of something like the movie "Olympus Has Fallen", but of course books are always WAY better! Can't wait to read this!
Oh, I am certainly intrigued by this one. And just wanted to share...a pair of bald eagles frequent our ranch often and through a spotting scope last week, I watched as one flew down on our lake and grasped his dinner. What a sight!
Melanie Backus, TX
Lena, thank you for hosting Mr. Jay! THE WARRIOR SPY sounds intense! I am adding this one my Goodreads want to read list!
Caryl in TEXAS
Very cool. One came to visit my daughter's soccer game this past fall. Awesome creatures!
All, I just added the book trailer for The Warrior Spy to my website the other day. Go check it out and let me know what you think! And thanks for checking in here!!
Thanks for a great interview and giveaway. This sounds like it would keep your heart pounding hard. I'm in Illinois.
This sounds very exciting. Thanks for sharing.
Connie from KY
I do enjoy a thriller. This sounds like it's going to be a great series.
Really enjoyed your interview. I always think if I were an animal, I'd be a squirrel, but then my dog would chase me. The Warrior Spy sounds like it would be a great read.
Wow, this sounds like a great keep me turning the pages book.
I would be interested in checking this one out. Dony is a new to me author. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!
Loraine in TX
Now that looks and sounds like a good read. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom. north platte nebraska.
I would love to read this book. It sounds very exciting.
Edward A in VA
Thrillers (thinking Joel Rosenburg, etc.) are so exciting and thought provoking. This author is new to me. I'd love to read this book as the first bit and overview sounds really good.
Vera in the middle of North Carolina
I am looking forward to reading this book! It would be a wonderful addition to the church library.
New-to-me author, fantastic!! This book sounds like one my husband would enjoy reading, it's right up his alley :-) I'm always on the lookout for good Christian fiction reads geared towards him. Thanks for the interview & chance to win!
Trixi in OR
Hi, everyone. I love the comments. Thank you! Can't wait to give away a copy of The Warrior Spy.
For more information about the book and/or me, please visit my website at DonyJayBooks.com. And don't forget to sign up for my e-mail newsletter. This can be done through the website. Also, feel free to stop by my Facebook page or Twitter feed. I love connecting with readers!
Thank you and God bless!
Can't wait to win. :) Okay, it was worth a shot. lol
Heading to your website now, Facebook and Twitter, will signup for your newsletter. I loved your interview, and hope to stay informed on your books and life.
Hi, Rikki. Thank you!
Blessing to you as well!
Kathy from SW Missouri
Thank you Lena for introducing me to another new author.
Dony, I visited your website and I commend you on your prayer wall. We have a strong patriotic military service record in my family. Although I never actually served myself, I was a military child and military spouse. My daughter is a Military Policeman spouse. Although I have never prayed for you by name you were lifted in prayer as a member of the Law Enforcement Community in America. God bless you for bringing a Christian military thriller to my attention.
I am looking forward to reading this book. If I win this giveaway, I am going to give the book to my Military Policeman son-in-law who is also a man of faith. He has survived deployments and is currently serving abroad with his family.
I forgot to mention I signed up for your newsletter, I followed you on Twitter, Facebook, and your author page on Amazon and Goodreads.
I forgot to mention I signed up for your newsletter, I followed you on Twitter, Facebook, and your author page on Amazon and Goodreads.
Enter me in your awesome contest!!
Kathy, thank you. Your prayer means more than you know. It isn't easy for men and women in blue these days. But we know there are people like you out there praying for us and supporting us. You are why we do what we do. BTW...I, too, have a family member deployed overseas. I will keep your daughter and son-in-law and family in prayer. Please pass on to them both that I am grateful for their sacrifice and service.
And thanks for the follows/likes/etc. Your support is thoroughly appreciated!!!
I'm looking forward to this series! Enjoyed the interview.
Beth from IA
Sounds like an exciting, can't put down book! Thanks for the chance to win!
Beth in Montana
I'm a Joel Rosenburg fan, and this book sounds exciting from the get-go!
-Melissa M. in TN
It's a pleasure to "meet" you, Dony Jay! Thank you for the introduction, Lena. The Warrior Spy sounds like a fantastic story, and I'm adding it to my TBR list. Thank you for the chance to win a copy!
Britney Adams, TX
I think my DH and I would really enjoy The Warrior Spy, it sounds exciting.
Merry in MN
I am not familiar with this author but The Warrior Spy sounds very interesting.
Brenda in VA
Looks like hear-pounding action! Would enjoy reading this!
Pam in OH
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