Welcome, Jodie. So happy to have you on my blog. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
It’s inevitable that part of me shows up in every character. It’s hard not to pour yourself onto the page. Sometimes it’s an accident, sometimes it’s on purpose. A lot of my characters have spiritual issues that echo ones I’ve wrestled with, because those are the things that help me connect best with them as I’m writing. For example, in Smokescreen, Ashley has severe panic attacks, something I dealt with for ten years before God healed me. It can be something big like that or smaller, like an insecurity that creeps up. So yes, there is a small part of me in each character, but that’s what makes it fun.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I must be the most boring person in the world, because I asked my husband how he’d answer this question about me and he said, “Well, you DO eat mayonnaise on banana sandwiches.” So there you go, folks. I’m a downright, genuine specimen of weirdness. Seriously, I’d say it was when I was in my late twenties and had just gotten a video camera (there I go dating myself), and my best friend and I went to the beach for the weekend. We literally filmed everything we did, from walking up the street to riding in the car to cooking dinner. It was all ridiculously mundane, nothing crazy. We were practically our own reality show. People were trying to figure out if we were famous at one point, which was fun. It was totally silly, but that video is still one of my most treasured possessions because we had so much fun doing it and the memories are wonderful.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have written my entire life. I asked for a typewriter when I was ten. (Yes, I’m that old.) Before that, I wrote on my grandmother’s typewriter. When she passed away, we found stories tucked away in her desk from when I was barely able to form letters. (“Ann Goes to the Fair” had all the marks of a runaway bestseller, I tell you.) I majored in English lit in college and tacked on a second major in creative writing “just for fun.” I never planned to do anything more with it than shove the stories in my drawer, but God… One day, when our kiddo was three, I was contemplating going back to teaching. I was sitting in a Beth Moore Bible study thinking, “Man, she has the greatest job in the world. She gets to write and talk about God all of the time!” And it was like I almost audibly heard God say, “Duh, child. Do you think I gave you this heart for writing just to stick it in a drawer?” It was the first time I ever realized that I could do this too. It felt like saying, “I want to be a rock star when I grow up,” because it seemed so farfetched that I’d ever be published. But God...
I love all the But God … moments in our lives. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I will read just about anything. When I was a kid, I was caught reading the dictionary when there was nothing else available. I’ve been known to read cookbooks like they were novels. Mostly, I love anything with a romance element, from historical to suspense to contemporary… I’m not the biggest fan of sci-fi or nonfiction (sadly), though I’ve read plenty of it. The only thing that’s essentially off the table for me is horror.
I so agree with you. You could have been writing my reading habits. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Every morning, I get my coffee and my Bible and whatever study I’m doing at the time, and I sit at the kitchen table to have God time. I treasure that time of being in my Bible, of praying, sometimes journaling… It’s what keeps me connected to Him and reminds me of who is really in charge of the world. It’s that one moment of the day when everything is still, even the inside of me.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes they just pop up. I wish that happened more often! For last names, I Google common surnames for the region of the country I’ve set the story in. Once I’ve picked a handful, the search is on for common baby names in my hero’s birth year. It’s a matter of playing with combinations until one clicks!
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I have no idea how to answer this. I could say so many things, because God has done so many things in my life. But if you force me to choose just one (besides our kiddo, because everybody expects me to say that…), I’d say surviving as an Army wife. As a teenager, I was crazy insecure and codependent. If you’d have told me—or anyone who knew me—I’d survive three deployments as a stateside spouse and actually grow and have fun doing it, you’d have been laughed out of the room. But God worked in me so much before all of that happened and changed so much of who I used to be, that those times are not simply lost years like the could have been, but years full of treasured memories with friends and even of us growing together as spouses because we communicated largely through letters and learned so much about who we are together and apart. So yes, being a wife and mother who could hold things down at home so my husband didn’t have to worry about us while he was gone is probably the thing I’m most proud of.
Kudos to you, Jodie. Women like you have as much influence in helping protect our country as the military husbands do. I salute you both. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
My dog has it made. I know a lot of people say they’d be a cat or a dog, but seriously, my Bubs has the life. The food, the pets, the naps in the sunshine, the treats, the snuggles… Who wouldn’t want that?
What is your favorite food?
I love nachos. Like, love them. Whenever I work out, I crave them, which makes it hard… J But I think my favorite meal would be charcoal-grilled steak, a baked potato all loaded up, and a salad with creamy Italian dressing. Also, I’d give a whole lot to taste my grandmother’s fried chicken and homemade mashed potatoes and gravy just one more time. Nobody can make them like she could.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Oh, I haven’t overcome it, I’ve just lassoed it and am holding on tight. Social media is my biggest problem with writing. Writing is a solitary adventure. Some days, I crave social interaction, and it turns into write two sentences, check Facebook. Write two sentences, check Twitter. That isn’t a great way to build up momentum on a story. So I downloaded an app that shuts down the internet on my computer during work hours. That’s helped tremendously! Problem is, I can still check my phone, so…
Tell us about the featured book.
I was so honored to be a part of this series with Elizabeth and Sharon! Christmas Double Cross is book two of the Texas Ranger Holidays series. Ranger Colt Blackthorn is tracking a woman he believes to be Adriana Garcia, the fugitive sister of a dangerous cartel leader. When she’s almost kidnapped right in front of him, he discovers she’s actually another woman, Danielle Segovia. The problem is, Danielle looks enough like Adriana that the cartel leader has mistaken her for his sister as well, and he’s out for revenge. Colt finds himself having to protect Danielle, but he’s battling his own past failings at the same time and isn’t even sure he’s cut out to be a Ranger anymore. He has to learn to trust his own instincts at the same time that Danielle is having to learn to trust him.
I enjoyed reading
’s book, and I look
forward to reading yours. Please give us the first page of the book. Sharon
Texas Ranger Colter Blackthorn shifted his borrowed Dodge Challenger into Park and left the engine running, the heater combating the near-freezing temperatures of an
Paso winter evening.
Pulling his neck to one side, he stretched tight muscles and scanned the front of the small strip mall. The reflection of Christmas lights danced on the windows of the few cars in the lot as the center neared closing time. Somewhere in the distance, a speaker piped “White Christmas” to the handful of shoppers rushing along the sidewalk on their last few days of preparation before the holiday hit full force.
He let his gaze linger on the store closest to him, on the end near the main road. Nothing moved in the shadows behind the building, but a figure moved inside by the front window, pausing to reposition a blanket beneath the D in Mexican Artifacts and Crafts by Danielle.
His fingers tightened on the steering wheel. It had to be her.
“Colt.” The voice shot through his earpiece. Ranger Austin Brewer’s voice was tight, not with anger, but with concern. “If you need to wave off, then let Major Vance know now, before you go in. We can send somebody—”
“I’m fine.” His voice came out more clipped than he’d meant it to, but really, he didn’t need to be babied. He was no rookie. This wasn’t his first time undercover, and it wasn’t as though he was going deep. All he had to do was confirm that the woman pretending to be Danielle Segovia was indeed Adriana Garcia.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
The easiest way is to head over to www.jodiebailey.com. There are links to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter there, as well as links to buy each of my books.
Thank you, Jodie, for sharing this new book with us. I’m so glad my good friend Elizabeth Goddard introduced us online.
Readers, Jodie will send a print book if the winner is in the US or an ebook if the winner is foreign. Here are links to the book.Christmas Double Cross - Christianbook.com
Christmas Double Cross (Texas Ranger Holidays) - Amazon paperback
Christmas Double Cross (Texas Ranger Holidays) - Kindle
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