Hi, Jodie! How long have you been writing?
Jodie: My whole life. I honestly do not remember a time when I wasn’t writing or telling stories. When I say “I’m wired that way,” I mean it sincerely. It’s just in me. My brain constantly makes up stories. I added a second major in college–writing–simply because I enjoyed it. My advisor asked me what I was going to do with my writing and I said, “Keep it all in a drawer if I have to. I just want to write the stories, I don’t care if anyone reads them.” (Of course, this was because he was “encouraging” me to write “marketable” fiction by his terms: sex, drugs, and violence. Nope.)
I started “for real” writing in 2008. I had taken time off of teaching when my daughter was born and was deciding what to do when she started kindergarten. It was like God whomped me in the head and said, “I didn’t give you this writing heart for you to stick it in a drawer. It’s now or never.” So I decided to write Bible studies, because I thought that was the only way to write and honor God EVEN THOUGH I WAS READING CHRISTIAN FICTION! It never hit me that I could write the kind of fiction I loved. I’m dense? I don’t know. Maybe I was too scared to embrace my unspoken dream coming true. After a fruitless 2007 of trying to write Bible studies, hitting brick wall after brick wall, I turned to my real love of fiction and have been happy putting words on paper ever since. This. This is my calling. 🙂
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
Jodie: I am a romance novel junkie. Have been since I was in elementary school. I love love. I love the intricacies of relationships, the road blocks, the heart racing, the heart dropping, the joy, the pain… all of it. And I love a good happily ever after at the end of the journey. I started out writing romance as chick lit, right as that genre dipped. My agent loved my voice enough to take me on, but we had to find another genre and she suggested I dip my toe into military suspense, being an Army wife and all. I did. And I figured out I like it! Now there is even MORE drama in the love stories, more obstacles… and more creative ways to create roadblocks. So much fun!
What are some of the references you used while researching your book?
Jodie: Breach of Trust (I love that title, by the way! A friend of mine brainstormed it and my editors chose it. I love symbolism and this title packs it. So does Compromised Identity, the book before it. Gives me chills just thinking about all of those layers!)…
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Breach of Trust is the third book in a loosely connected “series” that started with Smokescreen, then Compromised Identity. It follows an elite cyber terrorism unit, so I had to do a lot of talking to people. Google is my best friend sometimes, especially for some of the murder scenes. (It’s cliche’ but true… Don’t look at my browser history.) My husband is my greatest “reference.” He is a saint for dealing with my “dumb” Army questions and explaining things to me. He helped me design the whole cyber terrorism unit, even though a lot of it doesn’t show up on the page. It just helped me to know. I am more of a people person than a book person, so I ask friends for connections to people who know the facts I need. It’s more fun than book research, and they tell me fun side stories too.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Jodie: Tate. Hands down. I love his character, even though he gave me fits at first. He first appeared in Smokescreen, and he was never meant to have his own book. Funny “backstage” story: My cousin and I have a game we play. He gives me a challenge for every book, something unusual that I have to fit into the story somewhere. It can be a word, a character a scene…
For Smokescreen, it was someone mowing the lawn with a manual push mower. Okay, tricky, since it took place in New York in early April. But Tate was my man for the job, and he came onto the page with this presence in that book. After he told part of his backstory to Ashley in that book, I had tons of people wanting to see more of him. He showed up in Compromised Identity, and I decided he might be worth exploring, so he got his own book.
At first, because he’d been this big “hero” in the first two books, I had trouble finding his flaw, so he wasn’t talking much. But then one of my critique partners said, “Duh. He’s so cocky!” Ah! From that point forward, Tate was fun. He’s this wise, no-nonsense, formerly broken soldier whose whole restored life is based on his faith in God, but he’s cocky too, because he’s always been the one called on when the chips where down and they needed someone to clean up the mess. So the most fun part of this book was exploring his character and getting him onto the page… and then throwing Meghan into the mix to totally mess with his neatly ordered world.
What do your plans for future projects include?
Jodie: I have some more suspense novels in the works for Love Inspired, including a book in a series on Texas Rangers. I’m also working on a series set on the Outer Banks and dealing with a family that is knee-deep in some crazy psychological operations. I’m toying with a couple of contemporary romance novellas as well, “for fun,” so to speak. There is always something happening!
Thanks for dropping by, Jodie!
Meghan McGuire’s ready to put her military career behind her and start her dream job helping troubled children—until a man from her past reappears. Tate Walker is supposed to be dead. But now he’s standing on her doorstep, telling her she’s in danger. Tate never thought he’d see Meghan again…and certainly not as the target of the hacker he’s trying to bust. With both of their lives in danger, they have to work together to hunt down the criminal. But when Tate learns about the past Meghan’s been hiding, he’s not sure if she’s still the woman he once loved. Or if he can trust her with his survival—and his heart.
Jodie Bailey writes novels about freedom and the heroes who fight for it. Her military romantic suspense, Crossfire, won a 2014 RT Reviewers Choice Award. Quilted by Christmas, a contemporary romance from Abindgon, spent two months on the CBA bestseller list and won a 2015 Selah Award. 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. Visit her at www.jodiebailey.com.