After I created Jack Bailey, I considered which secondary characters were needed. In every story, some are threaded throughout the book; others emerge once or twice, and then fade into the sunset.
Since Jack supervises the police department’s crime division, I hoped to introduce several co-workers who worked well or not-so-well with Jack. I introduced Moose and Hector as detectives who got along with Jack, but never questioned his decisions. Tilford, an older detective, continually gets under Jack’s skin. In need of a woman in the mix, I created Denise Williams, an outspoken patrol cop, with a smart aleck working relationship with Jack.
Denise is an African American woman in her forties whose character is based on a friend from years ago. Smart and opinionated, Denise has a salty sense of humor and takes no BS from anyone. Originally, I’d planned to develop the character of Moose, but Denise took on a life of her own.
She and Jack insult one another good-naturedly, which no one else dares to do. She also stands up to him when needed. “Come on, Bailey, give it a rest, it’s been a long day,” she tells him when he asks her to do more than she deems necessary.
In one scene, Denise and Jack run into each other at a local brew place and end up sharing a couple drinks and a meal. Denise reveals more of her character when she tells Jack she got in trouble on the job before his time for political incorrectness. She also discloses her own biases which she tries to cover up.
Denise’s compnion, patrol cop Kathleen Nolan, was a rookie when Denise mentored her and kept the other cops from bothering the attractive, blond newcomer. I planned for Kathleen to play a larger role in the story, but Denise proved more interesting.
Denise shows compassion in her interaction with a shy, scared young woman who may be directly related to the murder investigation. The girl reveals pertinent information to Denise, and later, Jack grudgingly compliments her on the interview.
I hope you enjoy meeting Denise in Bailey’s Law.
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How did Jack Bailey come about? For my story I wanted a hard-boiled detective type, but who was vulnerable and compassionate underneath his grumpy façade. Jack’s PTSD evolved to show how a trauma and repressed memories of the past can affect a person, and the necessity of coming to terms with one’s demons.
I wanted a crusty cop, but one who’s enigmatic. No one knows much about Jack, even after six years at the Richmond Police Department. Why does he never mention a family? Why are people afraid to ask?
The brooding expression of Liam Neeson is a model of Jack’s appearance. I also chose an Irish character to tie in with his Chicago roots and past family trauma. Perhaps another reason is I enjoyed visiting Ireland with its scenery, history, and of course, its pubs.
My own reading preferences include a good ‘whodunnit’ with a take-charge cop who seems jaded, cynical, and downright grouchy, who solves crimes using good old-fashioned detective work with probing interrogations to arrive at a motive, suspect, and hopefully closure. I enjoy character-driven narratives as opposed to never-ending shoot-em-up scenes, explosions, police chases, that continue page after page.
I created Jack Bailey to be a voice for those who are victimized by stronger forces. In Bailey’s Law, Jack must face a tough decision which reaches the core of ethics, morality, justice, and compassion.
I hope you enjoy getting to know Jack Bailey and his co-workers in their quest to solve this small town crime.
“Write what you’re passionate about.” Words of advice we’ve heard many times. I also read once to “write what you hate.” Although that sounds harsh, it spurs me on to create a story from issues and events I “passionately despise”, like cruelty, campus assault, domestic violence, soft on crime for the wealthy, etc. But I also sprinkle in themes like love, hope, and compassion in order to avoid a story that is too dark or depressing.
For me, mystery and cop/crime stories lend themselves to address society’s issues. I turn them into stories of everyday people who must face traumatic or unpleasant events beyond their control.
I wrote my first mystery short story years ago using my character, Jack Bailey, for the first time. Reading and hearing about drunk drivers getting by with killing and injuring people is an issue that has sparked my passion, and yes, anger.
Another disturbing topic for me is campus assault and the cover-up by authorities that often results. I realize that’s a generalization, but without naming names, it’s happened too frequently on certain campuses within the past ten years or more. I wanted to show the aftermath of this dilemma by writing a crime story involving this theme.
I enjoy reading and writing novels that feature interesting characters who attempt to uncover motive and opportunity to attain closure…
I enjoy researching police procedure and department structure, as well as details regarding forensic evidence. I rely on the internet, and I also call on a friend’s husband, a former cop, who graciously agreed to be my go-to resource for obtaining behind-the-scenes information and tidbits I don’t find online.
I hope you find Bailey’s Law an interesting and relevant read. It is hitting the shelves on October 27th and you may pre-order at a 10% discount by clicking on the link --> Black Rose Writing's.
Thank you for visiting my website and blog. My first novel, Bailey's Law, will be released on October 27, 2016.
I grew up in northern Minnesota, and after college moved around the midwest until landing in Houston where I've lived for over 30 years. I've always enjoyed writing and am a former English and psychology teacher. I'm fortunate to have a husband, two children, and three grandchildren, along with a great extended family and two German shepherds.
I wrote free verse poetry off and on for years, and began short story and novel writing several years ago.
Mystery stories interest me because issues that I'm passionate about lend themselves to crime stories. For example, in my short story featuring Jack Bailey, the issue of DUI's going unpunished arises. Bailey's Law addresses the problem of victimizing women and campus assault in our current society.
Blending good and evil through my characters is an ongoing challenge as well as a pleasure. I look forward to writing snippets on everyday topics, focusing on writing, reading, psychology, and an occasional dog!