While sailing 1,700 miles in the Bahamian Out Islands, Leona DeRosa Bodie – the author of several illustrated children’s stories – wrote her first adult novel. SHADOW CAY went on to become an Amazon bestseller and to win the Reader Views Literary Award for best Mystery/ Thriller/Suspense. That’s when she started doing the happy dance and hasn’t stopped yet. Her work, says Bella Online Mystery Editor Edie Dykeman, “sets a strong pace from the start with riveting action and dialogue. The beautiful Bahamas background adds contrast to the frightening action and gritty texture of her story.” Carol Hoyer of Readers Views says, “Readers and reviewers are raving it’s one of the best crime suspense novels in years.”
Her next book SEAS OF FURY, the high-octane prequel featuring a professor addicted to boats turned amateur sleuth, will be released this winter. She’s also working on one more Sea of Secrets thriller; FEAR THE WHISPERS, the Shadow Cay sequel in the series, is scheduled for release late 2014.
Coming the fall of 2013, Leona and Glenn Gardiner will unveil GLIMPSE OF SUNLIGHT, Book #1 of the Jonathan Dickinson Odyssey. This epic trilogy based on a true story, transports us to the 17th century pirate lair of Port Royal, Jamaica – a place of enduring, twisted passions – and of unbridled temptations. At the time, the seaport was known as the wildest town in the New World and wickedest city on earth. Here the authors bring to life a hurricane, tsunami and a landslide. JONATHAN, Book #2 is due to hit the virtual shelves early 2014.
Leona’s career took her from NJ high school English teacher to biotechnology executive and president of the Greater Miami Society of Human Resource Management before she shifted to writing books. Currently, she’s Regional Director and past vice president of the Florida Writers Association. Leona resides in Florida and often collaborates with her husband, a Miami-Dade forensic specialist for 21 years, who appeared in the pilot episode of the long-running TV series, CSI.
Feel free to stop by her web site at www.leonabodie.com; she is also on Twitter (@ShadowCay) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/authorleonabodie), where you are more than welcome to follow her, friend her, and/or tell her to stop being distracted by the Internet. She has a life outside of Facebook but can’t remember the password for it!
What inspires you to write?
Without a doubt, channeling my muse and unfurling my imagination until I get what’s in my head on paper . . . that’s my favorite compulsion! I always knew I was a writer, even when I was five. Through the years, I’ve written poetry, corporate newsletters, training packages, policy and procedure manuals, articles and short stories. Before shifting to writing books, my articles have appeared in Cruising World and various business magazines. My short stories have been published in e-zines, university presses and literary magazines.
Tell us about your writing process.
First, I give it some thought then develop a “what if idea” into a premise. Then, I follow my gut and outline, sketching the story out first. I include as much of the plot or what happens during the course of the book as possible. My mission is to capture the dramatic elements: Protagonist, Objective, Conflict and Climax. The software I use is yWriter and it’s FREE!
Next I focus on characterization, using the GMC Method of creating people:
Goal-what the character is trying to achieve
Motivation-why is this important to them
Conflict- what is standing in their way
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
What advice would you give other writers?
Along with a regular writing schedule, optimism and persistence makes as aspiring writer successful. Authors find the time to write and to invest in their own careers. Writing is a muscle! The more you use it, the better it gets.
I’d highly recommend yWriter. It’s a powerful writing program which is free to download and use. yWriter is a word processor which breaks your novel into chapters and scenes, helping you keep track of your work while leaving your mind free to create. It will not write your novel for you, suggest plot ideas or perform creative tasks of any kind. yWriter was designed by an author, not a salesman! For more details, visit: http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had one of my books published by a regional press and was unhappy about the process and the results, knowing I could do a better job. So that’s how, I became an indie author!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Today’s technologies level the playing field, focusing greater attention than ever before on the publishing resources now available for all writers, regardless of their age, race, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, religion and national origin. For sure, the e-book revolution is cross generational, here to stay and its launch has upended the publishing industry. For way too long, just a few guided what came to market. Now everyone has equal access to publishing. New devices and the means of consuming content are changing the industry. Today’s technologies mean mass market exposure is easier and faster with less investment for readers, authors and publishers. So the simple answer is yes, e-publishing is helping more emerging writers get their voices heard. Writers today have never stood in front of more opportunity than they do right now.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
mystery, thriller, suspense, action, adventure and historic fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print