Thursday, August 1, 2013

That Story Came from WHERE?

A typical question that any writer is going to receive from curious fans is "Where do you get the ideas for your stories?" It's a good question, and one that I love answering because the answer is simple: EVERYWHERE!

My upcoming novel RAGE'S ECHO officially releases two months from today. I say "officially" because I've had copies of my own for a month and I've been selling them to random people I know, because seriously, who wouldn't? But on October 1, you will be able to download my latest tale of murder and intrigue onto your Kindle or Nook or have a freshly-minted copy shipped to you from a warehouse owned by Amazon.


Rage's Echo is about a young woman named Jessica who likes to go ghost hunting. She wants to prove that life continues after death because she believes it will get people to turn to God. When Jessica is invited to investigate some haunted church grounds she is more than excited to go. What she doesn't know is that the spirit of a murder victim named Jerry Madison is going to follow her home that night, and then terrible things ensue when it turns out that Jerry might not be so nice to have around after all.

It's awesome. I had more fun writing this than I probably should have.

But anyway. Where did this story come from?

I'll tell you.

1. Twilight

I have never read Twilight or any of its sequels, but I know what it's all about. I even saw the first movie. Girls falling in love with supernatural creatures is so commonplace these days that I wanted to write a novel in which the female protagonist does NOT fall in love with the not-quite-human dude. The Rage's Echo seed was thus planted in my brain. 

2. Field of Dreams
The awesome thing about Field of Dreams is that ghosts can be spoken to as if they are living people instead of just spooky noises filling a house at night. If you got to talk to a ghost, what kind of interesting things would the two of you talk about? It better not just be baseball.

3. Ghost Hunters

Most common phrase of those investigating a haunted house: "WHAT was THAT?" Truth: it might be a hamster. Read Rage's Echo and you'll understand.

4. My Friend Valerie

One of my Internet buddies once attended a college which she disliked so much that she transferred after only a year. She told me that she lay awake in her dorm one night hearing a tapping sound by her head, and she also sensed an angry red aura that seemed to go away after she had a priest come in and bless the place. I hope I have the details of that right. It's been years since she told me. Valerie, if you're reading this, feel free to correct me!

5. Classic Rock

Or more specifically, the songs "Dream On" by Aerosmith and "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas. They both make cameos in the novel. Just listen to the lyrics and you might get the chills.

6. Dante's Inferno

There was one scene in this where spirits of the damned were described having to drag their own corpses to hell, or something like that. (That doesn't happen in Rage's Echo. I just wanted to mention it here because I like to mention random things.) The whole spirits-being-cut-off-from-God-but-still-yearning-for-him thing is what kicked Rage's Echo into gear.

7. My Life

(No, not the book by Bill Clinton.) Everybody goes through hardship. If you haven't, there's probably something wrong with you. Writing Rage's Echo was a way for me to transfer my inner demons from my mind onto the page. A personal exorcism, if you will. I may never be completely healed in this lifetime but writing this novel certainly helped.

8. Other Stuff

I received inspiration from a number of other sources as well, but if I told you here that would ruin some of the fun of the novel. Because spoilers STINK.

So there you have it. All of this entered my head and formed a sort of lumpy stew that turned into a story. And I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.

God bless,

~J. S. Bailey


  1. Sounds intriguing! "What was that?"

    I get so tickled watching those ghost hunter shows, they are always surprised when they have some unexplained encounter. It freaks them out. I want to say, "Dude, you are the professional! Get a grip!" Truth is I would probably be the same way.

    1. I get that, too. Especially since, "Dude, you went there looking for ghosts. What did you expect?"
      And you might be surprised, I personally have encountered things more sinister than ghosts. They don't really lend themselves to big reactions. Sure your pulse accelerates, but that's pretty hard to see.
      I think they just play it up for the cameras.

  2. Loved the book, btw! Finished yesterday and working on the review. I should also say I love your Hemingway quote. My wife and I went on a B&B vacation to Fredericksburg TX. Stayed at the Hemingway suite. I should add that my mother was a Hemingway....

    1. "There are no coincidences!" ~Dean Koontz