Monday, November 21, 2016

D. F. Bailey - An Author Interview at the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author D. F. Bailey. He is the author of psychological thrillers and crime novels. Don is the writer of the Will Finch Mystery Thriller Series.

Author Genre: Suspense, Thrillers & Mysteries

Website: D. F. Bailey - Suspense, Thrillers & Mysteries
Digital Words
Twitter: @D_F_Bailey
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
D.F. Bailey's first novel, Fire Eyes, was a finalist for the W.H. Smith First Novel Award. A second novel, Healing the Dead, was translated into German as Todliche Ahnungen. This was followed by The Good Lie, another psychological thriller, now recorded as a talking book. A fourth novel, Exit from America, made its debut as an e-book in 2013. D.F. Bailey is currently working on a series of novels narrated from the point-of-view of a crime reporter in San Francisco.

Following his birth in Montreal, D.F. Bailey's family moved around North America from rural Ontario to New York City to McComb, Mississippi to Cape May, New Jersey. He finally "landed on his feet" on Vancouver Island -- where he lives next to the Salish Sea in the city of Victoria.

For twenty-two years D.F. Bailey worked at the University of Victoria where he taught creative writing and journalism and coordinated the Professional Writing Cooperative Education Program -- which he co-founded. From time to time he also freelanced as a business writer and journalist. In the fall of 2010 he left the university so that he could turn "his pre-occupation with writing into a full-blown obsession."

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: Lone Hunter. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Thanks. I’m currently working on the first draft of Death Shadow, the fourth book in the Will Finch series. I hope to have it completed and edited for release in 2017. In terms of a tease, I can reveal that Chapter One begins on 18 November, 1978 during the Jonestown massacre in Guyana. 918 were people killed. For the purposes of my novel, two children escape the carnage. In Chapter Two, we jump to the present day where Will Finch picks up their trail. I also have some brooding thoughts about at least two more novels in the series. If I can release one a year I will be happy.

You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

Almost exactly one year ago I began an experiment to see if Twitter could help broaden my reach. While I have about 14,000 followers on Twitter, it hasn’t translated into increased readership. I used Ian Sutherland’s Advanced Twitter Strategies for Authors as my guidebook — and I do recommend it. Having given it a whirl, I concluded that Twitter doesn’t suit my personality. It’s a very noisy medium and I suspect its real merit lies in breaking news. So it can be effective for journalists, politicians and social mavens. What works better for me is email. On the other hand, I’ve also built some excellent writing partnerships through FaceBook. Twelve of us will be launching a thriller ebook anthology in June, 2017. Keep an eye out for it: Death, Lies & Duct Tape. On launch date it will sell for $0.99, then jump to a higher price within a week.

Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

When my first novel, Fire Eyes, came out in 1987, books were promoted and sold with book launches, signings and reading tours. I did a number of those — and they were a lot of fun. But since the global re-engineering (an awful word, but it’s fitting) of book publishing and selling around 2010 that sort of activity has been transformed. For one thing, publishers can’t afford the costs for anyone other than their A-list writers. I’m now an indie author which means I write and publish my own work and the best place to find me and my books is online at my website:

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

I’m so happy to hear that because years ago I was pretty insecure about my design sense. I’m now preparing the cover for Death Shadow, the next book in my crime series. I select images from sites like Big Stock and Pixabay, then send them to my designer who lives in Cairo. I found him through a freelancer site called I give him the cover concept and colour ideas and together we run through about three or four drafts until the cover is perfect. Since we now have the brand and theme for the crime novel series, it gets easier as we go forward with every new book. These days I really look forward to this part of the packaging process.

You have written a short story called Suitcase. Can you tell us if it had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work?

Suitcase is the only short story I’ve ever published. It first came out in a literary magazine called Event and I wrote it as an epilogue to Healing the Dead, my second — and most autobiographical novel. It may have impacted sales of the novels somewhat, I just don’t know for sure. Although my sentence style is somewhat minimalist, overall the short story is not a form that appeals to me. I crave a big canvas and the broad space offered by the novel.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

As you know, I give away the first novel in my crime series, Bone Maker, for free (anyone can get a copy here: The idea is that if you like this book, then you can purchase the other novels in the series: Stone Eater and Lone Hunter. They’re a great deal and each costs less than a latté. Retailers call this kind of scheme a loss leader and overall it’s worked well for my books. In less than a year the series has generated more revenue for me than any other book I’ve published. I can now claim to be a thousandaire. Barely.

Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?

Yes, and this gets back to my earlier point about email being more effective than Twitter. I have a list of about 1,800 people who subscribe to my VIP Club, which is my newsletter (to join the club, click the “subscribe” button on I also identify people who review my books and those who want ARCs (Advance Review Copies) of my new books when they’re about to come out. I’ll send these readers ARCs if they provide reviews upon publication. It’s a win-win and to my surprise, I’ve managed to get to know several readers quite well.

You have published one of your books in German. How is your audience abroad? Does marketing online help in this situation?

Healing the Dead was translated into German in 1995. As for the breadth of audience, I’ve collected the following info from Amazon which shows my audience breakdown by country. USA: 68%, Australia: 17%, UK: 8%, Canada: 7%. Since I live on Vancouver Island, yes, online marketing is vital to all of this.

What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?

No, I no longer bother with professional reviews. Reader reviews, however, provide the social proof that a novel is worth reading — or not. Bone Maker now has over 100 reviews; 90% of them are four- or five-star reviews. When the book was launched, I turned to people I knew and asked them to read the book and leave a review if they wanted to. After the first batch of solicited reviews, the rest came “organically.” So apart from my impatience with wanting to ramp up the review process, there have really been no obstacles at all. They now flow in, two or three a week, and I’m always eager to read them.

I like the idea of including a hidden page link on your website that pages to a discussion of the ‘inspired by true events’ which are the basis of your books. It keeps the details out of your marketing effort.

I believe when the market turns over and the current young group is reading online they will want the same thing in their ebooks. Do have an opinion about in-book links to the appendix in the back of the ebook like you’re doing on your website?

It’s a bit of guerilla marketing and creates a place for “insiders” who want to be part of an inner circle. These are the people who I trade email with whenever they want (up to a limit). I caught on to this idea from other indie authors who reported how much fun it was. And they’re right! I’ve been a traditionally published author and now I’m an indie author. Unlike trade authors, indies get to build pretty close relationships with their readers. It’s a nice benefit.

Author's Book List
Lone Hunter - Will Finch Mystery Thriller Series Book 3
One billion dollars. Two killers. Three ways to die.

A villain emerges from the collapse of the Soviet Union and threatens to destroy Finch, Eve and Sochi. And behind the scenes a more sinister menace prepares to strike them all. The encrypted files should shield the billion dollar fortune at stake, but only if Finch can turn one killer against the other.... Unless Finch, Eve and Sochi are murdered first.

If you have an appetite for organized crime series, you’ll love this new crime trilogy. Add a slice of noir novels, the juice of steamy PI mysteries, the zest of a financial thriller series. Soon you’ll be stewing in this new technothriller trilogy — and begging for more.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Stone Eater - Will Finch Mystery Thriller Series Book 2
A reporter on the rebound. An ex-cop with nothing to lose. A murder they can only solve together.

Will Finch returns to the San Francisco eXpress convinced that Gianna Whitelaw was murdered. But everyone else claims that she threw herself from the Golden Gate Bridge. Who can dispute the facts? Her suicide note posted on Facebook. Her fiancée, murdered. Her fast-lane love-life, a disgrace. When her father, US Senator Franklin Whitelaw, demands that the press respect his family’s privacy, the story is quietly shut down.

Then Finch receives a mysterious text from Eve Noon. She knew Gianna. And she knows about Gianna’s intimate night with Finch. Her revelations could ruin his career. Will she destroy him, or can Finch use what Eve knows to crack open the case?

If you love a gripping financial thriller series that crackles with the voltage of a technothriller trilogy, then grab the second installment in this new crime trilogy. This hot fusion of PI mysteries, an organized crime series, and noir crime new releases will keep you reading through the night!

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Bone Maker - Will Finch Mystery Thriller Series Book 1
A death in the wilderness. A woman mourns alone. A reporter works a single lead.

If you have an appetite for organized crime series, you’ll love this new crime trilogy. Add a slice of noir novels, the juice of steamy PI mysteries, the zest of a financial thriller series. Soon you’ll be stewing in this new technothriller trilogy — and begging for more.

Following a family tragedy that has broken his spirit, crime reporter Will Finch returns to his news desk in San Francisco eager to reboot his career and renew his lease on life. When he’s assigned to cover the grisly death of a witness to a multi-million dollar bitcoin fraud, Finch discovers some troubling complications: A Mercedes-Benz abandoned in the wilderness. A wounded bear. A cop who rules a remote town with an iron fist. And the witness’s fiancée — a US senator’s daughter — knows there’s something mysterious about her lover’s death. But what?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Fire Eyes
Make room for Billy Deerborn.

Billy Deerborn talks to the voices in his head and the dogs that roam his psyche. When he was a baby, he was found by the side of a road in a brown paper bag. Yesterday he blew up a power station.

A name to remember in the world of military thrillers.

Fire Eyes is the story in between those two events -- the making of modern madness. From that roadside ditch we follow Billy from foster homes to institutions to the army, along the way witnessing his fractured liaisons with the opposite sex and his attempts to find solidity through friendship.

It is a story of mental illness, of the impotence of social services, and of the armed forces as the unwitting inheritors of those who fall through the cracks -- and of the power of love to both destroy and save. It is a story of alienation, urban terrorism and survival.

He's out there, waiting.

Yet in the end Billy survives. He is out there still, as are others like him, waiting for the coalescence of just the right accidents of fate to make their marks on the world.

Order the Book From:

Suitcase - A Short Story
Data. Facts. Information. Knowledge. Wisdom.

When David describes this pyramid of wisdom to his father — one step building to another — he doesn’t reveal that the idea came to him in a dream. It’s not a scientific theory. Nothing anyone could ever prove. It’s simply a thought-provoking notion to keep their final conversation from trailing into meaningless homilies.

But is the sequence missing something?

As Harris considers the puzzle during the last few weeks of his life, he insists there is more for his son to consider. We’re not robots, he maintains. From our consciousness emerges a missing ingredient on the path to wisdom. But what is the “missing” part — and can it really help us to become wise?

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Healing the Dead
A child is shot in a game of Mob

When David captures the accidental shooting death of his best friend on film, the Sykes family is torn apart by guilt, isolation and a terrible inability to love. Who to blame? Who can save them?

Their world is thrown into chaos.

Children of ambitious parents, Jayne, Rose and David Sykes struggle to assert their individual identities in a world they believe is confused at best, brutally hypocritical at worst. Through the turbulent 1960s — as they move from Toronto to New York City — they struggle to keep their family intact. One by one, each must confront the emotional debris that threatens to break through their carefully constructed defenses.

Love offers the only salvation.

Ultimately, the hand of love is extended to David. But can he embrace it? Powerful and disturbing, Healing the Dead is an unforgettable story of the search for salvation in the rapidly changing morality of the 1960s.

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The Good Lie
A Day on the Water. A Moment of Panic. Lives Changed Forever.

As Paul Wakefield paddles his kayak across Mouat Channel off Vancouver Island, he hears the engine of a yacht cutting through the fog toward him. In an instant, the cruiser swamps Paul and the young girl beside him and disappears into the fog, never to be seen again. Dumped into the winter ocean, the terrified girl thrashes in the ice-cold water, submerging Paul in her frenzy to survive. In a desperate attempt to save them both, Paul makes a fateful decision.

The Child Must be Revenged. Who will Survive?

The Good Lie goes deep into the hearts and souls of characters who struggle to adapt to an utterly senseless incident. Faced with grieving parents demanding retribution, Paul and his wife Valerie find their relationship pressured by a series of events that threaten to consume them.

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Barnes and Noble

Exit From America
When a stroll down memory lane becomes a rush for the exit.

Shattered by the death of his wife, Doyle Mere returns to San Francisco, his wife's home town and the city he used to know and love. He plans to settle into Haight-Ashbury and write a memoir, believing that if he can clarify the past it will lead to a more certain future.

But when Doyle is robbed — twice in one day — he realizes that he has to adapt to an unfamiliar world consumed by wildfires, drought, power failure and social collapse. This is not the San Francisco he so fondly remembers. It’s become a palace of wealth and technology for the elite one percent — but inhabited by drug users, criminals and the dispossessed.

After his initial setback, Doyle finds comfort with neighbors in a restored Victorian mansion. Together they befriend a wayward artist whose daughter carries a secret that will soon test everyone’s courage and grit. But is their bond strong enough to overcome impending crisis? When the chaos threatens to strike at the core of this new-found tribe, Doyle must call upon the twin sons he left behind to save them.

When Things Fall Apart, Can the Center Hold?

Exit from America is a coiled-up, character-driven novel set in a world on the brink of disaster. Balanced on the edge of suspense and psycho-drama, the novel portrays five disparate souls trying to escape the pending collapse before they are buried in its ruins.

At the end of the journey, Exit from America leaves you with the two essentials you’ll need in your own personal emergency kit: a road map to freedom, and the will to survive.

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Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
HBS Author's Spotlight
eBook Author’s Corner
Top Shelf Author Advice
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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