Vince Bailey's second installment in the award-winning Curtis Jefferson series is available August 1st. We thought it was a great time for a conversation with our author about the series and his life as a writer.
Courses of the Cursed
Book 2 Curtis Jefferson series
Available August 1 in print and e-book anywhere books are sold
African American youth Curtis Jefferson is still serving his one-year term at Fort Grant, where a horrific massacre still haunts the inhabitants. In the second book of the Curtis Jefferson series, our hero continues to be challenged by his nemesis, Harvey Huish, while a café owner struggles with a premonition that her nephew will be the victim of a treacherous plot. The parallel stories share a common theme: the curse of Fort Grant.
Vince Bailey’s award-winning Path of the Half Moon—the first book in the Curtis Jefferson series—was the Winner of the Arizona Authors’ Association Literary Award and the Chanticleer International Book Awards for Paranormal and Supernatural Fiction.
nterview with author, Vince Bailey
What fact about yourself would surprise your fans?
I think maybe readers might be surprised to know that I am 70 years old (unless, of course, they've looked at my photo). I say this because the series is given from a teenager's point of view. I believe I can do this quite handily at 70 though, because I'm still 15 in a lot of respects. Just ask my wife.
What brings you joy in your life?
Developments in the lives of my five children gives me my greatest joy. When good kids develop into good people--well, that's the best possible legacy one can leave to this world.
What is your motivation to write?
I think ego is one strong motivator for most authors, and I question the honesty of authors who disagree. People like to do things they are good at and people are usually good at things they like to do. But another thing that motivates me is the feeling I get when I connect on a personal level with complete strangers through my writing. That's electrifying!
What books did you love growing up?
At 10, I loved the Hardy Boys mysteries. At 12, it was Tom Sawyer. At 14, it was A Catcher in the Rye. At 15, it was Lord of the Flies. At 16, it was Lord of the Rings. At 17, it was The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. At 18, it was One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. At 20, it was One Hundred Years of Solitude. Quite the variety! Of course there were many in between--I was a voracious reader. These are just the standouts.
Tell us something about Courses of the Cursed that's not in the book blurbs.
Courses of the Cursed was once a part of a continuous 1200-page work. Being a neophyte novelist and having no knowledge of publishing protocols, I let my characters run away with my "book," paying no heed to its burgeoning size. My agent read it through, loved it, and promptly set me to work breaking it into three manageable stand-alone books. It was a year-long task of recreating, deleting, and weaving chapters together, seeking a good blend of sovereignty and continuity. The result is the Curtis Jefferson/Fort Grant series: Path of the Half Moon, Courses of the Cursed, and the upcoming Merging Paths.
When did you first realize a desire to write?
I recall writing my own comic book versions of Flash Gordon episodes. Not that I plagiarized the story lines--those were mine--but I did steal the characters and the interplanetary settings. I think I was eight at the time. Throughout the years, I've written news stories, magazine articles, opinion pieces and a few short stories. I currently pen a monthly column in a nationally published trade magazine. All the time I wondered when I would find the time to write the Great American Novel (I was and still am a full-time employee of a commercial construction firm).
About 15 years ago, I gave up wondering and started to write Path of the Half Moon, a chapter at a time. It took a good twelve years of piecemeal writing on evenings and during weekends to produce the 1200-page Jeremiad described above. I am still polishing the 3rd book in the series. It never ends.
Vince Bailey grew up in Central Arizona, starting in the late nineteen-fifties. His youthful experiences there contribute significantly to the nostalgic aspect of his fiction writing. Courses of the Cursed is the second book in the award-winning Curtis Jefferson series. His debut novel, Path of the Half Moon, is the Winner of the Arizona Authors’ Association Literary Award and the Chanticleer International Book Awards for Paranormal and Supernatural Fiction.
Vince has also been published in several college and local newspapers, and for the past ten years he has penned a column for a nationally distributed trade periodical. Mr. Bailey currently resides in Peoria, Arizona, with his wife, Rita. He's currently working on the next book in the Curtis Jefferson series. Follow the author at www.vincebaileyauthor.com.