Hello, I’m Dennis Bailey and I’m the author of the “just in time for Christmas” thriller, The Boy Who Cried Christmas. Before continuing, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Susan for inviting me to be a guest on Suite T and giving me this opportunity to tell you the story of how a chance meeting with an angel on the streets of New York City leads a skeptical young boy back in time to meet the newborn Messiah. There, he faces threats from a number of adversaries, including a king named Herod. However, when he returns to the present, he faces as much skepticism about the veracity of his ordeal as he did physical danger while visiting the past.
I think one of the toughest decisions for an author to make is what to write for their second novel. It’s a unique circumstance, one to which their third, fourth, fifth, and every book following seems immune. This is especially true if their first title experiences even a modicum of success. The pall of suffering the dreaded sophomore jinx can prove quite debilitating.
People often ask where writers get their inspiration. In my case, beyond the leading of the Holy Spirit, that’s not an easy question to answer. I knew I wanted to write a Christmas story. I just didn’t know when. For my theme, I chose a story about a spoiled brat sent back in time to witness the birth of Christ, who would then return to a cool reception of incredulity at the testimony of his experience. Thus, the tie-in to Aesop’s famous fable about a boy who cried wolf. The title character from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” provided the inspiration for my protagonist, Logan. Like many of you, I’d watched Charlie’s story on television every year since childhood, yet always hoped for him to have had a more personal experience with the Messiah. I was, therefore, determined for Logan to have that experience and so created the character of Robert to escort him back to Bethlehem.
What writer looking to craft the character of an angel doesn’t immediately think of Clarence Odbody, the kindly old man sent to save George Bailey in the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life?” Tempted as I was to use Clarence as my template, instead I opted for a man in his thirties, deceased World War II hero Robert. Choosing a younger man to play the part of an angel not only allowed him to better identify with Logan, but also to more easily relate to my co-protagonist, forty-something FBI Agent Marcus Garraway.
2020 has been a difficult year for all of us. My hope for all those reading this book is that they will be able to experience a small taste of the wonder and excitement, the childlike faith that brought the Christmas story to life for Logan. In a world fraught with worldwide disease, social unrest, and political upheaval, the message of the manger remains an enduring truth. And aren’t we all thankful for that?
Dennis Bailey is a retired police detective who turned in his gun and badge for a monitor and keyboard. He is an ardent student of the Bible who felt the calling of God on his heart to take that learning and use it to further His glory.
Dennis’s first novel, Army of God, a story about how the animals of Noah’s Ark rose up to defend it against an invading army, is a Readers’ Favorite 2020 Gold Medal Award Winner.