Author Guest Post
My Writing Process
I typically get up every weekday morning between 4:00 and 4:30 in the morning. I like to get at least six hours of sleep, so sometimes I may have to give myself until 4:30 if I’ve had to work late at my job. On the weekends, I get up a little later, usually between 5:30 and 6.
Once I’m up, I make coffee and I’ll read The Upper Room Bible devotion, which is a nice kick start to the day and I can usually read it while the coffee brews. Then I take a shower and get dressed in my writing clothes, which have to be comfortable. Corduroy pants and a long sleeve t-shirt usually fit the bill. After I’m dressed and have my first cup of coffee down the hatch, I eat breakfast and allow myself to read a few pages of whatever book I’m currently reading. Right now, it’s John Grisham’s Sycamore Row.
After I’m done eating, I pour half a pot of coffee into a thermos and head upstairs to my writing studio. Before a couple of weeks ago, I would have set my laptop up at the kitchen table and done my writing there. The studio is something that has been in the works since November, and it is finally done. When you hear “studio,” you probably think of something big, but my writing room is essentially a converted attic. The ceiling slopes with the roof, and there are only a few feet of space to stand up straight. However, the studio has turned out perfect. The walls are made of cedar, so the feel I get when I step through the door is that of walking into a cabin. In fact, the person who built the studio modeled the wood on the walls after my sister in law’s lake house, which has the same wonderful smell. Anyway, every time I walk in the door, the smell of cedar hits me and I’m ready to work.
I turn on the laptop and pull up the novel I’m currently working on. I pour a cup of coffee from the thermos and carefully read the notes I typed in bold and all capital letters at my stopping point the day before. When I end a session, I always jot a few ideas for the next day’s session in bold and all caps so I have something to go on. After I read those thoughts, I carefully go over what I wrote the previous day, fixing any typographical errors and reading for pace. How is the beat? Does it flow? Could it flow better? If I’m beginning with a new chapter, I’ll make sure my transition was smooth. If I’m still in the middle of a chapter, I’ll read what came before it, and try to have my hands on the keyboard, ready to go, when I get to the end so that I’ll be ready to pick back up.
Then, whether I’m starting a new chapter or picking up in the middle of one…it just happens. The story flows into my mind, and I start typing. Sometimes I get five pages, sometimes only one, but I write something. Usually, after an hour and a half, I’ve reached a stopping point or my brain is in need of a break, so I stop. I change from my writing clothes into my attorney clothes, and I’m off to work. Typically, this morning writing session is the only time I can write during the work day, so it is sacred time. I try very hard not to let anything interfere with it, though I am far from perfect and sometimes I do miss a session.
An hour and a half of writing probably does not seem like a whole lot, but it is surprising how quickly the pages begin to pile up when I write every single day.
When I’m writing, I also like to be reading a book (the above-mentioned Sycamore Row is what’s on tap now) as well as listening to one on tape in my car—I am currently listening to John Sandford’s Easy Prey. My happy place is when I am writing a story, reading a story and listening to a story all at once. Constant reading and listening keeps the beat of the story in my mind. The rhythm so to speak that helps so much with transitions and pacing.
Anyway, when I first started writing, I varied my process, but now it is pretty much set in stone. Having a routine helps me relax and concentrate on the story, which is the fun part. The best part of my day is that first hour and a half in the writing studio with the door closed and my imagination running wild.
About The Author
Bailey was born in Huntsville, Ala., in 1973. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Davidson College in North Carolina and graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 1999. In law school, Bailey was honored with the Award for Outstanding Achievement at the American Judicature Society Interscholastic Trial Competition. He made Law Review and was a member of the Bench and Bar Legal Honor Society. Somehow, between studying and preparing for the bar exam, Bailey managed to watch every home football game.
For the past 14 years, Bailey has practiced law as a civil defense trial attorney in Huntsville at the law firm of Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne. In addition to representing health care providers and nursing homes in medical liability cases, he defends trucking companies, insurance carriers, insureds and businesses in injury-related lawsuits.
Bailey is admitted to practice before the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court – Northern and Middle Districts of Alabama and Western District of Tennessee – and in all Alabama state courts.
He is a member of several professional associations including the International Association of Defense Counsel, Defense Research Institute, Alabama Defense Lawyers’ Association, Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association and the Alabama Bar Association.
Bailey’s first novel, The Professor, was published on Jan. 28, 2014 by Exhibit A Books.
Bailey is married with three children. When he’s not writing or practicing law, he’s playing golf, coaching his sons’ little league baseball teams and, of course, cheering on the Crimson Tide.
The Professor by Robert Bailey
Book 1: McMurtrie and Drake Investigation Series
Publisher: Exhibit A
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Format: Paperback - 416 pages / Kindle - 838 KB / Nook - 752 KB
Genre: Legal Thriller
BUY THE BOOK: The Professor
BUY THE SERIES: McMurtrie and Drake Investigations
Book 1: The Professor
Book 2: Between Black and White (Publication: TBA)
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by JKSCommunications.
Thomas Jackson McMurtrie is a living legend scorned. Forty years ago, he gave up a promising career as a trial lawyer to become a law professor at the University of Alabama at the request of his mentor, Alabama football Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Now Tom is forced into retirement, betrayed by both a powerful colleague and his own failing health.
Meanwhile the young family of one of his oldest friends is killed in a tragic road collision. Believing his career is over, Tom refers the case to a brilliant, yet beleaguered, former student, who begins to uncover the truth behind the tragedy, buried in a tangled web of arson, bribery and greed.
But as the eve of trial approaches, the young attorney’s case begins to unravel. In over his head and at the end of his rope, he realizes there’s only one man who can help…
The Professor is the first in a series of tense legal thrillers featuring the enthralling and brilliant legal team of McMurtrie and Drake, combining the thrills and authenticity of a John Grisham novel for the audience that flocked to Friday Night Lights.
My Book Review:
In his debut novel, The Professor, author Robert Bailey utilizes his extensive legal knowledge and experience interwoven with his passion for his alma mater, University of Alabama, to weave a riveting and unforgettable legal thriller that will captivate the reader's attention from beginning to end.
This is a fast-paced story about greed, bribery, betrayal, and a fight for justice. It is a classic legal chess game set in Alabama between evil big business and corrupt politicians versus a seasoned legal professor and his young protegee, that provides a powerful and compelling story with enough gripping thrills and chills interspersed with drama and suspenseful twists and turns.
What more could a fan of college football and legal thrillers want then to lose themselves in between the pages of this emotional story? The author does a wonderful job of interweaving his legal experience and passion for 'Bama football with richly detailed and descriptive references that easily transports the reader to a small town Alabama courtroom and the Crimson Tide campus where the legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant ruled supreme.
With a complex and realistic cast of characters; witty dialogue and dramatic heart pounding interactions; and a fascinating mystery/crime storyline with an authentic style that flows seamlessly from beginning to end; The Professor is a thoroughly entertaining legal crime story that takes the reader on one hell of a thrilling roller coaster ride!
RATING: 4 STARS ****
Virtual Book Tour Schedule
Q&A Feature at The Page Turners Book Club
Interview at Omnimystery News
Guest Post at Dear Teen Me
Guest Post at Bibliophilia, Please
Interview at Infinite House of Books
Review at Crystal’s Book Reviews
Interview at Literary Lunes Publications
Review and Guest Post at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Review and Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at Now is Gone Review at My Bookshelf
at 4:00pm EST “Read On” Live Web Chat Show at Crossroad Reviews
Also on the Tour:
Review at Now is Gone
Review at My Bookshelf