The following is an interview conducted via the internet with local Lee County Author Tina Bailey on December 6, 2002.




(PGapGal): Hi Tina, thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

(Tina Bailey): Itís my pleasure. I have to get use to doing this interview stuff. I've had so many people call and want one. Usually in person...I get choked up and blush a lot.. lol. Itís so much easier over the pc.

(PGapGal): Tell our visitors a little about yourself?

(Tina): I just turned 24 on Nov. 30. I grew up in ...well...we've moved a lot but I was raised in Pennington Gap all of my life. I was raised by my parents, Aubrey Stapleton and Jennifer Hammonds. I have one brother, Kris Stapleton (Twiddle). I had a great childhood and wonderful friends. I miss them all so much. I would give anything to go back. But, I am married now to Ron Bailey, Jr. (of Dryden). We were married in July of 1999 and now live on Big Hill. Most of the time...lol. I love being married. When we are finally together we have a great time. We both work a lot. He works with R.S. Jones (machine operator) and I work full time at Food City in Pennington Gap (Front End Manager) and part time at Cato's in Big Stone Gap (not very often). So, we really don't get a lot of time with each other and when we do...we usually sleep. I do have two things now that I have never had before since I've been married to Ron. Nieces and nephews. I love kids and I hope to have some of my own in the NEAR future. I have to mention their names in this, too. I think they get a kick out of seeing their names on the internet. Nieces: Tasha, Sonya and Sarah. Nephews: Bufford and CJ. CJ actually has a page on my website.

(PGapGal): Tell us about your book íNext Time Aroundí.

(Tina): The early portions of the work set up the situation between Dylan and Molly, describing the fleeting moments of attraction between them that lead to a high school romance of emotional extremes for the two of them. This is contrasted by the love that Dylan finds later with Jessie, and a symbolic event occurs when Seth and Matt lure him to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. He unexpectedly meets up with an old friend and his feelings for her come to the surface, but the conclusion finds him following through with his intentions to marry someone else, while the loss of Dylan for the last time drives an old friend to take her own life. "Next Time Around" is designed to illustrate these extremes of heartbreak and joy for your central characters, and the brisk pace that is brought to the work may add to the overall impact of its conclusion. Dylan Walters was a twenty-seven-year-old doctor, who lived in Madison County, Virginia. Despite his maturity, his heart and mind remained with a girl he had known and shared the best years of his childhood and adolescence. Molly, on the other hand, wanted something different. She was very stubborn and disturbed by what other people may have thought of her and the choices she made. Together, they made the perfect example of a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde but one day realized that they had fallen for each other. Molly didnít want to accept her feelings toward Dylan and her home life was a constant reminder of what she didnít want her life to become. They part after a small quarrel to attend separate colleges. There, Dylan met his bride-to-be and made plans for their future together. His friends, Mat and Seth, also his best buddies from high school, decide to throw him a bachelor party in Las Vegas. They thought Dylan was not ready to settle down with just one woman and needed to experience more of the world and all the exciting things it had to offer. But Dylan never expected to run into an old friend while celebrating his engagement. In a race against time, they rushed to make it back to Madison County to his bride waiting for him to take her hand in marriage. But his heart beats in a different direction . . . or does it?

(PGapGal): What was your inspiration for this book?

(Tina): Well... I was bored. I had always wanted to write. I started writing a book about four years ago and quit. At the time, my husband and I weren't really getting a lot of time with each other and I guess I was a little emotional and depressed. I remember telling my mom and friends, etc. that I was going to write a book "about a guy that falls in love with his best friend (also his neighbor) and they get into a fight and she leaves. He goes to college and meets his bride to be and his buddies throw a bachelor party for him. Or, that's what he thought they were going to do. Actually they buy him a hooker and it ends up being the best friend that he was in love with." I really only had that much figured out so far. Everyone was like "Yeah, ok, Tina. Whatever." I distinctly remember my mom telling me that. Itís not that she didnít believe me I donít think...itís just that...at the time, it was a silly idea. So, I really don't have an inspiration...just a drive to show someone, anyone, it can be done. I honestly couldnít believe it myself.

(PGapGal): Is there any particular reason you chose Madison Co. as the setting?

(Tina): No. I just thought the name was pretty.

(PGapGal): Where did you get your character names?

(Tina): Actually, all were off the top of my head except one. If I ever have a little boy, his name will be Dylan Kristopher (after my brother). I've always loved that name.

(PGapGal): Are you currently working on another book? If so, could we have a preview of what itís about?

(Tina):Yes, actually, I've started several and just haven't been in the mood to work on them. I have finished one that everyone has been asking me about. It's called Barron's Inn. I've submitted it but my publishing company hasn't gotten back to me yet. Barron's Inn is a suspense thriller. I've been thinking of adding to it and spending a little more time on the story line. I think it will do well. All of the characters in this story are real and I probably won't release this until the story is released. The movie "The Exorcist" inspired me to write this book. This movie scared the life right out of me and I'll never watch it again. I've always been a real "scaredy cat" anyway. This book is about a man who lost his wife to her profession and she dies from curiosity of a house on Falon Lane that the whole town feared. He decides to take a couple friends to this house called Barron's Inn (was an old hotel). During their stay, they experience things beyond their imagination. I have a review of a chapter on the website: http://www.geocities.com/sweetbiteohoney/hotelcalifornia.html. Oh, I almost forgot. This book is based on the Eagles song, Hotel California as well as inspired by "The Exorcist".

(PGapGal): When did you first start writing?

(Tina):When I was in school, me and a couple friends would write short stories and read them back to each other when we were finished. We were so silly.

(PGapGal): Why do you write?

(Tina):I write to get away. I write for the same reason that people watch soap operas. You can make people do and say anything you want. You can act out your favorite fantasy or tragedy. And my favorite, you can make a man be as sweet and lovable as you would like them to be. Instead of stuck on themselves and just totally boring like they really are. My writing gets me away from the hunting shows, the fishing shows, the gun cleaning sessions, the bill paying, the house cleaning...ya know, real life. If I'm angry for some reason, I sit and write in an argument into my story. LOL... that's just the start of it though. Once I write it down and get it out of my system, I'm fine.

(PGapGal): How does it feel to be a published author?

(Tina): It feels absolutely great. It's not really the interviews that people call and want from you, the radio shows, the signings....it's the people. When someone comes up to you and recites a part from their favorite chapter or tells you that you inspired them to write a book for themselves. Even when they have already written a story and want your help in publishing it or reviewing it. That's what it's all about...showing other people that just because you live in a small town or aren't popular or have no money...you can still do this. Anyone can write a story, anyone can entertain. Just write from your heart. Tell the truth! It will sell, I promise you.

(PGapGal): Do you have something you wish to accomplish with the things you write? (i.e. enjoyment, challenge, fear...what do you want people to take away with them when they read your writing? Do you ever have a message?)

(Tina): I like to make people cry. LOL... I've had so many people tell me that this book made them cry.

(PGapGal): What time of day do you find you are most creative?

(Tina): At night, most definitely. When the house is quiet and everyone's in bed. No television going, no radio sounding...just me and my imagination. And, I have to be in the mood to write. I can't just sit down at anytime and start typing. There has to be some type of emotion, aggravation, anger... there has to be something to drive me.

(PGapGal): What sort of things do you do for fun?

(Tina):I have always like basketball. I had a neighbor once that I use to let beat me. He knows this isn't true.. lol.. but I think I can beat him now! I love to fish but I don't get to go very often. I love to cook! I'm sort of into crafts...wood, clay, painting...that sort of thing. And, I love to play with my puppy...he's a black cocker spaniel. My daddy bought him for me back around May. His name is Toby.

(PGapGal): Do you have a favorite author/authors?

(Tina):Well, your not going to believe this but, I don't read. I hate to read! I donít even read directions if I don't have to. I have read one book called Carrie by Stephen King. Oh, and I read the first couple of pages of Great Expectations in high school.

(PGapGal): Is there a particular book or author that influenced you a lot? Personally or professionally.

(Tina):Well, I have to say that Adriana Trigiani influenced me some. But, mostly, my friends and family.

(PGapGal): How do you feel about writing? And how does it feel when you are writing? Exciting, frustrating, or is it just business?

(Tina): It's all those things. And, it's never business. If you thought about writing as a business, it won't sell and people wouldn't like you. I try to be a crowd pleaser...always have. Sometimes, I can sit here and start writing a book and not get up until in the morning. If I have some idea...I have to write it down right then before it leaves me. So.. you can imagine, I have notes all over my desk! My desk is Post It central. But it helps. So, that's the exciting part. The frustrating part is when your in a slump. You know that you really need to work on that book but you just aren't in the mood to sit and think of something exciting to keep your readers from getting up. A book mark is a writers worst enemy. That book mark can stay in one place forever before your reader picks it back up. Don't let them lay it down! Keep them entertained! Make them feel like they will miss something if they do get up to do something else. ...He-he.. I love this stuff!

(PGapGal): Can you ever see yourself not writing anymore?

(Tina): No...there will always be a story.

(PGapGal): What part of you shows through in your writing? What does your writing say about you?

(Tina): It says that I am a hopeless romantic with a twist. I love to be romanced, I love to be scared....laugh. I love to laugh.. anyone who spends anytime with me at all knows this.

(PGapGal): Have any advice for an unpublished writer?

(Tina): Yes, you can do it. Send your work to everyone you can think of. Local radio stations, local book stores, have your own editors and listen to them and what they have to say. They are your readers to and they will tell you what they would be excited to read about in a good book. My editors are my closest friends. They don't have to be experts. Go talk to your old english teachers, literature teachers, contact local authors such as Adriana Trigiani, Lee Smith, etc. I've had so many people come into the store wanting me to help them get published or read their work. I love to help out. And, don't get discouraged. It's easy to do that. No matter how many publishing companies turn you down... keep revising, keep adding in and reading your work over and over. It will happen. Your heart has to be in it. Praying helps out a lot.

(PGapGal): Where can we purchase your book?

(Tina):My book is available at Norton Floral (Pennington Gap), Food City (Pennington Gap), Barnes & Noble (www.bn.com), www.amazon.com, www.walmart.com, etc. There's more on my website.. they are all listed. I believe it's even been on Half.com and eBay.com. I'm working on getting it into Walmart stores. I have a link on my site where people can write to them and tell them that they want to see ĎNext Time Aroundí on Walmart shelves. I appreciate anyone who has done this to help out. God bless you. You can also just print out an order form from www.geocities.com/sweetbiteohoney/orderform.html and send it straight to my publishing company. I think that way is even quicker and cheaper. Or... give me a call and I'll get you a book. I am always tickled to hear from my readers.

(PGapGal): Is there anything else youíd like to tell us?

(Tina):I would like to thank everyone who has bought one of my books. I hope you enjoy the story. We have a calendar full of things to do until the end of this year. Anyone wanting to start our calendar for next year (readings, signings, etc.) please call (546-4610) and let me set it up before it's too late! Also, don't forget to visit my website www.geocities.com/sweetbiteohoney/sweets_page.html and sign my guestbook. Always glad to receive a comment whether good or bad. We all learn from criticism.

(PGapGal): Again, thank you for doing this interview, and best of luck with your book. I hope it's a huge success!

(Tina): Thanks for the interview and I hope you and everyone else has a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! God bless you all. xoxo