Updated: Feb 19
Exclusive interview with author of page-turning, action-packed military thriller Not On My Watch
Jeff Bailey is known to many as a talented author who keeps readers “gripped from the first page” as reviews reveal for his military thriller Not On My Watch available to purchase on Amazon.
Mr. Bailey, author of The Defect and Not On My Watch was born in San Bernardino and grew up all over the state of California. A military veteran with accolades of accomplishments including having served as an operations superintendent, extensive background in nuclear power, Top Secret clearance and previous work with RPMP project systems engineering group.
Aside from having two US patents, one on the control algorithm for ElectroSpark Deposition (ESD) system andthe other on the Surface Sifter (SuSi) surface treatment system, he’s being recognized and awarded by The Pacific Northwest Writers Association as a finalist in the screenwriting category for Not On My Watch and was featured in The Entertainer Magazine (October 2017) for his nuclear terrorism novel, The Defect.
When did you decide to join the military and why?
For me, the military was a family legacy. My father was in the Army at the end of WWII and I have traced my family tree back to both the Civil War and The American Revolution. Both my oldest grand-daughter and her husband are Marine corp. veterans. I found college to be a little too tame and there were far more opportunities in the military. I wanted to travel the world and experience things that few people ever get to. In the Army, I worked with nuclear weapons and as an operator/supervisor in a nuclear power plant. One can only guess at the choice of careers that I had when I separated. I know that the military is not for everyone, but for me, it was the best decision I ever made.
What was your inspiration if anything when writing the page-turning, military thriller, Not On My Watch?
With almost fifty years working in one nuclear based profession or another. I had already experienced the story research that I would have had to do for the story. Also, at the time, my oldest granddaughter was an aviation rescue firefighter in the U.S. Marines. She was my muse. One of my assignments in the Army was at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. With these inspirations, the story just sort of wrote itself.
Do you have a favorite actor or actress?
Oh my, that’s a hard one. My wife and I are big movie buffs (no surprise there.) I would have to say Tom Hanks is my favorite actor for his role in Forest Gump and Charlize Theron has always stood out for portrayal in Monster. How can someone so beautiful portray someone so ugly. Stunning.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Here I show my age. My favorite movie of all time is The Forbidden Planet with Leslie Nielsen. The whole theme fit my love of Sci-Fi. For a modern movie, I liked the original Star Wars.
What piece of work or works contributed to your recognition and award issued by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association?
The biggest factor to my enjoyment of writing the screenplay was that I got to co-author with a very talented and prolific screenwriter and short film producer named Randy LaBarge. Every line of the screenplay was an education. And make no mistake, Randy is a ‘piece of work.’ We love him to death. Thanks Randy.
What motivated you to pursue a career as a writer?
I’ve always been a voracious reader. While I was still working, I just liked telling stories. After I resigned my position on the science /engineering staff at the national lab, it just seemed like the next most interesting endeavor.
Do you have a favorite book and author, if so who and what?
Ayn Rand is, hands down, my favorite author of all time for her novel Atlas Shrugged. Of course, Fountainhead wasn’t half bad. For a modern author, I like the conspiracy thrillers of Nellie Nieman.
Do you have a favorite hobby?
I have two favorite waysto spend time - writing, of course and playing anything with my oldest great-grandson. He’s quite adept at Mine Craft.
Would you ever consider dating a fan?
I do date a fan, my wife of forty years, my biggest fan.
What are your current goals or ambitions?
Well, as you know, I plan to write the screenplay version of ach of my books as I write the books themselves. With eight more titles spreadsheeted (retired scientist), I think I’m going to be busy for a while. I have the same ambition as most writers, to make the NYT best seller list. As a secondary ambition, I want to see all of my books made into movies. Dream big. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Are you currently working on any new novels?
Always. My third novel, The Chilcoat Project is with my publisher and editors now. We’re looking at a summer release. My fourth novel Wine Country, inspired by my middlegranddaughter, is half done. I’m also working on an interesting collaboration with a YA author named Brad LaMar. He’s an accomplished YA fantasy author. We’re writing a four novel - four screenplay series called The American Pirate. The year 1880, the port town of New Orleans. Young Carlos joins the crew of the famous pirate Jean LaFitte to earn the money that his family needs to survive. What could go wrong? It’s a mash-up of Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean. Brad is fascinating to work with. We are so different in our writing and story-telling styles. The final product is unique. Next summer.
What’s something that you have rarely told anyone about yourself?
I can’t think of anything really noteworthy. I’m right-handed, but I work the Sunday NYT crossword puzzle left-handed.
What’s your biggest strength?
Strengths?? Uh, I have a good memory?? I have great health. Otherwise, I’m just a pretty average Joe.
What’s your biggest weakness?
I think my biggest weakness is that I can’t always come up with an answer to some questions.
Do you have a favorite band or musician?
Here’s comes my generation gap again, the Beatles and the Beach Boys make me smile. For modern artist, I like Taylor Swift and Bruno Marr. I’ve always found the songs of Etta James hauntingly relevant.
Describe the perfect day, how would the weather be and what would you be doing?
I live in Southern California. Every day is a perfect weather day. I like to spend my days outdoors in any family activity.
Do you have any travel destinations that you would like to visit?
I did all my traveling I needed when I was younger. These days, I find everything that I want to see right here at home in good old California.
With so much recent news related to Q Anon, can you shed light on what a Q Clearance is?
The ‘Q’ in ‘Q clearance has nothing to do with ‘Q-Anon.’ There are three levels of security clearance, ‘Q,’ ‘Secret,’ and ‘Top Secret.’
What’s your favorite food or drink?
Something that is known to everyone in our extended families is that my favorite food is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with sliced up hot dogs mixed in. Doesn’t that sound just too good?
What’s your favorite season? Why?
Perpetual SoCal summer, what choice do I have.
Have you ever binge-watched a series? Which one?
Yes, most definitely. My wife and I have binge watched Breaking Bad and Ozark more times that I’d like to admit.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Again, yes. “Life is a game of skill, not strength.’ Lloyd Bailey, my father.
Do you have a role model or person you admire?
That would be my wife. I can only aspire to be as gracious and comfortable with people as she always is. She continues to pull me out of my hard-science, technically focused personality.
You can own a copy of Not on My Watch, found on Amazon by clicking the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Not-My-Watch-Jeff-Bailey/dp/1625969775/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qi