Dennis Bailey, author of The Boy Who Cried Christmas is visiting today sharing with us the story behind his new book. He 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.
Dennis, welcome to AuthorsVisits.
Hello, Thank you for having me.
Tell us about you book. It is a “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 AuthorsVisits and for giving me this opportunity to spotlight the novel .
We are delighted to have you Dennis. I am anxious to hear more about your new book.
It’s 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.
What an interesting story. How did you come up with this idea?
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.
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.
The character for the angel, what was your thinking when creating him?
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.
Can you give us a description of the novel to pique our interest:
9-year-old Logan Ailshie, the only son of well-to-do parents, was used to getting his way, especially during the holidays. For him, Christmas wasn’t just about making a list but making sure it was long enough. He also had a reputation for embellishing the truth. That is until a chance meeting with an angel on the streets of Manhattan ends with a journey back in time to the birthplace of Christianity. Eventually, he makes his way home with a story that could change all their lives. He only has one problem . . . no one will believe him.
I can’t wait to read this book. I want to thank you for coming to visit with us.
Thank you for having me. 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?
Most definitely. Thank you again for visiting. Please visit Dennis at his website www.dennisbaileyauthor.com and for
an even better flavor for the story, check out The Boy Who Cried Christmas video trailer: