A BESTSELLER BEFORE I DIE
I want to be a bestseller before I die! You can help. On behalf of every other author with a similar dream, let me say, "If you love a book author and want to help them ...buy their book and encourage
others to buy it too. “John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books,
says “Don't put off buying the book. Don't wait for the holidays to buy the
book as a gift. First, the sooner you buy, the more confidence you'll inspire
in your friend. Second, media and other decision makers pick up on a book based
on the momentum the book inspires. The more sales at the beginning of the
book's life, the more attention it will get from key decision makers, the
media, and consumers.”
My road to glory is still unchartered territory, but let me share with you how I developed my passion for writing. My career took me from High School English teacher to a biotechnology executive and former president of the Greater Miami Society of
Human Resource Management before I shifted to writing books. Today I’m the
author of a new suspense novel, SHADOW CAY and three illustrated children’s
Although writing had always been my passion and release, my journey started in 2000 when I completed the Writer’s Digest School’s Novel Writing Workshop and in 2004 won The Stuart News/Scripps News
Second Annual Writing Contest, by creating a recurring hero in a fictitious
series of crime/mystery novels. By the time Byline Magazine named me a finalist in theShort-Short
Story, Short-Article, and Character Sketch Awards in 2005 and 2006, I started freelancing and venturing into suspense
fiction. However, after enjoying watching my grandson Logan grow from baby to
toddler, I got an idea for a solidly-constructed book with cheerful
illustrations about tots.
My husband did the cover and interior layout; my illustrator, Catherine Baptista Davis, is my 85-year-old mother, a watercolorist with a passion for seascapes and lighthouses and a professional
artist since 1998. She started painting when she was 75, like Grandma Moses. Our
project was a labor of love, because so many of the family got involved. The
result was the 32-page board book ONE IS FUN (Ages 0-4), awarded
Creative Child Magazine’s prestigious Preferred Choice Award.
Yet, my dream for the past 15 years persisted…to write a mainstream suspense novel, and it came true April 2010 with the launch of SHADOW CAY, recently named a
finalist by the Florida Writers Association in the thriller/suspense category. I
wrote the lead character with Johnny Depp in mind. Currently I’m working with a
production company, interested in the movie rights. I can definitely see this
book as a major motion picture with long shots of Miami and the Bahamian Out
SHADOW CAY is a story I had to write. Many things influenced me including: our travels, my husband's forensic expertise, my biotech experiences and his. Even the current Middle East wars, the current economic times, and the business downturn all factored into my plotline. On the dark side of American industry, there is no more precious
commodity than money. Sometimes lackluster financial statements, pessimistic
stakeholders and global competition fuel greed and inhumanity. That’s how the
When scientist Peter Duncan and vigilante Madeleine Nesbitt realize their next heartbeat might kill them, they live a life on the edge. They discover when industry icons sell
their souls, ethical employees become huge liabilities. From the Bahamas to
Florida, their story is captivating, their bravery unique, their story full of
twists and turns. If you've ever wondered what happens to those who openly
oppose the new order, then Shadow Cay is a must read for you.
I’m not sure which was more enjoyable: writing Shadow Cay or researching it. Half of the story takes place in the Bahamian Out Islands. For three months my husband
and I cruised approximately 1,700 miles this area in our 33-foot sailboat, Cloud Chaser. During this adventure, I
read Bahamian history books, saw and photographed the sights, and talked with
local experts. Our itinerary ranged from the usual tourist traps to remote, uninhabited islets in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle, miles from the typical traveler's radar. Here we enjoyed
crystalline water, unspoiled white beaches and surreal sunsets.
Most of SHADOW CAY was written in the Exumas, surrounded by these incredible views. And the show stopper was Normans Cay. My research into its history led me to flash back two decades: A dramatic flying adventure, international intrigue, a forced
crash landing, a brush with death, and a tropical island paradise with a seedy
The other half of the story takes place in Miami where I lived for 27 years. As the wife of a forensic professional with 21 years in the MDPD crime lab, I quickly absorbed Miami’s underbelly and the critical role
forensics plays in solving crimes. Thanks to my husband Walt’s expertise, I
also have a ready resource and a technical advisor, who always answered my
endless questions about police and lab procedurals.
The president of Florida Association of Forensic Professionals (“FAOFP”) recently endorsed SHADOW CAY! Chere Reynolds, Criminalist II, MDPD and the President of FAOFP said, “Leona Bodie is a masterful storyteller, and I highly recommend her new thriller, SHADOW CAY. The MDPD
Crime Lab was inspiration for some parts of my first novel. This book speaks to
the challenges Forensic Professionals face every day especially in Dade County.
SHADOW CAY is a steamy suspense about murder, drug cartel and local corruption
taking place in the warm tropics between Miami and the Bahamas.”
As you can see, I’m living my dream and looking forward to more unchartered territory!