Firing up the Muse
By Leona DeRosa Bodie, Author of SHADOW CAY
Have you ever read a great book and wondered what spark fired up that author? Was it pure imagination or real kindling in the author’s past that ignited the
writer’s burning desire to spin the tale? The catalyst that drove me to write
my fictional thriller, SHADOW CAY, was our personal story.
Some years ago, my husband Walt and I suffered through a rough NJ winter. This particular November, we carved our two cars out of an icy parking lot three
times in one week and skidded an hour to work. Right there and then, we decided
Florida living was for us. We were so desperate to escape our version of Antarctica,
we decided to quit our jobs and move. Fortunately, a highly reputable company
offered Walt not only a thrilling job in the “Sunshine State” but also a rich
relocation package that generously covered all our moving expenses.
I still remember my husband’s excitement after the new employee orientation. But weeks later, when he discovered huge irregularities, his enthusiasm for the job soured. As the
months and years flew by, he suspected illegal activities and criminal
wrongdoing. What should an employee do in a situation like that?
That’s what inspired SHADOW CAY. It’s the story of two people who discover a secret that threatens a million lives worldwide. My thriller, however, starts far from corporate
America in a remote Bahamian island paradise that soon collides with Miami big
business, when a vigilante and an amateur detective join forces. They risk
their lives to expose the man behind the world’s most profitable enterprise. But,
no one’s EVER crossed Rico Salazar and lived to talk about it.
Our story continues…
The pressures of working for a biotech company, which negatively impacted innocent patients everywhere, mounted. Walt was so stressed out, I secretly sent his resume to the Dade
County Police Department, now known as the MDPD. Six months later, he was
working in their crime lab. Today, he’s a forensic expert! And, he’s also my
technical resource for the science in SHADOW CAY!
As the wife of a forensic expert with twenty-one years in the MDPD, I understand Miami’s underbelly and the critical role forensics plays in solving crimes. My
book speaks to the challenges the Crime Lab faces every day.
I’m not sure which I enjoyed more: writing Shadow Cay or researching it. Half the story takes place in Florida where I’ve lived for thirty-four years. Since the other
half of this tale takes place in the Bahamas, Walt and I cruised 1,700 miles
researching the area in our 33-foot sailboat. Our three-month adventure took us from the
usual tourist traps to remote, uninhabited islands.
The unspoiled beaches and surreal sunsets of the Bahamian Out Islands grabbed me. In three months, I’d written a fast-paced suspense novel, full of twists and turns, with international intrigue, a brush
with death, and a tropical island paradise with a seedy secret.
SHADOW CAY has been endorsed by The Florida Association of Forensic Professionals. 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. It’s also a 2010 winner of Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm
Literary Award in the thriller/Suspense category, and a Premier Book Awards
winner in the same category.
SHADOW CAY is a story I had to write. Many things influenced me on this journey 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. But, what happens to those who openly oppose the new order with its
radically different interpretations of corporate progress?
SHADOW Cay is a ‘can’t put down’ story of dark secrets and gripping suspense. After all, when industry icons sell their souls, ethical employees become HUGE liabilities! Imagine
James Patterson’s action, Carl Hiaasen’s humor, Lisa Unger’s twists and Leona and
Walt’s authenticity, merged into a Florida tale that will take you on a wild
ride through the Caribbean.
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