So happy to host my online friend, Vonnie Davis here today! I have been talking via online groups and exchanging emails with Vonnie for years now. In a word, she is fabulous! As time goes on we are getting to know each other better and better and at the beginning of the year, Vonnie suggested I try submitting to her agent Dawn Dawdle. I did and was successful!
Thanks for giving the me the confidence to take my work to the next stage, Dawn. I was always remember you did that! Okay, on with the interview...
1) Did you set any goals for 2011?
I set a broad two-pronged goal: to improve at my craft and to write two more books. So far I have one book and a short story under contract with The Wild Rose Press and am writing furiously to complete book two, tickled that I’m at the halfway point on it.
2) What is the best part of the writing process for you?
When my characters take over and I’m chuckling as I merely take dictation. The book I’m writing now, Rain is a Love Song, has proven a bit of a challenge. It took me a while to get to know my hero. He’s not always cooperative.
3) The worst part?
Getting to know my characters. Just because I design them a certain way is not necessarily how they are. I don’t really get to know them until about 25,000 words into the manuscript, which means I have to go back to the beginning and start tweaking things. I’m a born tweaker…tweaker, NOT streaker.
4) What is the book you wish you’d written?
Anything written by Nicholas Sparks.
5) Favourite author/s & book/s?
Nicholas Sparks for his storylines that tug at your emotions. David Morell for his books of intrigue and thrills. Linda Howard’s MacKenzie series and Nora Roberts’ MacGreagor Series, because both involve family dynamics as well as romance. Homer’s Illiad, preferably in Latin. Anything by Shakespeare because he deals so well with universal human emotions. Chaucer for his tinge of bawdiness. You should hear me quote the Wife of Bathes’ Prologue in Olde English, before the Great Vowel Shift. **wink, wink** I wear a conical shaped hat I made, long black dress and, of course, red stockings, since they were a sign of a loose woman back in the day. Oh, it’s quite a sight. And I’ve saved my fav author for last: my husband, Calvin. His Phantom Lady of Paris is a feast for the senses. He takes you to Paris on a magic carpet ride of words.
6) Tell us about your latest release?
Storm’s Interlude is my debut book, and was so much fun to write. Storm is, well, a human storm of passion. He loves everyone fiercely, his twin sister, who’s dying of cancer, his nephew, his housekeeper who is his substitute Mother and his longtime best friend. And then Rachel, his twin’s new nurse, comes riding into his life, knocking him completely off kilter. Poor guy. He never recovers.
7) Tease us with a blurb/short except.
Someone swaggered out of the moonlit night toward Rachel. Exhausted from a long day of driving, she braked and blinked. Either she was hallucinating or her sugar levels had plummeted. Maybe that accounted for the male mirage, albeit a very magnificent male mirage, trekking toward her. She peered once more into the hot July night at the image illuminated by her headlights. Sure enough, there he was, cresting the hill on foot—a naked man wearing nothing but a black cowboy hat, a pair of boots and a go-to-hell sneer.
Well, well, things really did grow bigger in Texas. The man quickly covered his privates with his black Stetson. Rachel sighed. The show was evidently over. Should she stand up in her Beetle convertible and applaud? Give a couple cat calls? Wolf whistles? Maybe not.
She turned down the music on the car’s CD player. Sounds of crickets and a lonely bullfrog in the distance created a nighttime symphony in the stillness of this isolated stretch of country road. Lightning bugs darted back and forth, blinking a display of neon yellow glow.
The naked man strode toward her car, and Rachel’s heart rate kicked up. Common sense told her to step on the gas, yet what woman wanted to drive away from such a riveting sight? Still, life had taught her to be careful. She reached into her handbag and extracted her chrome revolver. Before he reached her car, she quickly slid her gun under the folds of her skirt.
Just let him try anything funny—I know how to take care of myself.
Both of his large hands clasped his hat to his groin. His face bore annoyance and a touch of chagrin. “I need a ride.” By his bearing and commanding tone of voice, she guessed the man was used to giving orders and having them followed.
Her eyes took a slow journey across his face. Even in the moonlight, she could see traces of Native heritage. His shoulder-length ebony hair, too long for her tastes, glistened against his bronzed skin. Proud arrogant eyes sparked anger.
Because Rachel believed in indulging herself, she allowed her eyes to travel over his broad shoulders, muscular chest and tight abdominal muscles. She saw a thin trail of dark hair starting below his navel, knowing full well where it ended, and fought back a groan. Her eyes slid back up to lock on his. “You need a pair of pants, too.” Knowing her voice hummed with desire, she cleared her throat, hoping the naked man hadn’t noticed.
He looked up at the sky for a beat. “Just my freakin’ luck! A birthday party gone bad, and now I’m bein’ ogled by some horny kid with damnable blue eyes.”
What the heck was wrong with her eyes? She quickly glanced in her rearview mirror and saw nothing amiss. She narrowed those “damnable blue eyes” and sneered. “Look, buster, I’m not the one prancing around Texas naked as a jaybird. I’ll have you know I’m hardly a kid.” She glanced down at the black cowboy hat. “And, furthermore, stop hiding behind that big ol’ Stetson. From what I saw, a French beret would do the job.”
There, let the arrogant fool stew on that while he struted back to whatever rock he crawled out from under. She slammed her car in gear and sped off.
She swore she wouldn’t look in her rearview mirror. Nope, she would not look. Like a magnet emitting a powerful homing signal, her eyes slowly slid to the glass surface. He was standing where she’d left him, his Stetson tilted back on his head, his hands fisted on his narrow naked hips and his mouth moving. He was no doubt cussing her out. – So, did she go back?
8) What is your favourite attribute of the hero and heroine?
The hero has to have a great capacity for love, even though he might not recognize it just yet. My heroines have to be strong; the kind of woman that turns adversities into advantages.
9) What’s next?
I’m just finishing the first round of edits on a short story for TWRP Honky Tonk Hearts series. It’s entitled Those Violet Eyes and has an ex-Marine hero who’s lost part of a leg in Iraq. In a week or so I expect the first round of edits on a romantic suspense set in Paris, Mona Lisa’s Room. An American who’s traveled to Paris to celebrate turning forty, a younger government agent assigned to protect her, and a group of vengeful terrorists.
10) Tell me where you write?
On my laptop in my recliner, although a couple days a week, Calvin and I hit our favorite restaurants and cafes and write. We’re so well-known there they just hook us up to an IV of coffee and allow us to camp out for a couple of hours. One of the terrific benefits of retirement.
11) Where would you like your career to be in 5 years?
I’d love to have a group of faithful readers who feel comfortable enough to email me after they’ve read one of my stories. I imagine the fun online dialogue we could have. In my heart I feel an important part of being a writer is building relationships with editors, other writers and readers. Please God, let there be readers!
12) Where can we find you?
My website is http://www.vonniedavis.com
My blog is http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com
Follow me on Twitter at VonnieWrites.
Thanks for such a fabulous interview, Vonnie. Really, really enjoyed it! i love the idea of you and Calvin writing together in coffee shops. How fabulous that your husband completed understands the writing side of you as well as everything else. You must have a wonderful marriage!