Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Wednesday Guest- Vonnie Davis
What led you to write romance?
Romance is what I read. Except for the occasional suspense read, like Robert Ludlam’s Bourne series or an interesting biography, I read exclusively romance. I don’t care if it’s historical, contemporary or paranormal, as long as it’s a story of two hearts coming together. If it is, I’m right there with the characters, cheering them on. Yes, I am a romantic.
What do you feel are good traits for becoming a romance author?
The desire to improve. Competition is fierce out there. The world is full of romance writers—there are well over 10,000 delightful, talented writers in RWA alone. To even stand a chance, one has to learn the craft and learn it well. I have a degree in English with a concentration in technical writing. I retired as a technical writer. I knew how to write. What I didn’t know was the craft of writing. Point of view, character development, character arc, conflict, conflict resolution and on and on. Silly me, I thought all I had to do was write a story.
A broad knowledge of the genre. This is why I almost exclusively read romance. Although I have a few established favorites I enjoy, I mainly read debut authors. Older writers—those repeatedly on the NYT best sellers list—are selling on the merits of their names and the numbers of their followers. Debut authors are held to a higher standard. Their writing is crisper. Their storylines more unique. My advice to new writers is study debut authors. They were published on their talents and strengths of craft.
A universal love of men. One of our goals as romance writers is to make our readers fall a little in love with the heroes between the covers of our stories (pun intended, ladies). Study men. How they talk in incomplete sentences, grunts and growls. Observe them when they’re happy, when they’re bragging, when they’re preening for a woman, and when they’re madder than all get out. And they are such a delight to observe.
A desire to portray women in a positive light. Are you old enough to remember weepy, fragile women in older romances? They used to drive me bananas. I love strong women. I write about women who’ve turned adversities into advantages. We are not airheads who can’t go through life without a man. We can do quite well on our own, but when a man comes into our lives who adds a special dimension, well…
A willingness to allow your characters to lead you around by the nose. And they will. They will invade your dreams, niggle at you while you’re watching a movie and sit on your shoulder and hiss remarks in your ear. You know, encouraging things like, “Woman, are you nuts? I’d never do that. You’re making me sound like a submissive female.” She thumps my head with her index finger and then pushes up her sleeves. “Write what I tell you. Let me show you how to handle this arrogant alpha male.”
What's next from you? I have a short story (novella) accepted into the Honky Tonk Hearts Series, tentatively titled Those Violet Eyes. (Yes, I do love my Texan cowboys…sigh). I also have a romantic suspense, Mona Lisa’s Room, going through final evaluation by a senior editor. This fast-paced story is set in Paris, my favorite city in the world.
Blurb for Storm's Interlude:
Nurse Rachel Dennison comes to Texas determined to prepare her new patient for a second round of chemo. What she isn’t counting on is her patient’s twin brother, Storm Masterson. Despite her initial attraction, Storm has two things Rachel can’t abide: a domineering personality and a fiancée.
Half Native American, with the ability to have "vision dreams," Storm dreams about Rachel for three nights before her arrival. Both are unprepared for the firestorm of emotions their first encounter ignites.
Ultimately, it is Rachel’s past—an abusive, maniacal ex-boyfriend—that threatens to keep them apart…and Storm’s dreams that bring them together again.
“You might as well come out and join me.” His deep voice caressed her senses and beckoned. How did he know she was watching him? She wiped her hands over her shorts in a nervous gesture. Did he know how long she’d been standing there, staring, dreaming…yearning?
Embarrassed, Rachel stepped out onto the porch and stood next to the man who had moved into her mind—lock, stock and saddle. “Good morning.”
He saluted her with his mug. “Mornin’.”
His eyes were so intent on her that, for an instant, her mind went blank. Her attraction to this man had to be channeled into friendship—merely friendship. “Thank you for burning me that CD. I can’t wait to play it.”
“You’re welcome.” A faint blush crept up his neck.
She took pleasure in his discomfort. If she felt uneasy around him, she was glad he was obviously suffering from the same feeling. “How long have you been up?”
“An hour, give or take. Did you have your yogurt?” He drained his coffee and set the mug on the porch railing.
“Good. I don’t want any low-sugar episodes like yesterday morning.” He jerked his head toward the horizon. “This is the best place to watch the sun come up. Our best views of sunsets are on the patio, but here, right here is the spot you get a great view of the sunrise. Nothin’ like a hill country sunrise.”
The curve of the golden sun peeped above the mountains in the distance. Shimmers of apricots and reds undulated like dancing rays celebrating the birth of a new day. Birds began singing as if to welcome the sun. “Oh, you’re right. It’s beautiful. I guess you do this every morning? Drink your coffee and watch the sun come up.” She looked up at him.
He never spared her a glance. “Yup.”
His freshly-shaved face was relaxed. The smell of his soap and aftershave filled her nostrils. She wanted to bury her nose in his neck and inhale his masculine scent for hours.
She smiled again. “You always so talkative in the morning?”
“Yup.” He turned slightly and smiled at her. She laughed. Lordy, but he had a disarming smile. His dark eyebrows wrinkled. “Why do you wear such revealing clothes to run in?”
She glanced down at what she was wearing. Frankly, right this minute, she couldn’t remember what she’d put on. “What do you mean? It’s just a white running bra and red shorts.”
“Not that kind of bra.” She slapped his arm. “Running bras are made for women to wear in public. They provide more support for…for…our…ah…the running female.”
“Yes, and more eye candy than the average guy’s heart can take.” He looked over her shoulder at her derriere. “Damn if those shorts shouldn’t be declared illegal.”
She’d had enough. “If you don’t like the way I look, then don’t look at me.”
“Easy now. Never said I didn’t like it.”
She huffed an irritated breath. “Then what?”
He grabbed her upper arms and hauled her to him. “Then, this…” His lips crushed hers and sparked a response like two electrical wires arcing, sending showers of white-hot flashes. Fireworks. Oh, yeah, there were most definitely fireworks. She fisted her hands in his long hair.
His tongue swept across her lips, a silent request. She opened her mouth and accepted. He moaned and moved a powerful hand to her bottom, pressing her to him.
When he lifted her, her arms wrapped around his neck, their hungry lips fused, seeking what they both needed. Oh, God, this was even better than the first kiss, even better than his kisses the other night on the horse. He turned and pushed her back against the pillar. She wrapped her legs around his waist. “Rach…God, honey.” His teeth scraped down her neck, and her eyes crossed.
http://amzn.to/pkkcLq -- Amazon.
http://bit.ly/pb9DQd -- Barnes and Noble Nook
http://bit.ly/rcCIMa -- The Wild Rose Press