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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Friday Free For All - Meet Author Vonnie Davis!!

Please help me welcome the wonderfully delightful Vonnie Davis. You might recognize the last name; her husband Calvin was my guest last Friday. (How wonderful to share something like the love of writing with the one you love)
Vonnie is a fellow Wild Rose Press author and I've had great fun getting to know her. She brought her wonderful new release, STORM'S INTERLUDE, so anyone of you ladies who love a sexy cowboy, here's your story!
You can find out about Vonnie at her website www.vonniedavis.com
but please come back and visit with us!
Thanks so much for being here today, Vonnie.

 Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?
I’d have to say it was more like a roller-coaster ride. I was eleven when I decided I wanted to write. My family told me I had no talent and to stop hanging onto the silly idea of writing. So, I folded my dream and tucked it into that secret, yearning place of my heart where private dreams are warehoused. Every so often, I’d take the treasured dream out, unfold it and wonder. And like that long, slow, eerily quiet ride up the steep first hill of a giant roller-coaster, I kept asking myself could do it? Could I? Could I?

Two years ago, I finished my first book and was able to get an agent. Too bad we couldn’t get a publisher. I set the project aside and started Storm’s Interlude on the 4th of July last year. The story just flowed, and I had it written in 3 months. Once my agent got around to reading it, she sent me a text saying she was “loving it.” Dawn read it in two days. We did two back-and-forth’s with Tract Changes before she felt it was ready to “shop out.”

Then the roller-coaster executed its first dip, leading to a wild ride of twists and turns. Dawn started shopping it out on a Monday to a list of publishers of varied sizes that we’d agreed upon. A small publisher sent a contract the following Monday. Dawn and I talked on the phone for over an hour about the pros and cons of their offer. I told her I was hoping we’d hear from The Wild Rose Press. Her reply? “If that’s the one you want, let me see what I can do.” Not only did she contact TWRP, but she also emailed all the publishers she queried and told them I’d been offered a contract, but that she’d hold me off from signing for two weeks to give other publishers a chance to offer. I thought at the time she was being very ballsy; I mean, I’m a nobody—and an unpublished nobody, at that. Almost all of them agreed to the two-week deadline. My nerves were a mess. What if no one wanted it? What if the first publisher got miffed because I was stalling on signing and rescinded their offer? Then I’d have nothing. I was living on Tums.

One week later, TWRP offered. So I had two contract offers in two weeks. I was ready to sign to end the angst, believe me. Dawn wanted me to wait—just to see. Calvin went to the drugstore for more Tums.

No more contracts were offered, but I did get the nicest rejection from an editor at Harlequin, who said she loved my characters and story. But since I wrote similar to Linda Lael Miller, she’d have a hard time convincing the acquisitions committee to take on another writer in the same vein. I cried. I mean, just the thought of Ms. Miller and me in the same sentence was overwhelming. Just between us, I was in the ladies room at the local theater when Dawn’s text, with the forward of the Harlequin editor’s remarks, came through. I sat on the “throne” and cried. When I exited and walked toward Calvin, he said, “Angel what’s wrong? You’ve been crying!” I told him and, in his typical laidback manner, he asked, “Who’s Linda ‘Liar’ Miller?” He is a trip!

So from the time I typed “Chapter One” to the day I held the book in my hands exactly one year passed. One wild, exceptional, lovely year.
 
  Where is your favorite place to write?

You’ll laugh. One day a week, we go to Bob Evans for breakfast. The waitress hooks me up to a coffee IV, and I write. We camp out there for a couple hours. Then we go to McDonalds for several hours, where I write and Calvin reads his newspapers on the Kindle. When the janitor starts mopping around our feet, we pack up and head to one of our favorite restaurants. We eat and write some more. I can write between 2500-3000 words on those days. The rest of the days, I write in the living room in my recliner.

  Do you have critique partners?

Yes, I do! Sue Fineman. What a help she’s been. She can zoom in on plot holes in an instant. She also pointed out that although my h/h talked quite differently at the beginning of the book, by the end I had them sounding alike. Yikes! She also says I have the strangest uses for commas. I laugh as I write this, because she is SO right. I am comma challenged.

 What was the best advice you were given leading you to getting published?

Calvin took me by the shoulders one day and said, “Time to stop making excuses. Write. Write what you’d like to read. But, for God’s sake, write!”

 Tell us a little about your WIP.

I have a romantic suspense Mona Lisa’s Room, set in Paris and a little seaside community on the Normandy coast, that’s under consideration with an editor at TWRP. It’s the first book in The Red Hand Conspiracy. I’m starting the research on book number two, which will take place in Paris and Budapest.
  
Tropical or European vacation?

I’ll take Europe. Calvin and I have been to Paris and Berlin several times. Calvin’s only child, Kelly, lives in Berlin with his wife, a native Berliner. Paris is my favorite city in the whole world. Expensive, with the US dollar devalued so, but beautiful. I could easily live there, but my checkbook squeaks, “Are you kidding me?”

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 chance 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.


Excerpt:
Rachel fisted her hands on her hips. “Don’t you have an imagination?”
Storm’s eyes swept down her body, over her sleek, lime green one-piece swimsuit. A slow smile spread across his handsome face and his dimples flashed. She felt her nipples tighten in response—damn them anyhow.
His eyes swept back up to lock on hers. “Oh, believe me, I’ve got a very vivid imagination.” He reached out and lightly ran a fingertip up her arm. A frisson of desire flooded her system so fast it nearly buckled her knees. For one second they were oblivious to their surroundings. Storm stepped closer. Her breathing quickened. Her tongue licked her bottom lip in nervousness, and she swore she heard him groan.
Sawyer shot past, jarring them from their private sensual cocoon. “Gotta go bafroom!”
Storm stepped back, shaking his head. “Kid’s got perfect timing.”
Please come visit me at Vintage Vonnie sometime.



Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press -- http://bit.ly/rcCIMa

19 comments:

  1. I had to be the first to post... I think the world of Vonnie. I love the cover of your book and you always provide such wonderful insights to things in every day life

    Congrats on the book release

    Walk in harmony,
    Melinda

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  2. Thanks for having me here to talk about STORM'S INTERLUDE. Husband and wife, back to back, you're a brave woman, Jennifer.

    A quick story, ladies. I'm reading Jennifer's RAFE'S REDEMPTION right now at bedtime. Last night I dreamed I was on TV pushing RAFE'S INTERLUDE. I woke up, all cotton-headed, befuddled and confused as to why I'd messed up the title to my book. Girls, I had that hunk Rafe on the brain, let me tell ya...

    Again, Jennifer thanks.

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  3. Melinda, good seeing you here. Thanks for all your kind words. Hugs!!

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  4. Gals, I loved this interview.

    Vonnie,

    I can relate to downing tums. lol

    You know you can write, but you still have that little nagging feeling in the back of your mind that no one's going to like the tale you've penned. To have a editor compare your writing to author who has made it big in the writing world, can sure be a confidence booster. It makes you believe you'll make it, too.

    I was totally laughing at Calvin's response: Linda 'Liar' Miller. lol

    Reading this post reminded me I wanted to read this book. I love a story with a bit of the paranormal mixed in.

    I wish you the best success!

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  5. Loved your publication story, Vonnie. I was impressed with your writing schedule that one day of the week--you must have super concentration :) Isn't it great to have a husband who writes too--such wonderful support.

    STORM'S INTERLUDE sound like a super story. Definitely one to read.

    Great interview, ladies.

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  6. Karen, yes on one hand that editor's remarks were a real confidence booster, yet on the other hand I thought, gee maybe I better work more on my voice, make it more distinctive. Are we ever happy with our work? Thanks for your comment.

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  7. Oh, yes, Barbara, put a mug of coffee at my elbow and I am in story-writing-heaven. Would you believe I wrote my first sex scene at an all-you-can-eat buffet? Now there's a story I'll share sometime. I thought the waitress would spill the iced tea down my back as she leaned over to read it.

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  8. Reading your stories in the morning always starts my day off right, Vonnie! :-)

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  9. Vonnie, I love seeing your enthusiasm. Hold on to it and to your supportive Calvin. You make a wonderful couple. Storm Interlude is on my TBR list. BTW, any book set in France has my utmost approval. I went to Paris so many times I stopped counting. Oui, ma chère, à bientôt.

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  10. Hi Leah, so glad I can make you smile. Laughter and an upbeat attitude helps keep the "blahs" at bay.

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  11. Oh, Mona, I'm with you on Paris. Let's hope the editors at TWRP feel the same way. We should know in a few weeks about MONA LISA'S ROOM. It's nail biting time here at the Davis's. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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  12. Vonnie

    I know that all your books will be a great read. Paris is a beautiful place so I know that will be a great read. I love the way you are always so positive no matter the situation.

    Thanks for being there

    Melinda

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  13. Oh, Vonnie!!! RAFE'S INTERLUDE! That's funny:)Glad you're enjoying Rafe tho' *wink-wink*
    Thanks so much for being here today. I hope to meet you and Calvin at one of TWRP retreats someday.

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  14. What a wonderful story about your writing odyssey! Why is it our families are always the most discouraging people regarding our dreams? I've been there, too. No talent? What a bummer! Of course, you know differently now and forever!

    I may have to take a page from your book and do the travelogue of writing places. I seem to be stuck on one, but you've made me take a second look!

    Looking forward to seeing you and Calvin at the TWRP Retreat next year!

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  15. Great peek in to the behind the scenes... I have Storm on my wish list... As a reader it is fun to get that peek.

    Hubby said last night "I wonder what you have spent on books this year" ... I replied with "I don't go out to lunch each day". I have no idea, but it is hundreds... eek!

    Can't wait to have the time to get Storm to the top of the TBR list. Good Luck! Vonnie.

    Meg Magruder

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  16. Your trek to publication is amazing! I enjoyed reading about your rollercoaster ride. Great interview. Bianca Swan

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  17. Hi Judy...We grew up in a generation when the woman's only role was homemaker. Even if she worked outside the home, all household duties were hers. That's why both opf my sons were taught to scrub commodes, clean ovens, cook a meal and do laundry. My daughters-in-law have thanked me many times over. But back to our generation, I think our parents and siblings still thought of us as "less than." Boy, were they wrong!

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  18. Meg, if you like stories full of sensuality, dashes of wry humor and a strong dose of suspense, then you'll enjoy "Storm's Interlude." I read a lot, too. Mostly I read newer authors whose writing is more crisp with vivid characters and zippy dialog. Yes, seasoned NYT best selling writers are grand, but newer authors have that marvelous freshness I so enjoy. Their storylines grab you and their characters charm and entice. They make you want more.

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  19. Bianca, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'm glad to see you here.

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