February 20, 2012

An Interview with Vonnie Davis

Storm's Interlude.
Vonnie, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
Storm’s Interlude is a contemporary romance set in the hill country of Texas. Rachel is a home care nurse who’s incorporated holistic healing practices with traditional. She travels to Texas to help a single mother prepare for a second round of chemo. The patient has an overly protective brother who’s not too keen on this holistic mumbo-jumbo so he plans on keeping a close eye on Nurse Rachel. He just has no clue keeping a close eye on her is easier than keeping his eyes—and hands and lips—off her. There is a strong element of suspense in the last half of the book when Rachel’s maniacal ex-fiancĂ© abducts her. Yet the turmoil he provides to the story does not qualify it for a strong romantic suspense.

How do you come up with ideas?
A snippet of a scene flashes in my mind and sparks the beginning of an idea. My current release, Storm’s Interlude, began with the visual of a naked man cresting a hill wearing nothing but a cowboy hat, a pair of boots and a go-to-hell sneer. What’s happened to his clothes? The answering starts the story.
A novella, Those Violet Eyes, began with a visual of a guy getting off his Harley and adjusting his stance to accommodate his prosthesis. I could see discomfort and a sense of agony in his eyes. Why does he wear a prosthesis? What saddens him so? Did he loose part of a leg in Iraq? His pain bothered me, and I had to find out.
Mona Lisa’s Room, a romantic suspense set in Paris, began with a scene that ended up in chapter two. My young government agent calls a lady he’s protecting, “Mrs.” Alyson, my heroine, tells him one does not call a woman, who’s divorced her cheating husband, “Mrs.” He replies, “Yes ma’am.” Her agitation growing, she informs him one does not call a lady “ma’am” when she’s two days shy of turning forty and none too happy about it. I saw him open a hotel room door, gun in hand, peer up and down the hall, and glance back over his shoulder at her. “We can leave now. The coast is clear.” He quirks a dark eyebrow and quips, “Unless you’ve got something else to teach me, Aly.” And she’s pissed because he has the audacity to make up a nickname for her.
A World War II soldier whispered to me in bed for two nights last week about his special girlfriend back home in Pennsylvania—Pearl. She sends him rose-scented letters. This, too, along with other flashes of a scene or whispered requests, will become stories one day.

What is the single most important part of writing for you?
Drawing my reader so deep into the story they feel and react with the main characters. If my characters are walking through a cold creek while fully dressed, I want my reader to feel the cold water soaking up their clothes and gunk getting in their shoes.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Developing the attraction between the heroine and hero; I enjoy writing sexual tension. I love it when the heroine drives the hero to distraction. I write about Alpha males with soft, chewy centers and the strong women who knock their lives off kilter.

What did you learn from writing your first book? 
To write what I read, not what I think others want me to write. I like my romances with heat ratings between the levels of hot to flame-throwers. I’m also from a very straight-laced religious family, plus I’m a gentle, jovial grandma. So to please my family, my first romance was sweet. No sex, no sensuality, no spark, but my brother, the preacher, loved it. See, even ladies in their sixties can succumb to peer pressure. When no publisher liked it, I decided it was time I put on my big girl writing thong and write the type of story I’d enjoy reading. Once I broke through that personal barrier, I was free to write something I truly enjoyed. Write what pleases you.

Would you consider self publishing?
I ask myself this question from time to time. I might when I feel I’ve conquered more of my bad habits. I’ve eliminated those amateur words: that, just, only, had, was, to name a few. My agent is a stickler for removing all “said tags” and passive verbage, so I’ve conquered those bad habits. I still struggle with one person’s dialogue followed by another person’s reaction within the same paragraph. For me, it sounds right. Not so with my agent and editor. (Oh, to train them to my way of thinking. ) I’m still learning, folks, so I need that trained eye to help give my readers a quality story. They say the learning curve of a writer is continual. For now, I’m going the traditional route: agent and a publisher that produces both print and eBook (The Wild Rose Press). I’m being treated very well at TWRP; they are a fabulous publisher to work with.

How many hours a day to you spend writing?
I’m retired with a husband who also writes, so he understands my devotion to craft. I do emails and self-promotion all morning. Blogging, too. I write all afternoon and off and on in the evening until around one in the morning.

Is your muse demanding?

Oh yes, the hussy. As soon as I email my finished book to my agent, I’m typing “Chapter One” again—and the excitement begins anew.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
That women are the stronger species. We’ve been beaten, battered, debased in some instances, and tossed aside, but we are never broken. We survive. We eventually re-invent ourselves. We are a rock of hard-times chiseled granite…and we are beautiful.

If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
Paris, most definitely.

What song would best describe your life?
“At Last”

As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
Writing term papers. Yeah, I was weird that way.

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Warning: Do not treat me as if I’m stupid or you will self-destruct in sixty seconds.”

Storm’s Interlude

Books Coming Soon

Those Violet Eyes
Mona Lisa’s Room

Contests –

My debut book, Storm’s Interlude, is in the running for “Book of the Year” at Long and Short Reviews. For those of you who hop over to http://www.longandshortreviews.com/promo.htm and vote (ain’t I sneaky?) and leave the percentage amount in your comments, you’ll be entered to win one of three copies I’m giving away of Storm’s Interlude. Don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you should you win.
Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with lots of cheese.
I'm always ready for a hug from one of my 6 grandkids.
When I'm alone, I crawl in bed and read.
You'd never be able to tell, but I was once quite skinny.
If I had a halo it would be cherry red.
If I could travel for a year I'd tour Europe.
Find Me Here


  1. Thanks for having me here as a guest today. I loved your questions and am enjoying checking out your lovely blog.

    I'm hoping I can give away my 3 copies of "Storm's Interlude" and, as they say, no purchase necessary. Just hop over to Long and Short Reviews and vote. The link is

  2. Hi Vonnie *waves* Great interview and enjoyed the excerpt. You liked writing term papers. You poor thing. I always waited to the last minute to write those things and somehow always got a good grade. Go figure.

    Hi Kayelle.

  3. Lynn, I loved doing the research. Your ability to throw something together and still garner a good grade was testiment, even then, to your writing ability. Yay you!!!

  4. I loved writing papers and taking essay tests. (I double majored in English and History.) By my way of thinking, if you could make it sound good enough, you didn't actually have to memorize any of those pesky little details to get a good grade. LOL

  5. One of my favorite ways to study history was to read historical novels set in the period. You might get a few cockamamie details wrong, but the general flavor was usually correct. I recalled more than one detail because I'd read it in a novel rather than a history books. Research can be fun, if you let it be.

  6. Jannine, good thinking. Your historical flavor in "Bittersweet" was strong and engaging.

  7. Oh, Kayelle, what a neat way to do reserach. Now that you mention it, I have learned a lot of historical facts from reading. I just never considered it as research. Hmmm...I'm off to buy more research books. ;-)

  8. In college, I was able to pass a test because I'd learned so much about Disraeli by reading a novel about him. I hadn't studied him -- but that book saved my grades!

  9. I loved your interview, Vonnie. I, too, start most of my stories with a snippet of a scene that pops into my head. Most of the time that snippet makes it into the manuscript, but sometimes not but it gave me that jumping off point.

    I remember reading your post when Ben came to you that first night whispering to you about Pearl. I was so intrigued. I hope you write their story soon.

  10. Thanks for stopping by, Katherine!

  11. Katherine, Ben keeps whispering from time to time, and I'm sure I'll write his story soon. He's the kind of man who doesn't like to be ignored...but then what man does? Thanks for stopping by.

  12. LOL Vonnie. You said a mouthful there. ^_^


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