Friday, July 2, 2010

Dangerous Desires by Dee Davis

Stranded in the Colombian jungle after a mission goes bad, Drake has only one objective: evade the mercenaries hot on his trail and deliver "the package" to U.S. officials. But "the package" has a mind of her own, and she has no intention of trading one set of captors for another. Madeline Reynard is beautiful, headstrong, and hell-bent on escape after years as a crime lord's pawn. She'll risk everything for freedom, even if it means deceiving the dark, handsome operative who now holds her life in his hands.
Drake has been burned too many times to let a woman manipulate him, especially a secretive one like Madeline. Even so, they cannot deny the attraction between them. Now as enemy forces close in, Drake and Madeline must trust each other with their lives-or face certain death.

I was lucky enough to snag one of these babies from Anna at Hatchette Books. What was really fun about the story is the action, intelligence, and connection between the characters. The author develops each character to a degree that the reader really cares about the outcome. It was such a well developed story that I wondered how Dee came up with it.

So I asked her.

What is your modus operandi for writing a book? Does the idea come to you late at night, do you mull it over for a few months, write out an outline, or just start writing?

Ideas for writing a book come from everywhere—a place, an event, or even a person. Sometimes an article in a newspaper will prompt an idea for a book. I actually keep a file with notes I’ve jotted down, or articles I’ve saved. And sometimes these ideas actually do grow into a full blown plot. And often times the ideas tend to come at times when I’m not prepared to take a note so to speak, which means that I have little notepads everywhere, in my purse, in my car (when I had one), and other strategic places like an end table by the sofa and my bedside table, although usually notes written in the dark in the middle of the night are pretty undecipherable. (My husband, for understandable reasons, is against sudden middle of the night bedroom lighting.)

The full idea for a book, however, may stem from something quick and unexpected, but for me at least, it takes a while for it to percolate into a full blown plot, which means that often times I’m thinking of the next book, at least in the back of my mind, while writing the current one. For instance, as I was writing Dark Deceptions, I knew already that Drake Flynn was going to be my next hero, and so as I set him up as a character, I began to formulate an idea of what I wanted to put him through in his book, Dangerous Desires. Then after finishing the Dark Deceptions, I began to formulate my ideas about Madeline Reynard, Dangerous Desires’ heroine.

When you begin a new book, there are endless possibilities. But each time you make a decision about the plot or characters, you narrow the focus until by the end there’s only one choice left to make. I always start a book from a short blurb, usually written in advance of the actual plotting for the book. So when it comes time to finalize details, I have a rough sketch of where we’re going. I know where we’re beginning. And usually where I think we’ll end up. And maybe a few plot points along the way. It’s kind of like a roadmap. I know I’m in Dallas. And I know I want to go to Waco. And I know I want to stop in West for kolaches along the way. That means I must follow a route that takes me from point A to point C, with a quick stop at point B. The rest of the journey is usually decided as I go along. Part of the joy of writing is discovering where the characters are taking me. But without the basic road map…well, there’s no telling where we’d wind up.

So as a writer, or maybe just in your everyday life, are you a seat of the pants kind of girl or do you prefer to have a plan of action?

Answer this question in the comment section for an entry for one of two copies of this book. 

Include your email address

U.S. and Canada only

Contest ends July 12th

P.S. Between us, I really wanted to ask her where she got her material for the sex scene. But I thought it would be rude, as we'd just met. You can skip it if you want.

P.P.S. Don't skip it.


Riahli said...

I live my life almost exactly as she described her book writing. I know where I am (most days, ha, ha) and I know where I want to be and there are a few key things that I want to do in this life time but then the rest of the journey is decided along the way. Although I will admit I often have daily or weekly 'to do' I guess I'm not really winging in between the big stuff. ;)

If I was a writer I think I would have the same approach. I've had a story plot in my head for years now for a great book that I will never write...I'm just not great author material...but the way this author was describing how she comes up with her ideas and writes her books sounds a lot like how I would envision doing it if I was brave enough.

Okay now if this comment makes no sense I have the excuse of trying to form a coherent thought and type with a little wild baby girl on my lap who is trying to grab everything with in reach! Oh and keeping an eye on three little boys at the same time...and answering questions...I could go on and on.


Dee Davis said...

Riahli, I commend you for typing at all with children to watch. Has been awhile since mine sat on my lap, but I do remember the days! And re Sex husband loves to tell people he's in charge of research and development

Joan said...

Never the same for me. Sometimes seat of the pants and sometimes plan everthing out. Makes life more interesting right?

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I like to plan every day life, but I'm a definitely fly by the seat of my pants girl when it comes to my writing. :)

artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

karenk said...

i would prefer to plan everything....but more times than not, i fly by the seat of my pants :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Elise said...

Definitely seat of the pants kinda girl. I like spontaneity. Whenever I plan things, most of the time it never ends up happening.
caliblue7 at gmail dot com

CountessLaurie said...

I like a well laid plan. But I can divert from said plan, I just like to have at least a plan. I am so indecisive, it's helpful to have a starting point.

Love that Mr. Dee is the R&D team :-)!!

Unknown said...

I tend to have a blend of both most of the times. It's sort of "go with the flow" but have a general plan in place!

Thanks for the chance.

Rock, Paper, Scissors said...

I am much more seat of my pants type. I don't like to make concrete plans more than a day in advance. Like our family vacation this coming week. I don't know which day we will leave or any other particulars, but I will definitely know the night before.

Mama4Real said...

As a writer, I'm totally flyin' by the seat of my pants. My first book, I sat down with absolutely nothing. I just started writing, and out came something so near and dear to my heart, it was a journey into the depths of my heart, though the story has nothing to do with me, it required SO MUCH of my heart to be transformed in order to get my characters where I wanted them. It was a very spiritual experience, and now I'm totally in love with writing, and I rarely set out with a plan in mind. Maybe a very basic plot.

What I'm working on now is actually part of my second book, as my heroine is a writer, working on expanding a short story into a novel, and so I've taken the snippets of her novel that were included in my manuscript, and I'm writing her book. It's giving me the opportunity to write outside of my comfort zone, because I'm writing it as if I were her. It's been really fun!

nfmgirl said...

I'm definitely a plan kinda gal. Maybe too much so. I'm one of those girls that needs a list planning out the steps for everything!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Dawn M. said...

I'm a planner and a list maker. It's just less stressful that way. I get a lot more done, too. :0)

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Wolfe said...

I am totally a plan of action kinda girl.

Please enter me :o)

beckaboo3283 @ gmail . com

Benita said...

I need a plan, although there are times when I forget that.


Jenny Bolech said...

I used to want everything planned out, but since that never worked out as planned, so now I'm more of a loose outline kind of girl :)

jenny.maurer84 at gmail dot com

nel said...

I have to have a plan of action!! Thank you for a awesome giveaway!!!

acouponaddict at charter dot net

Terrymac said...

Always have a plan of action, with a backup or two (whenever possible).

Only when all else fails, then jump in by the seat of your pants! And Pray!!!!! (That is, when it is really necessary to act immediately without careful consideration---like with kids!! ) But you always trust your instincts, and you will come out okay.

terrymac1a at hotmail dot com

Thank you for hosting this giveaway.