Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Men Won't Leave Me Alone -- by Vonnie Davis

Men flock to me.


I’m serious.


Well, my heroes, anyhow. They come to me at night when I’m in that fragile, fluttery state between wakefulness and sleep. This is how all my stories are born—with my heroes' appearances. And they've all been dramatic in their own way.


For some writers, it’s the nub of a thought, or a snippet of an overheard conversation, or something read in a newspaper or magazine that sparks a “what if” idea.

 
Not for me, though.


For me, it’s the men.

 
One night, a couple years ago, a man sauntered into our bedroom wearing nothing but a black Stetson and a pair of cowboy boots. I glanced over at Calvin, who was snoring away and then at our handsome intruder. His sneer was intimidating. The man was clearly aggravated, while I was spellbound. He took off his hat and placed it in a more strategic location. “Ever notice how the full moon brings out the madness in people?”


I couldn’t respond--I mean, I thought I was near mad, myself. I just left Storm talk about the blue-eyed woman he’d been dreaming of while I drooled onto my pillow.


Several months later, I was writing a romantic suspense set in Paris. My hero was a French government agent and my heroine an older American school teacher. Things were going fairly well for this pantser. After all, writing a story set in the City of Light was like revisiting the jewel along the Seine. I was enjoying the process.

 
After we’d gone to sleep one night, someone slammed our bedroom door. I sat straight up in the bed. Wh…what was that? I glanced at Calvin, who hadn’t so much as shifted at the sound of that door slam. I must be dreaming.


I’d just dropped back to sleep when the door banged shut again. This time I saw who the culprit was—Niko, my French government agent. “What? What do you want?”

 
He pointed to me and issued an order. “Watch.”

 
And so I did. He stormed down a hallway, fluorescent lights humming overhead. His hands were clenched in fists. As soon as he opened a door, I saw my heroine tied to a chair in an interrogation room. She was blindfolded. Niko slammed the door and she jumped. Then the vision faded.

“That’s it? You woke me up for that piddlin’ little bit? Why is Alyson tied up? Why are you angry?” Oh, I was not happy. It took me four chapters to set-up that door slamming scene in Mona Lisa’s Room.

Another night, a man roared into our bedroom on a Harley. Niko and I were still arguing. Seems he didn’t think he needed to wear his Kevlar vest. Frenchmen and their egos—go figure. So, really, the absolute last thing I wanted in my crowded mind was another man. I grunted and rolled against Calvin’s back.


Mr.-Harley-Man started circling our bed, slow and easy just the way my youngest boy resorted to when he wanted to get on my last nerve. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I flopped onto my back. “What? What is it?” He got off his bike, took off his helmet, and adjusted his prosthesis. Somehow I knew he’d lost part of his leg in Iraq. “My name’s Win, short for Sherwin. Would you write my story?” Well, he was so polite with that Texas twang. I mean, what else could I do?


Not all the men who come into my bedroom late at night are grown. Eli, a golden-haired three-year-old threw a tantrum on my bedroom carpet one night. His chubby little hands were clenched in someone’s blue calico skirt. “Mine. Mine.” I had no clue what to make of him. Then a tumbleweed blew into our room with a piece of matching blue calico tied to it. And Tumbleweed Letters was born.

 
Nearly a year ago, I had a cancerous cyst removed from my saliva gland. A couple months into the healing process, two small golden orbs started shining in the back of my mind. Brain tumors, I thought. When I finally worked up the courage to call the doctor, the golden orbs blinked. Eyes? Were they eyes? They kept a steady blinking rhythm as they silently watched and waited. I was losing my mind, I thought. No doubt you're thinking the same thing.

 
Then one night the golden eyes glowed bright and moved from the back of my mind into the body of a bear. He stood at the foot of my bed. “Sorry,” I yawned. “You’ve got the wrong house. I don’t write children’s books.” The bear shook his head. “What? You’re not from a children’s story?” The bear shifted into a Scottish man in a kilt. Once more I quickly looked at Calvin, wondering if I should nudge him awake—I mean, really, the man does miss the most interesting stuff.

 
Deciding to keep the man in a kilt to myself, I ditched that idea and turned my gaze on his plaid. “I don’t write paranormal.”

 
He swaggered toward me and stood. “Aye, lassie, ye do and ye will.” He lifted the covers and slipped into the bed. Calvin snorted. “Me name is Creighton. Let me tell ye the story of how bears came to be extinct in Scotland.”

 
I’m telling you, ladies, the men just won’t leave me alone… I'm a romance writer and I LOVE my job.

One lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win a copy of Storm's Interlude. Paperback or eBook, your choice. All you have to do is tell me what kind of dreams you have about men...well, the PG parts, anyhow.

31 comments:

maeclair.net said...

I loved this post! So clever and intruiging. And yes, it's always in that twilight half sleep that men (ahem...my heroes) visit me too.

I had a lovely visit from a blond colonel who fought for the Union army during the Civil War then ended up being cursed to life as a werewolf by a friend turned rival. Things grew really complicated for Caleb DeCardian when a freak shower of ball lightning hurtled him into the 21st century. Caleb appears in my soon-to-be released paranormal Weathering rock.

Then there was Dr. Elijah Cross, a brillant twenty-five year old marine archeologist who falls hard for an older woman while their involved in a treasure hunt. Twelfth Sun is in submission land right now.

Lately, I have a sexy medical doctor with dark hair invading my dreams as he tries to help a woman gifted with magical healing abilities.

Ahhh...men and heroes. You gotta love 'em! :) And I think I'm already in love with your Storm!

maeclair (at) maeclair (dot) com

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm always intrigued by the portals writers use in their stories for their characters to jump from one era to another. So, you've used a freak lightning storm. Hmmm...interesting. I hope your men keep coming to you at night. It's a delightful way to meet them, isn't it?

Karen Cote said...

Vonnie..you are simply adorable and may I say...one-class-act. Love ya.

Mal Olson said...

Vonnie, you crack me up. I loved this post. I'm reading Storm's Interlude right now and can't wait to read more of your books! Looking forward to meeting you at the ranch in Texas. Stop by and visit me at Just Romantic Suspense where I'm blogging today. (Mal)

Margo Hoornstra said...

Vonnie,

Oh what great things happen to you at night! Loved the post. Have fun in Texas. We have to miss this year.

Nancy Jardine said...

Hi Vonnie. I just wish the men who turn up in my dreams were as sexy as your heroes. The most recent dream man was wielding a chainsaw...and no it wasn't a character from a horror story I was writing- he was a tree surgeon. I hadn't even called in a tree expert(can afford them) As he waved the scary chainsaw around he was telling me that my rowan tree had to be cut down, or it might knock my roof off. I think my dream was telling me I'm a lousy gardener these days!! Happy writing!

Vonnie Davis said...

Awwwll, thank you, Karen. You're quite adorable yourself.

Vonnie Davis said...

Oh, Mal, now I'll be nervous. I hope you enjoy the read. We'll see each other in TExas in a few weeks. Can't wait.

Vonnie Davis said...

Margo, sorry to hear you won't be at the writers' retreat. We're looking forward to it. Calvin's not overly excited about folding himself into a plane seat, but he always enjoys new experiences and new places. Thanks for stopping by.

Vonnie Davis said...

Chainsaws!!! Eeek! That was no dream you had; that was a nightmare. Shudders. How can you garden outside when you're gardening your stories inside...planting plot seeds, weeding out unnecessary words and watering with zippy dialogue.

LisaRayns said...

Very creative post. Loved it!

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks, Lisa. Don't forget to visit the Roses of Prose again and again. We've always got something happening here.

Sandra Dailey said...

Vonnie, sometimes you scare me a little, but you always crack me up. I have a sleep disorder and don't dream. Last night was the first night in a week that I've slept for more than three hours. Maybe that's why I day-dream so much. I see a picture of a beautiful man and can hear his voice telling me a story. Sometimes songs do it for me. I love music.
BTW, I loved Storm's Interlude and Violet Eyes. Can't wait to read the others.

Willa Blair said...

Love this!

What a fascinating way to "meet" your new novels. My books tend to start with a glimpse of a snapshot - the heroine watching a man brought in on a stretcher, a hero holding up a hand to halt his patrol when he hears something odd ahead.

My heroes don't come up and talk to me...which is too bad. If you have any extras - send them my way!

Vonnie Davis said...

Oh, Sandra, sometimes I scare myself!!

Sorry to hear about your sleep disorder. My youngest uses a CPAP. And while I was in college during those horrendous menopause years, I had episodes of narcolepsy. When we don't sleep well, our whole life is altered.

Vonnie Davis said...

Sorry, Willa, I'm having too much fun with these men to share. LOL

Jannine Gallant said...

Vonnie, even your subconscious has a romantic streak a mile wide. I don't think I dream - ever. At least I never remember them. My heros come to me after I come up with a plot. I guess they sort of evolve. The perfect guy for the perfect setting.

Vonnie Davis said...

Jannine, your way sounds more logical. I don't always run on logic. LOL

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

And, Vonnie, your readers and friends love you back. No wonder your stories are so interesting with an imagination like yours. I remember the one with the Harley from before and thought WOW when I heard that one. Do you ever get rest???

LaVerne Clark said...

LOL Vonnie! I've got to share this post! So much fun! I wish my heroes visited me at night - although it sure would play havoc with sleep! Then again, I think I'd rather spend time with the likes of your heroes than sleep anyway :)

Angela M. said...

Yep, you're definitely a writer :) Either that or schizophrenic, lol! Good thing those men don't leave you alone or we wouldn't get the stories born out of that. Hmm, I never get men waking me at night... Lucky girl!

Calisa Rhose said...

Give the book to someone who hasn't read SI, Vonnie. I just had to see what you and your men are up too this time. My dreams of men are nothing to recall...literally- I never recall dreams. I admire you! Great post.

Vonnie Davis said...

Paisley, it's all a matter of subconscious, isn't it? When we finally allow our creative minds to rest, they charge ahead making their own scenarios. I didn't know how I was going to end the final book of my romantic suspense series, then two little orphan boys came to me. One was blind and his older brother was full of attitude...and, viola, the ending was there.

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks so much, LaVerne. While my heroes come to me fully formed, I don't get a real handle on my heroines until 20,000 words into the story. Then I have to go back and do some rewriting.

Vonnie Davis said...

Angela, believe me, there are times I'd rather sleep. It's like a testosteron convention in my mind sometimes.

Vonnie Davis said...

Calisa, Calvin just read my post and asked why his name wasn't in a larger font. LOL Men...

My dreams aren't always book related, but when they are, they're such fun.

Tiffany N. York said...

Don't be surprised if I show up at your door one night in my PJs with my pillow under one arm. Can we have a slumber party with ALL of them?

Vonnie Davis said...

Oh, Tiffany, wouldn't that be wild? Who can explain how our creative minds work? Not I.

morgan said...

I have over a 1000 emails to read, and yet your Blog stands out. I think that alone makes you an amazing writer. Keep it up.

Vonnie Davis said...

Oh, hugs Morgan, you are a dear.

Vonnie Davis said...

I put everyone's name in Calvin's hat and he's drawn Mae Clair as the winner of a copy of STORM'S INTERLUDE. Mae, I'll be contacting you right away. Thanks for leaving a comment.