Tuesday, June 11, 2013

One Wacky Leap by Vonnie Davis

An ancient African proverb says, "It takes a village to raise a child." Lovely sentiment, isn't it? The proverb reaffirms the importance of others in our lives.

But for me, a wacky writer, it seems to take a restaurant to write a book. Okay, so leaping from a sage proverb to my observation was a bit of a stretch, even for me, but stick with me here.

Calvin and I love our local Bob Evans restaurant. The staff knows us by name and when we arrive, laptop and iPad in hand, they lead us to a booth and hook me up to an IV of coffee. We are there three or four times a week.

So is it any wonder, I dedicated the first book in my romantic suspense series to the staff of our Lynchburg Bob Evans? After all, I'd written many scenes there. Waitresses would whiz to a halt at my elbow and whisper, "What are we writing today?" as they refilled my coffee cup. I'd tell them and they would "ooh and ahh" before moving on to ask another customer if everything was to their liking. The place has the friendliest staff. Once they knew I'd named them all in the dedication, they could not wait for its release. I'd overhear them tell other patrons, "See that lady over there? She put us in her book..."
When Mona Lisa's Room was released, I gave each of the employees an autographed copy of my romantic suspense set in Paris.
About a month later, the manager brought a man to our booth. "Vonnie, this is the District Manager for Bob Evans. I told him all about you dedicating your latest book to all of us here."
He pumped my hand. "Oh wow, I feel as if I'm in the presence of greatness."
I nearly choked on my grits.
"I want Jeff, the manager, to put his copy of your book in a shadow box to hang next to our register. Would that be okay with you?"
I nodded and said, "Sure." So, my book now holds a place of honor at a local eatery. Mona Lisa's Room has also won the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit in two categories: Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book by a Virginia Author. 
The back cover blurb is in the form of an email:
You won't believe this email. I'm sitting in a French safe house, eating caviar and drinking champagne with a handsome government agent, Niko Reynard. He's wearing nothing but silk pajama bottoms and mega doses of sex appeal. I'm in big trouble, little sister. He's kissed me several times and given me a foot massage that nearly caused spontaneous combustion. I'm feeling strangely virginal compared to the sexual prowess this thirty-year-old man exudes.
When I came to Paris for a bit of adventure, I never imagined I'd foil a bombing attempt, karate-kick two men, and run from terrorists while wearing a new pair of stilettos. I've met a German musician, a gay poet from Australia, and the most delightful older French woman.
Don't worry. I'm safe--the jury's still out on yummy Niko, though. The more champagne I drink, the less reserved I feel. What an unforgettable fortieth birthday!
You can learn more about Vonnie's books at www.vonniedavis.com


Margo Hoornstra said...

Vonnie, Congratulations on that fantastic award! Way to go. Loved the story within a story about writing a story.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks Margo. I love the continual free exposure. The staff spoils us there. They're all so kind.

Jannine Gallant said...

How cool are you! Romance writers must get more respect in Virginia than in California. When friends and acquaintances first found out I wrote romance, I was asked, "Why don't you write real books?" Go Vonnie! I loved hearing about "your" restaurant. And congrats on the awards.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Don't you just hate it, Jannine, when someone infers we don't write real books? As if we don't adhere to the same elements of craft as writers of other genres. I usually rebuttle with "Why should I write books that don't sell? Romance commands the largest market share of written material." The whole idea that we do not write real books makes my eyes twitch.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

I so want to track down this restaurant and surprise you and the staff with a visit, V. I think it's so cool that you and Calvin include them in your daily writing. How fun are the two of you? Congrats on the award. Very deserving.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Mac. That would be so wild if you walked up to me and said, "Hi, I'm Mac." Thanks for stopping by.