Saturday, July 12, 2014

There's a Fine Line Between Creativity and Insanity--Guess Who Crossed It!

My first book of a three-book series releases in five weeks, August 19th, to be exact. Every day seems to bring another promo email from Random House. One was a request to write a 500-700 word pitch for an article in USA Today's online Happily Ever After. Basically, what prompted me to write a bear-shifter series? Darned if I know. I don't even read paranormal, so I certainly had no desire to write it.

About two years ago I had surgery to remove a cancerous cyst from my saliva gland, a rather involved four-hour surgery that’s left part of my left cheek and ear numb. About a month post-surgery, two golden spots appeared at the back of my mind. These round spots glowed, and I freaked—OMG brain cancer. The surgeon was wrong. He didn’t get all the cancer and it's spread to my brain. So I googled brain cancer like a mad woman, reading all I could on symptoms and nowhere did it state patients complained of seeing glowing spots in the backs of their minds.

I hated to call my cancer doctor, knowing he’d put me through a battery of tests only to prove what I already knew. Still, I couldn't put it off. I picked up the phone to call and the golden orbs blinked. Blinked, mind you! 

Eyes? These are eyes? And they blinked again.  Well shoot, I didn’t need a cancer doctor. I needed a shrink! I’ve got freakin’ eyes in the back of my head, glowing and blinking  and watching.

So, for a month, they waited and willed me to speak to them. Well, my darlings, I might be half-crazed, but I know enough not to speak to something that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Then one night, when I was almost asleep, these eyes left my head and floated to the foot of my bed into a large bear. Now, I often think characters search for the right author to tell their stories. So I said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t write children’s books.” 

He shook his head. “Oh, you’re not that kind of bear?” He shook his head again and shifted into this dark-haired, muscled, kilt-wearing Scot. He sauntered toward my side of the bed and I reached for my glasses. I mean, wouldn’t you? Would you want to miss one gorgeous inch of this guy?

Again, I apologized. “Hon, you’re still in the wrong writer’s house. I don’t write paranormal.”

He sat on the edge of the bed and I scooted over closer to Calvin to make sure his fine kilted behind had plenty of room. Ah...the Scot's, not Calvin's.

“Aye, lassie, but ye will. Me name is Creighton Matheson. In Scottish, mathe means bear and I am the head of a sleuth of bears. Have ye ever heard how bears came to be extinct in Scotland?” I shook my head. I mean, how could I talk with a mouthful of drool? 

He told me this fantastical story of how the Vikings killed off the male bears and imprisoned the sow and baby bears in a cave along the coastline, blocking the entrance with rocks and boulders.

The next morning I googled “Are bears extinct in Scotland?” Chills slithered up my spine. They were. Sources claimed the extinction was due to over-hunting and the government was trying to reintroduce them into the Highlands. But I had a better story; one from a bear-shifter, himself.

Now bears can be determined creatures and mine would have no rest until I started his book. So I set aside my work in progress for a month and wrote a few chapters to quiet the bear. By then I was in love with my bear-shifter, this sexy man with a duality that both wounded my soul and charmed me. I needed…needed…for him to have his HEA.

I was also plagued with a huge problem: I didn’t know the paranormal romance genre. I felt like a fake for even trying to write one. So, I wrote it as my play story. Anytime I hit a rough spot in the story I was currently writing, I'd pop over to my little paranormal and write a few pages. The change gave my mind a chance to work through the problems in my real book. In addition, writing in a world so different relaxed me.

Still, the question remains: Why bears? Why would a bear come to me at that time of my life? From my research, bears are a healing totem, one that requires you to rest (hibernation) and to find your strength. Mine certainly helped me through my six months of recovery and to strengthen my writing.

You can pre-order A HIGHLANDER'S OBSESSION at

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Leah St. James said...

How fun, Vonnie! And I'm really glad the golden spots were what they were. :-) Can't wait for your new release!

Jannine Gallant said...

There's a line between creativity and insanity? Who knew! You're not crazy,Vonnie. Just good at your job!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Leah, my heroes come to me in the oddest of ways. I've had men ride horses into our bedroom. A man on a Harley circling our bed, quite a feat since the headboard is against the wall and French government agents slamming our bedroom door and arguing with me over how I'd written a scene. I'm telling you, the men just won't leave me alone. LOL I must admit to being very nervous about this upcoming release. Will the paranormal fake be exposed???

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Jannine. I hadn't planned on anyone seeing this book. But I'd told our agent what I was working on since my current WIP had me stumped. So when the editor at Random House asked if I didn't have anything uncontracted, Dawn mentioned I did have a paranormal I was working on. The editor wanted to see it right away...and I was not pleased. It was my playtime story...a place to it's become a series that's tied me up tightly.

Alicia Dean said...

Aw, shucks! I'm so sorry I came to this post late. What a fantastic story about, what I am sure is to be a really fantastic book. I doubt you'll be exposed as a fake, because, now you DO write paranormal. Your story gave me chills. I wish my ideas came to me in such fun and exciting ways. Best wishes!