Dee Davis has a BA in Political Science and History, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. During a ten-year career in public relations, she spent three years on the public speaking circuit, edited two newsletters, wrote three award winning public service announcements, did television and radio commercials, starred in the Seven Year Itch, taught college classes, lobbied both the Texas State Legislature and the US Congress, and served as the director of two associations.
Her highly acclaimed first novel, Everything In Its Time, was published in July 2000. Since then, among others, she’s won the Booksellers Best, Golden Leaf, Texas Gold and Prism awards, and been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Holt and two RT Reviewers Choice Awards. To date, she has sold eighteen books and three novellas, including Chain Reaction and A Match Made on Madison.
She’s lived in Austria and traveled in Europe extensively. And although she now lives in Manhattan she still calls Texas home.
By Dee Davis
Often times when we think of world building we think of great fantasy writers. The worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Terry Brooks and J.K. Rowling. Whether it’s Middle Earth, Narnia, Landover or Hogwarts, we are transported to a magical place created inside the author’s mind. But this kind of world building isn’t limited to the fantastical. All writers build worlds. Granted some are more elaborate than others. But in every author’s mind there exists a special place where their characters live. We’re transported instantly, and sometimes without warning, while driving down the street, watching passersby, and sometimes, unfortunately, in the middle of something that quite honestly should be considered more pressing. But there you have it –writers live in their own little worlds.
People often ask which of my books are connected and I’m often tempted to tell them that they’re all related. Katherine and Jeff from Everything in it’s Time are related to Kacy in After Twilight and quite distantly to Michael in The Promise. And in my newest series, Harrison Blake, who appeared as a supporting player in the Last Chance series and once worked for John in Midnight Rain, shows up in the third book A-Tac book, Desperate Deeds, to help the team find the traitor in their midst. And these are just a few examples of how my imaginary world links the characters within the books I write.
World building in series work is perhaps even more important. Continuity is crucial and if a series spans more than a couple of books, it’s critical for a writer to maintain not only a story bible, but one for details as well. Characters favorite things, descriptions of their homes, their families, their feelings on any number of subjects. If A-Tac’s second in command Nash Brennon hates technology in Dark Deceptions he’d darned well better not hack into a computer in Dangerous Desires (at least not without a lot of grumbling and some serious help). Or if Tyler Hanson, who we learn in Desperate Deeds, has good reason to hate umbrella drinks, we’d better not find her sipping a pina colada in Dark Deceptions. Readers are smart people and believe me they always catch these kinds of mistakes.
So whether the writer’s world is as far removed from reality as Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland in the Alice books or as grounded in truth as J.D. Salinger’s New York in Catcher in the Rye, world building is crucial to creating a compelling read. One that transports the reader away from their own particular reality, if only for a few magical hours.
When you think about great world-building what authors and books spring to mind?
Dark Deceptions is the first book in her romantic suspense A-Tac series. The book is currently available in bookstores and will be followed by Dangerous Desires in July and Desperate Deeds in August. You can read the prologue and first three chapters here.
Take a look at some fun extras by visiting the book micro site here.
Synopsis (Product Description):
A-Tac is an elite CIA unit masquerading as faculty at an Ivy League college. Brilliant, badass, and seemingly bulletproof, the members of A-Tac are assigned to the riskiest missions and the most elusive targets.
TORN BETWEEN DUTY AND DESIRE
Covert operations expert Nash Brennon has spent the last eight years trying to forget Annie Gallagher, his former field partner and the only woman he ever loved. Annie betrayed him when he needed her most, then vanished without a trace. Now suddenly she’s back in the game – this time as a suspected traitor and threat to national security.
Annie’s son has been kidnapped by political terrorists. The price for his life? Assassinate a UN ambassador. When Nash and his group find her, the smoldering passion between Annie and the man she swore she’d never contact again blazes out of control. But can Nash trust her? The stakes couldn?t be higher: Their enemy’s endgame is personal, and one false move could cost them their lives.
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