Name Wynette Davis
Where are you from
I was born in Columbus, Ohio, but I spent most of my life in Sacramento, CA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
My father was in the military, as was my husband. I married pretty young, so I didn’t go to college until I was in my late thirties. I have my degree in social science, and was a substitute teacher for ten years. My husband retired in ’96, and we settled in Antelope, which is suburb of Sacramento.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Well, right now I’m in the middle of finishing up the fourth book in The Maidens of Mocmoran Series. It’s my first fantasy series, and I love writing it.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Being the middle child in my family, I guess I’ve always had an active imagination. But I seriously started writing back in 1998. I knew nothing about what I had to do. I only know that I had this story in my head that wouldn’t go away. The only thing I knew to do was to write it down. And I mean I wrote it down in long hand. In tablets. But I never sent it in. I still have those tablets, though.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I remember the moment that I said that to myself. It was when I was sent my first contract from Siren. I thought, yeah…this is it. I’m published. I’m a writer. It still to this day feels weird.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’m sure a lot of writers do this, but I have stories that unfold in my head. I walk around my house saying dialog lines of the characters I’ve made up. So, this one time I was in the mood to have a southern accent. For no other reason than to have some fun with myself. Now, this is the first book I had published, A Taste of Sugar. The very first book I wrote, I couldn’t begin to tell you what was going through my head it was so long ago. But this specific time, I was just having fun with the accent, and it morphed into a love story between a long-time crush, a sweet southern girl, and the man she’d always thought of as her closest friend. That’s usually the way my stories unfold, with the accents or by talking to myself.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Relatable characters that aren’t super rich, or race specific. Most of my books are about interracial, biracial, or multiracial characters and loves. And my heroines are all what some would call plus size. I won’t use the word fat, but the women are curvy, with lots of boobs and butt. With the exception of my fantasy series, which isn’t race specific, I like to mix things up in my books. I think it shows the reader that love can happen to anyone regardless of who they are, or what race thay are. I come from multiracial background, and I like to show that part of who I am in my books.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Some writers are plotters, while others are what we call pantsters. Plotters write out outlines of their storylines and characters, while pantsters sit and write from the seat of their pants (gotta love ‘em). I’m a plotter. I have to write out what my characters look like, where the story is taking place, the major conflict, etc. I don’t decide on the title until I’ve finished my outline for everything. Then I can get a feel for what the book should be called. Sometimes it’s a few words that I use in the book. In the case of Buttercream, I used what Cadence saw was her perfect love. Her perfect life. Buttercream. The sweet and silky, and sinfully delicious icing also had a double entendre, if you know what I mean?
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. I want my readers to know that they don’t have to be a certain size to experience love, passion, and desire. I want them to grasp that race isn’t important, but that everyone has their own perceptions and stereotypes that they have to get over in order to love fully. And that there are handsome, sexy, muscled men that can appreciate the curves of certain women.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I didn’t say that there are some things in some of my books that I’m basing on real experiences. But if I have to put a percentage on things, I would have to say that less than five percent of my books have that. Most of what I write is strictly from my head. I have an active imagination. I write erotic romance. If most of what I wrote was from personal experience, I’d be exhausted. Happy, but exhausted.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
This is a strange bit of information about me. I write erotic romance, but I love to read horror and mystery. The gorier the better. But I do read some romance. I like Angela Verdenious, Marilyn Lee, Laurel K Hamilton. But I’m mostly a Stephen King, Robert McCammon, and Kelly Armstrong reader.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It’s hard for me to answer this question because while I love to read, I don’t actively look for new authors. I usually just read the blurb, and if it peaks my interest, I read it. I love to read horror, but of the romance books I read, I became critical of some of them because I can’t relate. The characters are usually rich, petite, and white. It was the problem I saw in many of the romance books I used to read in the past, and why I suppose I turned to reading other genres. I mean, Danielle Steele is a very accomplished writer, but each of her characters are petite, live in loft in NYC, and have attracted the eye of the oil baron bachelor.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I would have to say my Siren author friends. Siren authors are so supportive of each other’s accomplishments. With my first book, they’ve been right there with me. I’m sure that other publishing houses have supportive writers also, but those that I’ve had the opportunity to know have been my support from the beginning.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I had to think hard on this one. I don’t see it as a career in a sense that it’s something that I’ve always wanted to aspire to being. I love writing. I love creating, but if I get writer’s block and don’t write for a week, I’m still going to survive. I see writing as a gift. I suppose some people see what they do as a career as a gift also, but writing for me, and I stress that it’s only in my opinion for me, is like taking my mind to Disneyland. It can be stressful. I may get tired because of the exercise I have to do to walking from one side of the park to the other. But it’s also amazingly fun. It’s exciting, exhilarating, sometimes disappointing, but always surprising as to what I can write down and how I tell a story.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My latest book is a series. The Maidens of Mocmoran. My first books were contemporary, as was the series The Conjure Bones. This series is my first fantasy. I love writing fantasy, because it’s more or less an anything goes kind of thing, as long as it makes sense in the context that it’s written. If I want someone to bleed blue blood they can. In most contemporary novels, strict research has to happen in order to know about the region or area you’re writing about. It’s liberating to write fantasy. So, no. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As I said before, I became kind of disillusioned with some of the books that I was reading. I love to read, and I used to love to read romance. But as I read romance, I want to feel a connection to the characters. In horror, my connection is hoping they survive or get out of the predicament they’re in. But in romance, readers become so invested in the emotions of the heroine and hero, that they can at times see themselves in place of that character. But if the heroine is a beautiful, size four, blonde, that has a successful business, and travels to Italy to meet the hunky Italian playboy, I can’t become invested. I can’t connect because it’s so far from my reality. Understanding that it is fantasy, but let’s admit that while reading everyone puts themselves in the place of the hero or heroine that’s lucky enough to find love and passion that we all want.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m on the fourth book in The Maidens of Mocmoran series, and I have to admit, I’m loving the way the story is heading. Like I said before, I’m a plotter. I’ve written the outline for this book, but sometimes the book doesn’t want to go in that direction, and I change some things. This has been one of those times. I have to let the book go where it wants to go. In the beginning, I thought it would be a four book series, but it needed to be a six book series. Each book is titled with the heroine’s name. Each book is centered on the romance and love of the heroine and her hero or in some cases heroes. And in each book, the conflict central to all of the other books is building to ultimately end in the finale. Maybe.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
In writing contemporary books, the challenge is always am I portraying the city, town, or the people in the correct way. I remember writing a fictitious town in a region on the east coast in one of my books, and also giving it two fictitious rivers near the town. I remember the editor writing that there was no such river in that area. I had to tell her, yeah, I know. I made them up. But her suggestion was to make it more relatable to the reader by using actual rivers. As a writer, you sometimes just want to go off the grid and not be regionally correct or specific.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Thankfully there is the Internet. But I was also lucky enough to have travelled when my husband was active duty. On top of that, my father was also in the military, and my family travelled a lot. Unfortunately, there are some places that I would love to just go to and study the area and the people for a specific book, but travelling isn’t free. Some people may think that because I write, I’m pulling in the big bucks. Nope. But I’ve been to most of the southern US states, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, and some of the US mid-west. I suppose that if I’d been writing in the eighties, I would have to travel in order to get a better feel about what I was writing about. But nowadays, I can take a cyber vacation.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’m fortunate to be with Siren Bookstrand. They have amazing in-house cover artists. I can get an outside artist and pay for them to design my covers, but it isn’t cheap. Some want a percentage of your sales, and others want a set amount up front. Either way, it cuts into the profits. So far, I’ve been pretty satisfied with the covers of my books. I would love to have my heroines on the cover more curvy and sexy, but the artist is limited to what they have in stock. Unfortunately, there aren’t many curvy, fuller figured models that they can pick from.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I love this question. When I began writing, I didn’t know anything. I just regurgitated whatever was in my head out. I had no idea what POV was, or what was meant by head-hopping. I didn’t know if there would even be a market for what I wrote. I hadn’t put a name on it. I actually had to Google it. I just thought I wrote a book about love, and passion, and that dangerous, sensual, sexual experience that comes with it. Knowing that there was a genre out there called erotic romance, kind of made me feel at ease. But then the hard part began after my book was accepted for publishing. Blurbs. I’d written a book with over 50,000 words and they wanted me to give a hook about the book in twenty-five. Then do it in sixty. Then again in 160. I hate blurbs. It’s that hook that’s the hardest. That grab that’s supposed to pull a reader into your book and make them want to read it. They want that in the opening of chapters, also. I write as I see my story unfolding, like a fade-in of a movie. It’s difficult to try and make each chapter a hook, and harder still to condense all that you’ve written into twenty-five words. Yes, the hardest thing about writing a book is blurbs.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Some people write from experience. But as an erotic romance writer…um, that’s not going to happen. That’s supposed to be a joke. I suppose the one thing I learned is to write in my own voice, and write what feels right to me. I’m published under Siren. There are some very talented and amazing authors with Siren, but most of them also write books that are far from my own style. I was worried about that in the beginning. When I told people that I was being published with Siren, they immediately said things like, “Oh they publish straight sex books,” or “Oh, Siren only publishes LBGTQ books.” We all have our own style. Our own voice. There are some books that have scene after scene filled with sex. That’s fine. I don’t write sex that tells a story. I write stories that have some sex scenes in it. In most instances, my characters won’t have their first kiss until chapter five or six. I believe in developing the romance, as what would happen in real life.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
I’ve often had this fantasy that one of my books would make it to the big or even the small screen. I don’t know of any actress out right now that would fit the character description of most of my heroines. I would have to have a casting call. The women would have to be curvy. I peruse many sites that have curvy models for my muses in my books. I would have to say that it’s one of my favorite things to do when I begin to flesh out my storylines. Especially when I’m looking for that specific male image. But an actual actress or actor? That would be hard. None come to mind.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just do it. No matter if you think no one would read it, write it down. It can be absolute garbage right now, but that can be fixed and cleaned up. Write it down and send it in. Conquer that fear that we’ve all had in the beginning. Even now, after finishing, and polishing, and reading through my manuscript five times, my finger still hovers over the send button for a little too long before I actually hit it. I have friends that always joke with me about where I would be now if I’d sent in the first book I wrote eighteen years ago. But I have to say one thing. If you’re looking to become super rich from writing—if that’s the reason that drives you to write—don’t. Write because you love it. Write because you can’t function until you get that story out of your head. I didn’t start writing because I wanted to get rich from it. If one person reads my books and likes them, that’s enough for me. And I say that without trying to sound altruistic. I say it from the pure joy of loving to write. And that first book will be far different from the second, seventh, or whatever that you write, as you grow and learn your voice. Do it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
For those who read and like my books, thank you. I’m one of those writers that doesn’t look at reviews. I feel they’re subjective. What one might love, another may not, so I thank my readers. I will continue to write stories that feel good to me. I won’t write something just to sell. Even at this moment, I’m having characters in my head clamoring to be written (not literally, because that would be weird, right?)
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m re-reading all of the Anita Blake Series by Laurel K Hamilton. I read them years ago, but I love vampire novels. Real vampires. Not pseudo-vampires that are in high school, and shimmer when they come in contact with sunlight. I like vampires that are seductive, drink blood, and can’t see the light of day without “dying”.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I’m going way back. It was a Dr. Seuss book I got from the library at school. I think I was in the second grade. It could have been the first. I think it was “I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew.” I loved all of the weird names and rhymes. That might have been the catalyst for how I come up with all of the names in my fantasy series.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
If I’m watching anything on TV and a dog or a pet dies, that’s it. It’s blubber city for me. I also cried when I saw the last Harry Potter movie, and Lord of The Rings. Laughter? I laugh all of the time at stupid things. I crack jokes to myself and laugh at them. Getting older is hilarious. At the rate I’m going, it should be a tickle a minute as the years go by.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Idris Elba, and do I really need to explain why? I mean, I could say the G-rated reason, but I can’t really concentrate on that with the XXX-rated one playing out in my head.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I want to be cremated and scattered at sea off the coast of some beautiful island in the Caribbean. And then my loved ones are to go back to the resort (all inclusive, of course) and party to celebrate my life. But if I were to have a tombstone, I would want “F*** that was fun” on it.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love to spend time with my very first grandbaby. She’s beautiful, and her name is Fiona Rose (Hmmmm?). I also like to crochet, read, play The Sims 4, video games, and I love to go to the movies.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Walking Dead, The Strain, The Exorcist, Law and Order SVU, anything on HGTV, American Housewife, Empire, Rosewood, and my Thursday night trifecta- Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal or Notorious, How to Get Away With Murder, and a bunch of others. Too many to go through. I love to watch TV.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Chinese food. If I were on a deserted island, I would miss Chinese food more than my husband (Not seriously, though). I love Chinese food. My favorite color is blue. But not the normal blue. More of an aqua-greenish blue. Vibrant, yet still not to be misunderstood to be blue. The music I like is eclectic. I’m old school R&B to my core, but I also like 80’s rock, country, some pop, some hip-hop (Hip-hop not gangsta-rap), jazz, I love ballads of the 50’s and 60’s, and alternative. If I like it, I like it. Right now I’ve been listening to this song from the 80’s, “Missing You”. It’s on every time I’m in the car.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Talk show host! I’m a talker. I can honestly picture myself as a talk show host. Other than that, I’ve done it. Call me old fashioned and a blemish to the feminist movement, but I loved being a wife and mother. I’m proud of the two human beings I raised. And when I had to work, I truly missed being with them.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do have a blog page, but to be honest, I’m not that diligent at blogging on it. I always kind of forget I have it, but my blog page is http://wynettedavis.blogspot.com
And just saying, that picture of me is eighty-four pounds ago. I try to keep on top of my website. It’s not perfect, but I like it. My website is http://wynettedavis.weebly.com/
Thank you, Fiona. I enjoyed this. Here are links to my books. Plus links are on my website for each book. I’m changing that soon.
My author page. http://amazon.com/author/wynettedavis