Friday, August 13, 2010

Dee Davis, Guest Blogger

It’s my pleasure to welcome award-winning author Dee Davis back to Thoughts in Progress as a special guest blogger on her virtual blog tour.

Dee is busy promoting the third book in her A-Tac series, DESPERATE DEEDS. Thanks to Dee, Anna and the folks at Hachette Book Group I have five copies of the book to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway guidelines.

Here’s a brief synopsis of DESPERATE DEEDS: “As the demolitions expert for A-Tac, a black-ops CIA unit masquerading as Ivy League faculty, Tyler Hanson has two great loves: literature and explosives. She lives by the motto "Duty First" and doesn't have time for personal attachments . . . until a steamy one-night stand turns into a professional partnership.

When Tyler meets Owen Wakefield, a handsome British operative, she seduces him with no intention of ever seeing him again. But then the sexy Brit is brought into A-Tac, and despite Tyler's efforts to keep her distance, she finds herself falling for him. Trusting him.

Owen seems too good to be true - and he is. He's hiding his true motives and identity, and no matter how he feels about Tyler, he can't keep her secrets. One of A-Tac's members has turned traitor and helped terrorists to hijack a shipment of nuclear weapons. As witnesses start dying and evidence starts disappearing, Owen and Tyler must race to find the mole - and prevent a final, cataclysmic act of destruction.”

I asked Dee, “When you started your first book in this series, did you plan to do a series or did the other books just come to life?”

A-Tac sprang to life somewhere in the dark of the night as I was sleeplessly trying to work out a plot twist for an earlier book.  And it was crafted into a full-fledged idea sitting beside the pool at my best friend’s house after she didn’t laugh at the idea of a black-ops CIA united using a college for cover.   

So it was very much a series from the beginning. And the characters came secondarily to the idea (which is not always the case –as in Just Breathe where the heroine Chloe was the catalyst for the story.)

From there the individual stories began to take shape. Nash and Annie came easily. As did Tyler and Owen. Drake came more slowly, his character development in Dark Deceptions reshaping my ideas for his story. And Madeline actually had a complete character renovation, her backstory evolving as I began to seriously plot Dangerous Desires.  

The secondary team members also changed and morphed as I grew to know them better. And the fourth book (coming next year) actually found itself a new hero, with a completely different plot from what I’d originally conceptualized.  The ideas for books five and six (coming in 2012) were also complete surprises. So it will be interesting to see how they evolve as well.

The truth is that every book is a little bit different. Some of them springing practically fully formed from my subconscious with others having to be coaxed along the way. And still others, refusing to reveal themselves without a heck of a lot of sleepless nights.  

And this series has been no different. So even though it was conceived as a series, each book has brought its own set of roadblocks as I’ve worked to create compelling stories involving all members of the A-Tac team. But for me that’s half the fun of writing. Letting the characters take control to lead me on their journey.  Sounds crazy, no?  But hey, I’m a writer.

So what do you as readers look for in a series?

Dee, thanks for stopping by again. I can see how some characters just take over and create their own series.

Dee 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. She’s lived in Austria, traveled extensively in Europe, and although she now lives in Manhattan, she still calls Texas home. Her website is

Now the giveaway. I have 5 copes of the 400 page paperback, DESPERATE DEEDS (ISBN: 9780446542029) to giveaway. To enter the giveaway send me an e-mail ( with “Win Desperate Deeds” in the subject line and be sure to include your name and address in the body of the e-mail. The giveaway is open to residents of U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. The giveaway ends at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28. Just so you know, I don’t share your information with anyone or use it for anything else.



  1. I find it interesting you started one of your books with the plot and then came the characters. Did it remain plot driven after the characters came in?

    Your books sound very interesting.


  2. Interesting to see how and when some writers get their ideas! Nice interview!

  3. Hello! I won't enter the giveaway as am sadly based in the UK, but it definitely sounds an interesting book - love Tyler's two great loves - literature and explosives! And of course the rather nice looking man on the front cover as well... :)

  4. Mason - Thanks for hosting Dee.

    Dee - Being in higher education, and setting my own mystery series on a campus, I find it absolutely fascinating that you've chosen an Ivy League "cover" for your team. I wish you much success with your books.

  5. Dee, thanks so much for stopping back by and telling us how the series began.

    Hi all, thanks for stopping by too. Hope everyone has a great Friday (even though it is the 13th). I'm off to work so it will be late before I pop back in. Thanks again.

  6. Journaling Woman. I think plot and character must always go hand in hand when writing a novel. So even though this one started from plot, it immediately was strengthened and enriched as I began to develop the characters. What I love about a series though is that you get secondary characters who get a chance to develop on the page before they actually have a story of their own.

  7. Jayne,

    If you do read the book, you have to promise to tell me if I got the "English" right. I so love your country and all things English. Very much an anglophile here. And Owen is a fav of mine.

  8. Margot, Have always loved higher education. If my dad hadn't taken back the credit card, I'd still be there today, I'm certain. Have always loved the idea of being a professor. And also being in the CIA -- so there you go, two fantasies in one!

  9. Sounds like a great book and a great series, too. I love stories like this. And it's good to know I'm not the only writer with sleepless nights. Thanks for hosting her, Mason.

    Under the Tiki Hut

  10. I haven't read any of this series yet but all of your books sound good! I picked up my first of your books recently, Eye of the Storm, and am looking forward to reading it. I gather it's not part of a series though? Which is fine, I love stand alone books as well, but I am a big fan of series. When you've read a good first book, it's exciting to find a second book featuring one of the other characters from the first book.

  11. I know just what you mean about series readrobin. There is something really fun about knowing that the world you've fallen into is going to continue after the last pages of the first book. Eye of the Storm is a a stand alone book, but all of my books are in the same "world" if you will -- they all live in my imagination and if you pay attention you'll see the references and overlaps sometimes.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.