Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I'm working on a book set in Paris, one of
my favorite cities. When one hears the word, Paris, one thinks of beauty, art galleries, stunning architecture, museums and, of course, romance.

Calvin first took me to Paris five years ago. He wanted to introduce me to the city he adored and where he lived for a year, writing at sidewalk cafes. There I discovered a different culture, a different way of thinking and, frankly, I fell in love.

My novel, Mona Lisa's Room, is a selfish endeavor, for in writing it I get to revisit all the places I so enjoyed. The story begins with my heroine standing in front of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. There she unwittingly foils a terrorist's bombing attempt. She is put into protective custody with Niko as her reluctant guardian. Sparks fly as soon as they meet, but they're certainly not sparks of attraction--or are they?

Niko is a native Parisian, devoted to his job in the counter-terrorism unit. He'd rather be in the thick of things than guarding her. He is arrogant and opinionated, not only with my heroine, but with me. Yes, my character bosses me around. Not when I'm awake, mind you, but when I'm asleep. He invades my dreams in that know-it-all, demanding way he has.

I suppose a bit of explanation is necessary or you'll think me mad. The first dream invasion happened the night after writing a scene outside a famed bookstore in Paris, Shakespeare and Company. I'd made it a romantic scene between the two of them. But in my dream, Niko and Alyson played the scene out for me not once, but three times until Niko yelled, "Now do you see why this scene won't work?" I crawled out of bed and powered up my laptop. I was not pleased. Still I had to admit the scene was better his way. Drats!

Then, last Thursday night while I was sleeping, Niko stormed into a room and slammed the door. The sound woke me and, bleary-eyed, I looked around our bedroom. What was that noise? Nothing seemed amiss so I rolled over and went back to sleep. Bamm! went the door again. This time Niko looked at me with his one eye-brow cocked as if to say, "Are you getting this, woman?" Frankly I wasn't. I snuggled against Calvin and was almost asleep when Niko whispered, "Don't go there. You know I'll slam the door again. Pay attention!"

I flopped onto my back, muttering, "If I could get my hands on you, you little rat-fink, I'd choke you. What is it you want to show me?"

Then he played it out. He stormed into an interrogation room and slammed the door (I wanted to tell him I already HAD that part). Sitting in a chair, her hands tied behind her back and wearing a blindfold, was my heroine. Then the vision faded...

That's all? That's all you're going to give me? Why is Alyson tied up? Why are you so angry? Are you angry with her or her situation? You woke me up for this???

I had to write four scenes to set up the door slamming scene, finally writing it yesterday. I can hardly wait to see what else Niko has in store for me. What about you writers? Do your characters invade your dreams? Tell me I'm not the only weird one out there!! Please!!!


AJ Nuest said...

Hi Vonnie! Your post made me smile. I can't speak for all writers out there, but this exact same thing happens to me too! And yep, I usually have to write four or more scenes, some times four or more chapters, to get my characters were they are DEMANDING to go. In fact, every once in a while when I'm stuck, I'll go recline on the sofa and close my eyes, waiting for them to tell me what's next. There must be something about that near-dream state that wakes the muse. Or, there's always the possibility our characters are just lying in wait for the opportune moment to strike. Shhh...she's almost asleep...GO NOW!

Emma Lai said...

Vonnie, you are definitely not the only one. I have numerous wips because characters hound me until I capture the essence of their stories.

Mary Ricksen said...

I never dream about my stories. I wish I would. That muse of your's gets your attention when she has something to say!

Clover Autrey said...

I only dream about my characters when I've gone to sleep after plotting in my head for a while. But usually what I dream about wouldn't work anyway, so back to plotting . . .
BTW I like your blog decor.

Ilona Fridl said...

Vonnie, great post! I had a fight with my hero, but not really in my dreams. I wanted to be depressed and break up with the heroine, but he kept saying no. I started writing the story the way I wanted and the thought stream dried up. There was no way he was going to get that depressed. When I changed it, the story started flowing again.

LaVerne Clark said...

Oooooo - I can't tell you how jealous of you I am!

I wish my characters would come visit me like that - but then - what would my hubbie think if I started calling out another man's name in my dreams? : ) I assume your's knows the names of your current hero and heroine? You could get in trouble otherwise : )

I'm afraid I just have the normal, hard slog of trying to figure out who these people are and what they might do if ....
I so wish they'd come visit me sometimes too : )

BTW - I think I've already mentioned to you before, but the cover for Storm's Interlude is GORGEOUS!

Kat Duncan said... characters do the same thing: invade dreams and demand attention. Mine are a bit more gentle than yours, though... :)

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks for all your comments. LaVerne, my husband wears hearing aides, not to bed, of course, so I'm safe in calling out another man's name. Plus, he's a writer so he understands the muse visiting at night when our minds are free from outside distractions. So great hearing from you all! Write on!!!

Charmaine said...

Yes, my protagonist, Tyrone talked to me a lot while I wrote his screenplay. He would visit me in my mind and say, "That's not how I would have said that." Or, "I wear baggy clothes and I'm cute." Stuff like that. So, no you are not crazy, you are gifted!