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

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I've been looking forward to today for more than a week. My dear online friend, author Rolynn Anderson is here to talk about her series and newest release, SWOON.

This train is moving too fast for me to step off.  Yup, I’m deep into writing a series on a boutique funeral planner (FADEOUT and SWOON), and I’ll be writing a third book for sure (FAINT).  Maybe a fourth.  Most of you know by now that I conceived of the series after planning my own father’s funeral in 2005, striving to personalize my dad’s sendoff.


To the concept of boutique funerals, I added light suspense and a complex plot.

 Mixed in romance, of course. 

Roman is a definitely a keeper.
Introduced a cute, but mysteriously gifted Scottie named Elwood.


Gave my heroine, Jan Solvang, a fainting disorder and a few other challenges.


But here’s the thing.  The topic is death and funerals, a subject most of us prefer not to talk about, much less plan for.  My character builds her own obituary in her thirties, for heaven’s sake.  She knows how to look death in the eye without blinking.  Give her a room of grief-stricken people and she’ll turn sadness into celebration.

My heroine isn’t me.  I have not written my obituary, updated my will, thought about a ‘ceremony,’ or made a decision on the ash/burial question.  I am rendered mute by grief.

Am I alone with this…being courageous in my writing, but cowardly in my life?  Will it take book three or book four to spark my growth arc?

This writer wants to know:  Have you gained courage from your characters? 


Don't miss SWOON by Rolynn Anderson! If you like an interesting cast of characters, a heavy dose of mystery and a lot of fabulous surprises, you'll be happily turning pages late into the night.ˮ

~ Brenda Novak, NYT and USA Bestselling Author of WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES


Her dead clients won’t rest in peace.

When the dead tell tales, Jan Solvang’s first reaction is to RUN!  But then she gets caught up in their mysteries.

Jan’s a boutique funeral planner, new to risk, hired to bury a missing woman and memorialize an infamous man.  Yet when she digs for clues to write their eulogies, she disturbs family secrets and unmasks killers.

Roman Keller, hard-driving documentary writer, is in complete control of his life and his stories, until he falls for Jan, a woman who trusts her dog, her faint-dreams, and her instincts more than she trusts him.


Can they make the sacrifices necessary to cement their relationship or will the mayhem caused by the dead ruin their second chance at love?  


Web/buy site for SWOON:



Marlie Bridges said...

Rolynn - What an interesting post (the images add so much), and an interesting question. I'm not sure I gained courage from my characters, but I have gained my voice by bringing them to life. I HAD to LOL. They were shouting at me to get going.

Good Luck with your series!

Angela Adams said...

Hi, Rolynn,

I think there's a little bit of us in the characters we write. By the way, I have to tell you one more time how much I love that dog!Have fun at "Vintage Vonnie!"

Vonnie Davis said...

I have all my heroines do things I can't do, like wear stilettos. My knees just won't allow it. They are also more fiesty, saying things or reacting in ways I often think about, but by nature don't force myself to do.

Great post, Rolynn. Wishing you great sales and positive reviews.

Rolynn Anderson said...

You raise an interesting point Marlie. I wonder if our voices (words) change as we write tons of dialogue about arcing characters. More confident; assertive... Vonnie, I must say that the effect your stilettos had on Niko made me think I had to go buy some, but like you, my knees wouldn't be up to the challenge. Have my characters given me more courage in the romance area? I say YES! :-)

Thanks to all for your comments on my series. And Angela, I'm smitten by Elwood, the Scottie, too!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Rolynn. Love the cover for Swoon. :) I gain much from the process of writing my characters, but I don't think it includes extra courage. When I read or write, I get lost in the characters' worlds. When I put the books down I have to get back to my real life and all of its challenges and pleasures.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Rolynn - I must say that book cover is fantastic. Wow. I love it.
As for me, I avoid all things death related on the personal front. I know I need to deal with them, yet keep putting it off.

I think what I've learned from my characters in general, is to not give up when all seems lost. I like how they suffer through making things right by the end. I hope to do that with my life, too.

Fun blog. Shout out to Vonnie!

Maddy said...

There's a two hour radio programme on NPR about end of life decisions that I plan to tune into today.

But to answer your question = of course they give strength. Don't all our 'imaginary friends.' : )

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I absolutely am intrigued by your concept, Rolynn. You have quite an imagination to come up with these ideas. Sounds like a very interesting story.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Dawn Marie, you are smart to see reality as challenging and pleasurable as fiction. Lynne, thanks for the compliment on the DH came up with the idea! I like to hear you're determined to transfer hope and courage from fiction to real life!

Maddie, I'm interested in the NPR program...good tip.

Paisley. Thanks for your compliments on my series concept and my blog question! This is such an intelligent group...I have to keep on my toes :-)

Joanne Stewart said...

Hi Rolynn! Very interesting post. My characters are an extension of me. I think rather than them giving me courage, I think they give me a voice. I express things in my writing I might not otherwise. Writing is almost therapeutic for me. But like someone else mentioned, I get lost in my writing. There are times when I go back and read something I don't even remember writing.

Terrific cover, BTW. Love the premise!

Sarah Grimm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rolynn Anderson said...

Joanne, thanks for the compliment on my cover. I think you're right, we do work out issues in our books and the experience can be cathartic. What's more, we can live much more exciting lives on paper than we do in reality. We'll have to ask a Linda Howard or Suzanne Brockman if, after writing all their books, they have upped their game, personally. I think I'll ask; inquiring minds want to know! Rolynn

Rolynn Anderson said...

So pleased to join you at Vintage Vonnie! Thanks for hosting me, my dear. I know you're busy writing...get back to it girl! Rolynn

Susan Macatee said...

What a great question, Rolynn! My characters do all kinds of things I can't do, whether it's from fear or lack of ability. But all of my heroines start with a small bit of myself and something I've dreamed of doing. After all, writing fiction is the perfect way to experience excitment and danger through our characters. It's a lot of fun, too.