Write Because You Love To Write
May 8, 2006
Genie Davis just plain loves to write, and she's amassed a large body of work in the seven years she's been working professionally.
Her romantic suspense novel THE MODEL MAN (Kensington/Zebra) is a wildly entertaining story. LA psychic con-artist Christy Harris meets her match in homicide detective Joe Richter, but is true love really in the cards? Separating truth from fiction becomes increasingly difficult for Christy, in a town where illusion is often more convincing than reality.
Booklist says "Davis' romantic suspense THE MODEL MAN is truly a find. The protagonists are interesting; their love affair is convincing; Christy's best friend, Louie, is a delight; and the well-crafted mystery is as entertaining as one of Stephen J. Cannell's television shows."
More romantic suspense is coming in January 2007, with FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW also from Kensington/Zebra. Jessie Adams is a D.J. making a run for local political office to help save her best friend's music club, and embarking on an intense affair with Frank, a cop with his own cause.
She was also selected as an Amazon Shorts author. Her noir short story THE GIRL AND THE GUN is linked through her novels and sold exclusively on Amazon as part of a new program on the web giant's site.
A produced screen and television writer, Genie's work spans a variety of genres from supernatural thriller to romantic drama, action, family, teen, and comedy.
She's written on staff for ABC-TV's Port Charles; written, produced, and directed reality programming and documentaries for The Learning Channel, PBS, and HGTV, as well as numerous television commercials and corporate videos, the independent film, Losing Hope, and projects for Wes Craven Films, Smith Hemion Productions, and Wild at Heart.
Genie grew up in Maryland, but considers herself a California native now. She's married with two children whom she views as the most fascinating persons on the planet. When she's not writing, she likes to take road trips.
You can read about a few of them at
, including Driving through the American West
, and Gold and Ghosts
in the Sierra Nevada.
"I just hope everybody has as much fun reading my work as I've had writing it," she says.
How long did it take you to write your first book?
My first, DREAMTOWN was based on an original screenplay I'd optioned. So since I already had the story down pretty cold, less than a month, plus that was a relatively short book at 65,000 words. On average, it takes me between three and six months to write a book of around 80-90,000 words of fresh material. THE MODEL MAN, from Kensington Zebra, my first major publisher sale, took about six.
What was the back story behind the novel?
That first one, DREAMTOWN, was the story of a very downhearted, talented jazz musician and the love of his life. The back story was that I wanted to make a very simple film script, perfect for actors, inexpensive to produce, that would make audiences cry. Although the script has been repeatedly optioned, it’s never been produced; but the audience for the book, limited though its release was, since it was published by such a small press, has definitely been teary eyed.
With THE MODEL MAN, my agent suggested I write romantic suspense, and I tried to fit the genre but twist it enough to make it interesting and throw in a lot of quirky Hollywood antics. I was very much interested in the way everyone in Hollywood is an actor - you act the part of an agent, an actor, a writer, whatever. Someone who doesn't quite make it in the entertainment industry always has a bit of a con artist about them in my opinion. And that's what I brought into the book.
Who was the greatest motivator in helping you finish your book?
Myself. I write. Therefore I am.
And oh yeah, the possibility of selling it!
What was the biggest obstacle in finishing your book?
Second guessing myself as to whether I was writing to the market.
Describe your writing habits
I write while my kids are in school and after I work out at the gym five days a week So that's an average of 5- 6 hours a day. On weekends and vacations I write for 2-3 hours morning or late at night. If I have a deadline or am on a roll, I write longer, usually at night. There was a time when I'd get up at five a.m. and write, when I was writing for TV and doing my own stuff, but that hasn't happened in awhile!
I think it’s very important to write something, anything, every day.
How did you publish your book?
The first book was small-press trade paper and e book published. Advantage: simple sale. Big disadvantage: can't get it into stores. The second book, just published, THE MODEL MAN was published by a major publisher, Kensington Zebra as an inexpensive debut paperback. It is everywhere - but then so are lots of books. I'm hoping it stands out because it's a slightly offbeat, mystery laden, sexy romantic suspense
-- but has been categorized as romantic contemporary.
How long did it take, from the time you submitted your manuscript, to publish your book?
THE MODEL MAN was a follow up to a deal that disappeared on me with a mystery series. I submitted THE MODEL MAN to my agent in October, it was sold in March.
Do you have an agent? Did you try to find an agent? How did you find your agent?
Yes, I have an agent; my manager in LA first took my books out but found the publishing maze a difficult one to negotiate and made contact with one agent who referred us to another agency. How is that for circuitous?
Describe your experience with the rejection process?
My biggest problem was accepting that I was too commercial for literary small presses and not quite genre-fied enough for bigger presses - in the past. Or rather I "crossed genre" - romance/redemption/thriller stuff like that. I am happy to write whatever genre anyone wants me to write at the present.
How was the publishing process?
Once I had a contract, the process was delightful. I have had virtually no corrections (other than copy edits, which were skillfully done) on any of the three books published/scheduled for publication this year.
How did you select your cover art?
I didn't. With the small press and with Kensington Zebra and Kensington Aphrodisia, I just saw the finished product.
What have been some of your most effective promotional/marketing activities?
I'm learning as I go, but thus far book signings at chain book stores and reviews and interviews with on line and print publications that I've solicited. With the new erotica anthology release, I plan to do some print advertising.
What is one piece of advice you would give to new authors, just starting the process?
If people in the publishing industry tell you you're not literary fiction, you're not, at least not in today's marketplace. Pick a genre. Write to the genre and then try to make your voice fresh. Write A LOT.
Write because you love to write. Enjoy your story.
About Genie Davis
Genie Davis’ current romantic suspense title, The Model Man, is her first with Kensington/Zebra. The noir Dreamtown was published by a small press in 2001. In July 2006: erotica written as Nikki Alton from Kensington Aphrodisia’s The Cowboy; January 2007, more suspense with Five O’Clock Shadow. Her Amazon Shorts noir The Girl and the Gun is available exclusively on Amazon.
A produced screen and television writer, director, and producer, her work spans a variety of genres from supernatural thriller to romantic drama, action, family, teen, and comedy. Her credits include ABC’s Port Charles; the independent film, Losing Hope; reality programming and documentaries for The Learning Channel, PBS, and HGTV, numerous television commercials and corporate videos. When she’s not writing, she likes to travel, with a strong preference for road trips.
Genie Davis Profile at OnceWritten.com