Wednesday, April 7, 2010


By Dee Davis

The American Tactical Intelligence Command (A-Tac) is an off the books blacks ops division of the CIA. Hiring only the best and the brightest, A-Tac is made up of academicians with a talent for espionage. Working under the cover of one of the United States’ most renowned think tanks as a part of Sunderland College– A-Tac uses its collegiate status to keep its activities ‘eyes only’.

I suppose my love of academia is in part responsible for the creation of A-Tac. I graduated from Hendrix College in Arkansas. A small liberal arts school, the campus is dotted with ivy shrouded buildings and tree covered grounds. So although I moved my fictional Sunderland to upstate New York, it’s still very much Hendrix that I see as I write. And like Nash Brennon (the hero of DARK DECEPTIONS), my degree is in political science and history. Although unlike Nash, I have never worked for the CIA or taught in the social sciences.

However, I am a mother. Which brings us to our heroine, Annie. I think the biggest fear for any mother, especially of young children, is something happening to them. And as a romantic suspense writer, I’m afraid my mind often runs to the more dire end of that spectrum. So as I began my ‘what if’ questions for DARK DECEPTIONS, I confess to giving in to my worst fear. My child being abducted. And of course from there it only turned more dismal. What if not only was your child kidnapped, but the kidnapper demanded something awful in return for the release?

What if you were asked to kill someone?

It’s a nightmare situation—no matter the circumstances. But for Annie Gallagher it’s accompanied by a horrifying sense of guilt, her past finally catching up with her. An ex-CIA operative and trained assassin, Annie left the life to protect her son. But things have a way of coming full circle, and in the process of trying to rescue her child, Annie comes face to face with the only man she’s ever loved—Nash Brennon.

Only it’s Nash’s job to stop her —at any cost.

As a romantic suspense author, I often capitalize on my worst fears to find plot points. When I lived in Vienna we traveled a great deal by train. In Europe there’s a gap between the train and the platform, and to make it more daunting, a set of steps leading down from the opening. Every time we disembarked from a train, I lived in fear of falling with my daughter in my arms and the stroller over my shoulder. I never did, thankfully, but that fear led to Chloe falling off of a train on to a dead body in JUST BREATHE. Similarly, my lifelong fear of driving off a bridge surfaced in EYE OF THE STORM when the hero and heroine’s car is forced off a causeway into the ocean. The same one I crossed on regular basis as a teenager. And more literally, my irrational fear of revolving doors haunts Vanessa in A MATCH MADE ON MADISON.

So what are your worst fears? And could you use them in a novel?♥

On the brink of turning forty, award winning author Dee Davis realized that life only happens once. In total panic, she decided it was time to stop talking about writing a book and “just do it”. To that end she sat down at the computer and hasn’t left since. The transplanted Texan now lives in Manhattan. The time she doesn’t spend writing is spent with her husband, her daughter, her cat and her Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Visit her online at

CONTEST!!!  Dee is giving away an autographed ARC of Book 3, DESPERATE DEEDS.  Sign up today at  Good luck.



  1. Dee,
    As a romantic suspense and medical thriller writer, I have the same experience. I haven't written about child abductions, but my medical professional villain is scary. It's funny how my med associates really get into parts of my stories that I let them read. (Still waiting for that call!)As a doctor, it's daunting how much power and responsibility I have over people, especially when their vulnerable.

  2. Robin Cook is one of my favorite authors. And I think he makes your point with every book he writes! And I love Michael Crichton as well (and he was a doctor in another life too!)

  3. I think my greatest fear is going blind. Everything I do is associated with sight. I'm a beadmaker, computer consultant, writer, and pathological reader. Some of that I could manage without sight, but some would be impossible. And I couldn't do *any* of it with the ease or speed I do now.

    I used to work on web accessibility projects, and one of the things that still irritates the heck out of me is sites about books--or anything other than artwork portfolios, really--that use Flash. Because Flash is totally inaccessible to people who have are using screen readers and other accessibility programs.

    Could I use it in a book? Yes. I haven't done so, but I've toyed with the idea.

  4. I think going blind would be frightening as well. I did write a secondary character (Wild Highland Rose) who is blind. It was definitely a challenge and would be even more so with a hero or heroine.

  5. My greatest fear is drowning. I have an irrational fear of water, which is why I'd rather not travel by ship/boat. My husband would love to go on a cruise one day but I've told him it would have to be without me...