Interview with Roxann Davis

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
There's my dog, Jack, that needs to be walked. If I don't get up within a reasonable amount of time, he huffs (a cross between heavy breathing and a bark) which escalates to a "whisper" bark so as not to wake up my husband, and if I don't respond to either of those "inspirations", there's a full-on bark. Jack is an 87 lb. Golden Retriever. He commands respect. He does, however, allow me to begin my day each day with a twenty-minute meditation. It's our agreement.

Once out of bed and out the door to walk--rain, hail, sleet, or snow--I consider my day and attempt to resolve the issues of the day. Issues of the day often include what I have to write next...be it a chapter or a new book.
What is your writing process?
I suppose that question is a natural follow on to what "inspires" me to get out of bed. The process can vary slightly from day to day. If there's a book that I'm writing, then I try to get all my writing done before 3 p.m. I'm really not motivated after that. I am not a 3 a.m. writer under any circumstances. On those days that I'm not feeling "it", I'll edit what I've written, if that's appropriate. Or I'll work on marketing the published or soon-to-be published books. I can usually be good for two to three solid hours of writing and those are really good days for me.

If I'm trying to come up with a new book idea or flesh out a fresh idea, I'll consider what needs to be done to make it a reality. That could be more research on the content, characters, or plot. I could also sit down and write out -- yes with pen and paper -- some plot notes. It is not unheard of for me to write the first chapter longhand before moving to my computer.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read a lot as a kid. My parents were great ones for having the Reader's Digest Condensed version books...you know, the ones with three or four of the top books of the day in them. So I probably read things I wasn't supposed to be reading, but they never stopped me. If it was good enough for Reader's Digest, it must have been good enough for me. So I'd have to say that I don't remember reading a book that had an impact on me until I was about 13 or 14. That was "To Kill a Mockingbird", not the condensed version. I also remember reading Rachel Carson's, "Silent Spring". I've been reading ever since. I will say I was lucky enough in high school to have friends both female and male who were reading the books of the day and we would discuss and recommend them to one another regularly.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Right, where did I grow up. I was a Braniff-brat, meaning my father worked for Braniff Airways and we moved around a lot until I was in junior high school. While we didn't always live in Texas, as a Texan my father always tried to work there as often as he could. So, we moved from Minnesota to Houston when I was in the third grade. From Houston we moved to Brownsville, Texas where they stayed until they passed on. So those formative teen years I grew up in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. That would be from 1959 until 1964 when I went back to Houston for college. Everything about Texas--the good and the bad--has influenced my writing. You cannot be a Texan and not grow up hearing stories (in reality I was born in Colorado). The fact that I grew up in a border town straddling not only two cultures but two countries and two races was the absolute best and most influential thing that could have ever happened to me. I met my husband in Brownsville. Now that man can tell stories!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I have told people that writing novels--or anything, really--is the most fun you can have sitting down. It's all good...even the pain.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"Nightbeat" is the first book that I've written and published in any publishing medium. It grew out of a compelling desire to write mystery novels. I've mentioned that I think that influence came from my mother who was never without a mystery novel or a True Detective magazine. "Nightbeat" itself evolved over time, but my main motivation was to capture what can sometimes be the less than idyllic moments of living in a small city in rural New England, to peel back the lovely façade yet let all the beauty of living in rural New England form a backdrop to the story. I wouldn't live anywhere else, really.
What are you working on next?
I can say that there definitely will be another Bailey and Knowles book. I like them. They have a great future. That said, the next book will be a historical mystery about a true unsolved crime that occurred in Massachusetts in 1934.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm an entrepreneur. Going the traditional route to book publishing didn't work well for me. So why keep repeating the same action hoping for a different outcome? While being an indie author is going to be a lot of extra work, some of which may take me away from writing, I would be disappointed in myself had I not tried.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
This is my first book on Smashwords so I can't say that it has contributed to my success. I hope to have a long and successful relationship with them, however. Watch this space!
Published 2017-02-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Nightbeat: A Bailey and Knowles Mystery
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 57,320. Language: English. Published: February 11, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
This absorbing debut novel by Roxann Davis introduces the uneasy alliance between award-winning news reporter, Devon Bailey and Lieutenant Ari Knowles, the first openly lesbian police officer in the Quinton Police Department. Bailey’s expertise is writing about crimes, not solving them; Knowles’s near perfect conviction record have brought her respect in her department and the community.