Prior to Dee Davis's impressive writing career, she was on the public speaking circuit, edited two newsletters, wrote three award winning public service announcements, did television and radio commercials, starred in the Seven Year Itch, taught college classes, lobbied both the Texas State Legislature and the US Congress, and served as the director of two associations.
Her highly acclaimed first novel, EVERTHING IN ITS TIME, was published in July 2000. Since then, she's won the Booksellers Best, Golden Leaf, Texas Gold and Prism awards, and she's been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Holt, two RT Reviewers Choice Awards, and an RT Career Achievment Award. To date, she has sold fifteen books and three novellas, including The Last Chance Trilogy, and her April 2007 release A MATCH MADE ON MADISON
I loved the title A MATCH MADE ON MADISON. Who came up with it and what is the story about?
Actually, I love it too. The title was the invention of my editor and the fabulous marketing folks at St. Martin's Press. I think it suits the book perfectly. (As does the cover - which I think is one of the best I've ever had.) The book is the story of an uptown Emma who helps the elite to meet. It's about a matchmaker, a no holds barred bet, and the and the unwelcome fact that sometimes love has a mind of its own.
What made you choose to write a novel about a matchmaker?
The spark of the idea came from an article in the New York Times talking about real life matchmakers in the city. My agent and I had been talking about possibly trying something different from my usual romantic suspense. And she heard about the article and referred it to me. After reading the article, I started thinking about the idea of a person deciding to use a matchmaker - and from there the ideas for Match started to grow.
Manhattan is almost a character in this story. What made you structure the book in this way?
Partially because the matchmakers in the original NYT article worked in Manhattan. And partly because it felt like the right setting. But mostly I think it's because I adore Manhattan. I've wanted to live here all my life. And now that I actually do live here, I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do than take readers, along with Vanessa, to some of my favorite places in the city.
Your characters are so much fun in this book. How did you come up with such a cast of quirky people?
All people are quirky. It's just a matter of viewing them in the proper light. The characters in this book share the same insecurities that all of us do. And like us, they're all just trying to find their way. And Vanessa is determined to help them on their journeys. Particularly, if said journey is heading in a matrimonial direction.
Seriously, characters often seem to come with full blown personalities. I know it sounds odd, but they honestly do seem real to me. In fact sometimes they've even tried to take over stories that are not their own. Which sometimes means a lot of rewriting.
What do you love most about A MATCH MADE ON MADISON?
My editor described A MATCH MADE ON MADISON as a 'confection'. And I think that's the perfect word. It's meant to be entertainment. A diversion from everyday life. It's a story about a slightly misguided matchmaker and the wonderful group of friends that live in her world. I think we'd all like to have friends like that. And I'd think its fun to take the journey with Vanessa as she learns that sometimes love find its way with no help from anyone at all. The wonderful thing about being a writer is that I get to 'live' in my characters' world for at least the time that I'm writing the book.
So what's your favorite place in Manhattan?
You know, that's an impossible question. There are so many. But coming immediately to mind. Bemelman's Bar in the Carlyle Hotel. The walls are decorated with original drawings from the author of the Madeline books. The cocktails are wicked. And there's this fabulous feel of Manhattan at it's glamorous best.
You're known for writing Romantic Suspense. Why the change to women's fiction?
After ten romantic suspense novels, and countless dead bodies - I was ready for something different. It's always wonderful as a writer to get the opportunity to stretch your wings. And in many ways I think A MATCH MADE ON MADISON is closer to my natural voice. So it was fun to give into the quirky side for a change.
That said, I still love romantic suspense - but hey, a girl can have more than one first love…Right?
If you could pick any career besides writing, what would you be?
I'd love to be a rock singer, but I think that ship has sailed. I'd also love to be an actress, or maybe own a winery. And I've always wanted to work in the White House. Or maybe write for All My Children.
What can we expect next from Dee Davis?
First on deck is my next romantic suspense coming at the end of May. CHAIN REACTION is the story about the sole survivor of a nuclear accident. When she wakes to discover that her entire life has been destroyed, and that she may be next, she must fight to uncover the truth about what really happened in Cedar Branch. Then in June, I have a novella in the sequel TO HELL WITH THE LADIES, called Hell on Heels. Who knew the devil had daughters? I'm lucky enough to be sharing the spotlight with my wonderfully talented critique partners Julie Kenner and Kathleen O'Reilly.
And right now I'm hard at work on the follow-up to MATCH, SET-UP IN SOHO. Set in and around Manhattan, it's about learning that sometimes all it takes to recognize love, is opening your heart to the possibility - that and a fairly substantial shove from your not so fairy godmother who also happens to be a matchmaker. SET-UP IN SOHO will hit bookstores next year.