Friday, January 23, 2015

Story behind the story

Michael W. Davis

The origin of a novel and the history behind how it came to life can often be of interest to a reader. This is especially true when a story is seeded by some event in real life. Such is the case with the new release, NEVER FORGOTTEN, part II of the Cherokee Valley series. The novel is a romantic suspense that examines the premise, “Can tragedy have purpose? In workshops and signings I’m often asked, “Where do your ideas come from.” The truth behind how this novel came about is unlike any of the other twenty stories I’ve created before.

How did the project come about? Well, I love to sample the serene peace offered by the woodlands surrounding my farm. On one such outing, I ventured into a new segment of the forest and came across a birch tree memorialized with a symbol of young romance (see the image at left). That emblem celebrated the very moment when a boy first announced, He loves She and my mind flickered back to a similar vignette in my youth and the possible events that transpired beneath that very tree. You see, once I too possessed the energy that drives libidos to do crazy, yet wondrous things. Events that engender haunting visions of past lovers, those we swore to link with forever. I recalled my own experience of carving such a beacon of affection, in the wild, and all the intimacy that led to the exchange of raw energy under the watchful eye of He that governs young love.

 I began to ponder, did this statement etched before me represent eternal emotions, or like so often happens, did the relationship fade with the passing of time. What of the exchange, the ultimate contact only a man and woman can share? Did it evolve into that unique bond or die like the embers of a fire, and NEVER FORGOTTEN was born. Only, as with all my novels, the story had to be laced with suspense, twists, and uncertainty across every page, yet lead to happiness in the final moments. After all, the reader must be content that hope reigns true at the end, right? Even if initially fired by tragedy, there must be hope, resolution. All scenes, all confusion, all mystery linked to that simple yet profound image left years ago by the blade of boy, until the truth behind what happened at Painter’s Ridge revealed itself to one woman, a survivor tying to unravel a knotted web to set events straight for two young lovers.

I’ve worked on projects that took years to complete, but not this one. Once the spark ignited my muse, the writing took over my life for four months at the expense of everything else. Never had the keyboard clicked away so fast, as if a movie flashed at hyper speed across my skull.  Not sure why. Perhaps it was the nature of the spur that ignited the idea, or the characters themselves, but of all the novels I’ve written, Never Forgotten drained me the most when I was done. If you’d like to read excerpts, check out my website. Will there be a part III in the series? Not sure, need to first recover from this endeavor (g).


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Sounds intriguing, Mike. We've all experienced that lightning strike that signals "true" love. Most of us have loved and lost.

Your question is well posed. Do we grow or is this the end as it was for the "star" of GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

Liz Fountain said...

Recover quickly, then get on the next installment in this story - that's my vote!

Big Mike said...

Funny story. One of my beta readers noted he had to give a briefing at 0830 in the morning but could not put the book down until he finished at 2 AM in the morning. Only thing I could say, "Sorry."

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)