Friday, August 14, 2015

Author Feature: Evette Davis

Evette Davis leads a busy life in San Francisco.  She serves on the board of Litquake, the city's annual literary festival.  She raises her daughter while serving as the CEO of her own PR firm and of course, writing novels.  In 2014, she even started her own publishing imprint, Flesh and Bone.  I was lucky enough to have Evette muse about her writing process:

They say, “write what you know,” and maybe because I’m one of the few women working in public affairs and politics in San Francisco and the Bay Area, I’m naturally drawn to the idea of what it means to be a female leader.  

As leaders, women face all kinds of challenges related to expressing their emotions, physical appearance, confidence and mental endurance. I’m not sure I ever want or intend to come to some set of final conclusions, but I enjoy taking the characters in my novels through their paces to examine these ideas more fully.  Fiction is a wonderful place to bend the rules (and time) to manipulate social themes.   

I‘m working on a novel now, for example, set in a mildly dystopian future that features a character named River who’s a veteran from a series of wars in the Middle East against ISIS and a widow. Her husband committed suicide, leaving her financially strapped and working as a truck driver in the far reaches of North Dakota to pay off her debts.   

The book takes place several years after River’s father has died, forcing her to join the Army in order to save her home from foreclosure. His death forces her to abruptly abandon her hopes and wishes. She’s forced to kill off the girl she once was to survive being in combat and emerges as a very tough, guarded woman. By the time 48 States opens, River is living in a cheap motel and sleeping with a loaded Glock by her bedside. She’s resigned herself to being the fixer, the one that always takes care of things and has given up hope of finding happiness.  And so she would have remained, were it not for a chance encounter one night with fugitive in desperate need of her help.  

Their meeting disrupts her existence and puts her life in danger, but it also demolishes this hard shell she’s had around her emotions. I’m still working on the resolution of the story, but the book is about how she finds the courage to be vulnerable and still be in control of her life.  There are other women in the book too, including a president of the Unites States and a terrorist who is central to the book’s conclusion. In their own way, each of these women has to deal with their longings, their responsibilities and the reality of the situation and find their right path.  It’s exciting as a writer to see how it unfolds.  

The opportunity to work with an agent on 48 States prompted me to delay finishing a trilogy I began a few years ago and self-published on an imprint I founded called Flesh & Bone Publishing. The Dark Horse series is an experiment in urban political science fiction (ok, I made up that genre) - with a female protagonist named Olivia as the central character.  Olivia is the unknowing heir of a powerful witch and leader of a secret supernatural society that controls the fate of mankind. She’s unknowingly drawn into this shadowy world of politics and witchcraft and has to decide whether to follow her destiny as others dictate it, or to make it herself.  The inaugural title Woman King is a direct commentary on how women derive their power, since as a queen she would have married into it versus simply being appointed or chosen.  The third installment, which I hope to complete in the next two years, will see Olivia help elect a woman president of the United States and decide what she wants to do with her life.  

I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.
If you're interested in seeing how it turns out, here are the two current books in the trilogy:


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