Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Meet the Author of Hidden in Dreams: Davis Bunn

About Davis Bunn
Davis Bunn is an award-winning novelist whose audience spans reading genres from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories, in both contemporary and historical settings. He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write. Visit Davis at www.davisbunn.com.

A Conversation with Davis Bunn                        
 Q: How much research did you have to conduct to write this intriguing story?

 A: In a way, I suppose you could say I’ve been researching this story all my adult life. I did my studies in international economics and finance. Observing the difficulties our nation and economy has faced over the past three years, as well as what we personally have endured, has been tough. It really was great to have this chance to give voice to what we increasingly hear, that the people at fault need to be brought to justice, and the risk of another economic collapse needs to be halted.

Q: Why is it important for you to write about such timely themes?

A: Economic uncertainty defines the world we live in. I feel it is important to show how the timeless and eternal messages are applicable to every aspect of our world and our lives. And how the gift of peace and wisdom can be used in every circumstance we face.

Q: When you wrote Book of Dreams, did you have plans for this sequel, Hidden in Dreams?

A: Two months after Book of Dreams was released, I had the call every author dreams about and yearns for—a vice president of NBC/Universal suggested we discuss the possibility of turning it into a television series. I was put in touch with one of their producers and over the next six months began working up the basic structure of what this program might look like. One of the ideas I found most appealing became the basis for Hidden in Dreams. There is as yet no firm decision about the television project. But it has been a blast to even be considered.

Q: In writing a sequel it’s always a challenge to include enough back story to satisfy those who haven’t read the first book while still making sure the book stands alone. How do you approach this dilemma?

A: You’re right, it can indeed be troublesome, but this time it all fell together very easily. The structure just flowed. That sometimes happens, where the story seems to create itself. I wish it was true all the time. I can’t even say why it was such a smooth process with Hidden in Dreams. But there was a sense of impatience about the back story, as though I needed to fit in just a few paragraphs, but I couldn’t allow myself or the reader to be drawn too far from this new story’s flow.

Q: Why did you choose to end Elena's relationship with Antonio? They seemed like a good couple.

A: For this story to work, Elena needed to enter into the dilemma as vulnerable as all the other people who shared the recurring dreams. She was isolated in a new place and forced to be dependent upon her faith and newfound friends.

Antonio (from Book of Dreams) belonged to a different universe, far from what was happening here. I had to make a choice at the outset. Would she remain with Antonio, and the two of them experience this together? Or would she be isolated?

Writing a new story is all about two things: facing the empty page, and choices. It is kind of fun to go back and revisit decisions I made eighteen months ago, when first outlining this concept.

Q: You’re writing about two women in this novel. Is it ever a challenge to write from the female point of view?

A: Learning to write from a woman’s point of view is very difficult for a male writer, as it usually is for a woman author writing a man’s story. Before I was published, I became friends with a husband and wife team who were both opera stars. The woman often sang a male role in a Mozart opera that was originally designed for a young boy, but which nowadays is usually sung by a woman with a slightly lower range, called a coloratura.

I discussed my difficulty with her, of trying to make my women sound real. She told me that my trouble stemmed from working on a woman character from the outside. It wasn’t about making women ’sound’ anything. It was all about making the character live from the inside-out.

As I worked on the point of view issue, trying to put my friend’s challenge into practice, I also began going into any meeting with a woman carrying a secret tape recorder, and taping everything that was said. I then went back and wrote out every word. It was perhaps the most boring month of my entire writing career.

But gradually I found that I could ‘hear’ the speech patterns of these women, and reshape them into structures that fitted around what was happening in my stories. And through this exercise, the emotional content that lay behind the dialogue, the person who was expressing herself, became more real, more solid.

And then I met my wife, Isabella. And the process of instruction at the intimate level of a God-centered marriage began to unfold.

Q: In Hidden, Elena and her colleagues are attacked in Miami. After the attack, why did Elena not take more precautions? 

A: Elena had a choice to make, and so did I. Either she could play the delicate flower – fearing everything and going nowhere – or she could go on the hunt. I liked the balance between her internal fears and uncertainties, and her quest as a professional psychologist. She is, in effect, trained to look for clues – to go on the quest of drawing out the hidden. I felt the actions she took, despite the dangers, to be her natural response.

Q: Is there another Elena Burroughs book planned?

A: I have another idea. The question is, what do the readers want, and how positive is the reaction to this story?

Q: Why do you write fiction?

 A: I became a believer at age 28. Up to that time, ever since graduating, I had been working in international business. I came to faith while working as a consultant in Germany. I started writing two weeks later. Up to that point, I had never picked up a pen in my life to write anything longer than a business report. But I had always been an avid reader. And the moment I started, that very first instant, I had the sense of invitation. It was the first time I had ever experienced that incredible sense of being drawn in a new, divinely inspired direction.

I wrote for nine years and finished seven novels before my first was accepted for publication. Simply because I had received a sense of calling did not mean I was ready to serve. First the diamond had to be polished. Hard and painful as that was.

Q: While you are a prolific writer, you also get out there and live too! What’s been your most exciting real life adventure?

A: It would probably be better to ask, what has been the most exciting real-life event so far this year. Undoubtedly that would be working on the set of a film being shot from a screenplay I wrote last year.

Unlimited has now ‘wrapped’, that is, filming has been completed. The producer and director are now deep into the editing process. The film is due for release in September, 2013. I am currently working on the novel, which comes out a couple of months before then.

I had the whole thing backwards here, doing the script first, but it has been a lot of fun, and the concept remains very fresh. So hopefully Unlimited will come alive on the page as well as the screen.

Q: What is your goal as a novelist?

A: I want to combine a truly entertaining read with a powerful after-effect. My dream is that long after the book is set down with a satisfied sigh, there are still images that surface, lessons that can be drawn, genuine hope and healing and challenges and inspirations. I want my writing to be worthy of the gift.

Q: How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website and blog are at www.davisbunn.com
Subscribe to my blog’s feed (to get my latest posts via e-mail or through your feed reader) at http://feeds.feedburner.com/DavisBunn
Sign up for my e-newsletter (for subscriber-only giveaways and advance notice of my upcoming novels): http://www.davisbunn.com/news.htm
Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/davisbunnauthor
Twitter: @davisbunn - http://twitter.com/davisbunn


The publisher has provided us the opportunity to give away one copy of the paperback edition of Hidden in Dreams by Davis Bunn. 

Here are the rules:

1. The winner must have a non-P.O. Box address in the United States
2. To enter the contest, leave a comment below, answering this question: If you had a recurring dream, who would you ask to help you interpret it?
3. You will get a second entry if you sign up for Davis Bunn's newsletter (http://www.davisbunn.com/news.htm) Leave a comment here stating you have done this.
4. You will get a third entry if you LIKE Davis Bunn's Facebook page (facebook.com/davisbunnauthorLeave a comment here stating you have done this.

The contest will close August 7, 2012 and a winner will be selected randomly from those who entered.

To read more about the book, go to http://christianbookmobile.blogspot.com/2012/07/book-review-hidden-in-dreams-novel-by.html.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.


  1. I don't think I would ask anyone to interpret my recurring dream for fear that by revealing it, saying it out loud, it might come true.

    I am already friends with Mr. Bunn on Facebook --does that count for a second chance at a copy of the book.

  2. That counts, Susan. Thanks for entering the contest.

  3. Thanks, Sid. Many years ago at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, I was fortunate enough to take a class taught by Mr. Bunn on writing Christian fiction in a post modern world. He's a fascinating, accomplished, yet very approachable person. I learned a lot from him, especially about making your characters vulnerable -- stripping away from them everything they rely on, sometimes even their faith. The first book of his that I read was The Great Divide. I've also read some of the books he collaborated on with Janet Oke.

  4. I've felt the same about him. He approached me first in Facebook about reviewing a book of his and I've done four of them now. He also offered to Skype a neighborhood bookclub meeting. Nice guy. I've signed up for a workshop with him at the ACFW conference.

  5. I believe Mr. Bunn's writing about the importance of Christianity and faith through uncertain times is extremely important. There are times when all a person has left to rely upon is faith and God. I would love to win this book. I have not had the opportunity to read any of Mr. Bunn's books.

    I have befriended him on Facebook and signed up for the newsletter so put me in for 3 entries.

    authorboyles at swbell.net

  6. Wonderful interview and what great advice about making your characters live from the inside-out!

  7. I almost never remember a dream. Maybe a couple a year. I've never thought any of them needing interpretation. Maybe I'm just not in touch with my dreams?! So I doubt I'd ask anybody.

    I liked the Facebook page and am tickled to be entered in the drawing. :)

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  8. I really enjoyed this interview. I'd love to read this book.

    I'm not sure who I would ask to interpret the dream. It depends on what type of dream it was!

    Not sure if I have to leave separate comments, but I follow him on FB and I signed up for his newsletter.


  9. I seldom have dreams now but yrs ago I dreamed of someone chasing me and bought a book about dreams to find out meaning of dream.
    I read Rare Earth and it was awesome. Recomend everyone read this book and ck out reviews on Amazon.

    Like on FB (Brenda B. Hill)

    Newsletter subscriber

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  10. Hi, Linda and Brenda. I put you in the drawing.

  11. So excited to have another Davis Bunn book to read! I just recently read his Storm Syrell series...my new favorite! They kept me glued to my seat. I couldn't put them down. I am looking forward to reading this book.

    I would ask my husband to help me interpret a dream as he knows me so well.

    Thank you for offering this give-away. Please add me to the contest. I also subscribed to Davis Bunn's news letter and liked him on Facebook :)

    Alison Boss

  12. Thanks, Alison. You've been entered into the contest three times.

  13. Thanks for sponsoring the contest. I enjoyed reading the Blog. If I had a recurring dream I would ask Reba McIntyre to interpret it as she would make me laugh!

  14. I registered for the newsletter and Liked on Facebook for two more tries on the free book. Thanks!

  15. I don't think I would ask anyone as I wouldn't want to come true if it was a scary one! I signed up for the newsletter and liked your Facebook page. Thanks for the chance to win

    Debbie Curto
    1023 e seneca
    Litchfield, Ill 62056


  16. Thanks, Ellen and Debbie. You're both entered three times.

  17. I love reading Davis Bunn's books. He is a master at intrigue and keeps you wanting more. Yes, I had a dream when I had my last child. At least I think it was a dream. I dreamed I could see my husband holding a baby with my 2 little girls beside him and he looked so confused and lonely. Strange!

    I am already receiving Davis' newsletter and I have like him on FB before this.


  18. That's three entries for you, Darlene. Thanks for stopping by.