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Posts tagged ‘Davis Bunn’

Five Things I Love About Davis Bunn’s Latest Book, “Rare Earth”

  1. Bunn’s impression of Kenya, its culture, challenges, and natural features
    Here are a few examples from the book:

    • the African limp handshake of warriors trained to show no aggression;
    • the African rhythm, where the passage of time is measured in the sweep of stars, the rising of crops, the carving of cliffs by wind and rain;
    • the elders’ circle where tribal leaders meet to discuss local issues
  2. Davis’ protagonist, Marc Royce, who characterizes a man with the standards, strengths, and physical features of a man almost any woman could love
    Here are a few examples:

    • Traits: strength (“swinging around, his entire body a whip”) and sensitivity (he feels for the villagers loss of their homes “with all his heart”)
    • Leadership ability: called Shujaa by the elders – a warrior who rises within the tribe to save it in times of crisis
  3. International intrigue mixed with social justice issues
    Examples:

    • Chinese are trying to control the world supplies of rare-earth minerals using a cheap, primitive extraction technology
    • An Israeli kibbutz has found an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solution
  4. Portrayal of hope that people of different backgrounds and belief systems can learn to serve each other in ways that allow everyone to benefit
    Examples:

    •  Clans who were sworn enemies meet together in peace
    •  Representatives from the U.N., the U.S., the Kenyan government, and elders of three dozen displaced villages work out a solution to the book’s primary conflict
  5. The book’s ending – justice prevails: the bad guys get caught and the good people get the rewards they deserve
    Examples:

    • Lodestone is under investigation, their worldwide assets frozen
    • A Kenyan corporation is formed, holding all licenses for extraction and refinement of rare earths with one-third of all profits to go to villages
    • And the missing man, Serge… you’ll have to read the book to find out if he’s found alive (and to find out if Marc gets the girl)

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. 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.

 

Meet Davis Bunn: Novelist with Sales of More Than Six Million

A Conversation with Davis Bunn on Writing “Hidden in Dreams”                       

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 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: 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.

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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: 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: 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?

A:  My website and blog are at www.davisbunn.com

“Hidden in Dreams” – A review of Davis Bunn’s new novel

Story Synopsis

Foretelling the future through dreams is—for nearly everyone—a compelling frame for storytelling. And we all know that not everything is as it seems, but I did not for a moment foresee the surprising twist to the prophesy of these dreamers. As Davis Bunn stated in his author note, he had to use his expertise from several careers to explain the aftermath realistically.

Davis uses the still-desperate economic conditions in the world as a backdrop to send a warning of the lengths to which greedy corporate types will go to gain more wealth and more power. Unlike so much  of what has occurred during the last four years, though, the bad guys in the novel are caught and will likely be convicted, but the first priority is to stabilize global financial markets.

Less significant, but effective for a good read, is a romance with two very eligible men vying for one woman, the protagonist. It’s pretty clear early on which one she will choose; and almost too sweet that her Christian values are mirrored in the perfect guy, a widower and her mentor, whose daughter takes to her immediately as a mother-replacement.

*My Evaluation

  • Command of language:  5 stars
    Varied sentence structure; word choices that paint vivid pictures; realistic dialogue.
  • Characterization: 4 stars
    All the main characters were fairly well developed, although not terribly unique. The bad guys were…all bad; and the good guys rarely stepped out of character, either.
  •  Creativity:  5
    The plot displayed an extremely creative mind. (I expected that—it’s what has made Davis Bunn one of my favorite authors—and I was not disappointed.)
  •  Content suitable to diverse audience(s):  4 stars
    This one seems to be written almost exclusively for Christian readers. The protagonist and all those who work closely with her often pray together. The one who chooses not to is somewhat ostracized. As great as the power of prayer is and as needed in our chaotic world, I think a more subtle approach—or maybe a stronger approach showing God at work—would reach audiences who might be turned off by all the spotlight on pray-ers.
  • Connection (and application) to current issues: 4.5 stars
    The timing for this story is excellent; economic conditions are still fragile and exposing too many people to painful choices and harsh living conditions. My only concern is the realism of the ending.

             Average – 4.5 stars

****

Tomorrow I will add Bunn’s answers to interview questions about this book. Please come back and bring some questions of your own!

Follow this link to read Chapter One of Hidden in Dreams

*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.

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