I feel so honored that Florida’s largest regional newspaper, Florida Today, chose to feature me on the front page of Sunday’s “Life” section.
Titled “Melbourne Beach author Davis Bunn has dual appeal,” the feature story by Chris Kridler opens as follows:
Davis Bunn is that rare novelist who travels two paths — writing inspirational fiction and mainstream thrillers — but walks both with a moral compass in hand.
“It’s a question of degree,” said Bunn, who has a home in Melbourne Beach and will lead a workshop at the Space Coast Writers’ Guild conference Friday. “If I’m writing for the inspirational publisher, there’s a clear statement of the faith issue. If I’m writing for the mainstream, I take what nowadays is called the ‘Blind Side’ approach,” appealing to the audience that made the movie “The Blind Side” such an unexpected hit.
Here are some additional excerpts from the story that I thought you’d find interesting:
On writing my first novel:
“I’d had this idea for a story rattling around in my head, and I just started writing,” he said. “I can still remember how the room smelled. . . . As soon as I started writing, I knew this was what I was going to do with the rest of my life. In that first moment, I could not believe how it felt.”
Bunn learned to write without teachers, penning seven novels in nine years before he got “The Presence,” an inspirational political thriller, published by Bethany House in 1990.
On being branded “the gentleman adventurer”:
“I often think of Davis in terms of gentleman,” [Carol] Johnson [former VP of editorial at Bethany House Publishers] said, “but it’s such an old-fashioned word, I’m kind of reluctant to use it. It seems to suggest someone a lot more distant than he is. He’s a very warm, caring person, and he’s just helping people all the time.”
On my life and travels:
At the house he shares with his wife, agent and sometime co-author, Isabella, on the ocean in south Melbourne Beach, the sound of the crashing surf seeps through the walls. This is their home and often their workplace, though Isabella, an international corporate attorney, also teaches ethics at Florida Tech.
For half the year, they live in England, where Bunn, 58, teaches writing at Oxford University. He’s an engaging teacher, whether at workshops or through his blog.
On finding your flame as a writer:
Bunn teaches more at mainstream conferences than at Christian ones (he suggests major writing conferences are an aspiring writer’s best door into the business).
“It is crucial that they come to understand what the flame is in them,” he said of students, “why are they driven to write, what is the burning issue in them that creates this need to get it down on the page. Because over time, I may feel when I see some of these things that it has a self-destructive edge to it, but some of the greatest work I know has come from this, and it’s not my position to judge.”
On co-authoring novels with Janette Oke
Bunn has written or co-written more than 40 published novels, and he’s written books under pen names, too.
He’s been enormously successful with Oke, selling more than 2 million copies of their 12 books…
Now that Oke is retiring, Bunn isn’t sure what his next inspirational book in that vein will be. “Lion of Babylon,” an inspirational thriller, will come out in June, and Johnson said Bethany House is sending out its largest number of advanced reading copies ever of the book, because of editors’ confidence in Bunn and in its crossover appeal.
I hope you’ll read the entire article, “Melbourne Beach author Davis Bunn has dual appeal,” and let me know what you think of it.