Move over J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame — there is a new novelist in town who just might also take the world by storm.
Waxahachie resident Rhonda L. Davis has just published her first novel titled “The Daredevil Girls of Bunker Hill.” Davis was born in San Antonio to the parents of Irish descent, and she recalls how her father, Paul Shannon, was always an avid story teller.
“When I was growing up, my Dad told us stories which he made up. They always taught us lessons in values and morals — how to make good choices, help people in need and fight evil,” Davis said. “He always had an uncanny knack for inventing characters and placing them in similiar situations which we were experiencing at the time.”
Davis said her desires to put those stories in book form had been intense for many years, but because of an abusive situation she and her children faced during her first marriage, she did not have the opportunity to write the stories down. She was able to tell them and even tape record the stories for her own children.
“Like Dad, I, too, created stories for my kids in which the characters experienced the same things my kids were experiencing during those difficult times,”Davis said.
“My Dad instilled story-telling and writing into me when I was very young, and I started writing stories when I was about 6-years-old,” Davis said. “He would often write a page of a story and then hand it to me to read; I would then add a page to it and give the pages back to him so he could add another page. I still practice this with my son and my mother today — and I’m always careful to remind them that my characters don’t die.”
Davis, who teaches science at Ennis High School, has been re-married for several years. She notes that her husband, Stephen is a very kind man who is supportive of her writing.
“He encouraged me to write everything down, and urged me to get my work published,” Davis said. “I really didn’t give it a lot of thought until one day when I came across a letter my father, who just last year passed away, wrote me several years ago. In that letter he urged me to get my work published. Dad’s letter along with my husband’s prodding made me realize it was meant to be,” she said.
Davis said that her manuscripts were rejected by several publishers before she finally found one that was interested.
“I sent a manuscript to Publish America and they were very receptive to it,” she said. “An agency who critiques publications called the W. L. Agency gave the work very high marks — in fact, they only found four mistakes out of 100,000 words. Today the first novel is finished.”
She noted that the book has some romance — but no sex or profanity. The story focuses on characters of many different races and physical appearances. One character, Davis said, is a Cherokee Indian girl who was adopted by white parents, and she noted that she had Cherokee in her lineage.
“My stories, while not as dark as the Harry Potter stories, do contains some darkness; for example, there is a werewolf character in one of my stories that turns good — and my characters don’t get killed off,” She said. “The stories are appropriate for fourth grade to adult readers.”
“I’ve finished the sequel to The Dare Devil Girls of Bunker Hill; it is titled Dare Devil Friends — the Stories Continues,” She said, noting, “There is light romance in the book, and even more intense action.”
“I like to incorporate all kinds of characters who are just a little different, into the stories, and one of the important messages which come through is that everyone, regardless of disabilities, has his or her own abilities and something to contribute,” said Davis.
“The Daredevil Girls of Bunker Hill” is available on line through Publish America, Amazon and Barnes and Nobles and will soon be available at Hastings Books, 791 Highway 77, Waxahachie. Davis will be there for a book signing Sept. 15.
E-mail Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org