Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Visit With Margaret Daley

Today we have a lovely guest from Love Inspired Suspense.  I have known Margaret Daley for years and she has been a wonderful role model and mentor. She has visited us here on Seekerville before, but today I wanted to honor her achievement as a multi-published author.

Hi Margaret,  It is wonderful to have you visit with us in Seekerville today.  I read on the Harlequin Website that you have written over 60 books for them that have been published. I also understand you have written several books with other publishers. She told me a secret also—she has several books written that haven’t even been published.

Margaret Daley

Wow. That is a lot of books.

I would love to talk to you about that amazing accomplishment.

1. Do you ever have difficulty sustaining your enthusiasm for writing? What do you do to keep your creativity charged up? Do you have any secrets you can share? 

Yes, I have struggled with this during my over thirty years writing. Sometimes I just have to slosh through it because I’m on deadline. I try to take time off between books, if possible, and pace myself writing a story. I figure out how many days I have to write a book and divide it into my word count to see how many words I have to write a day to make my deadline. Try to write and read what you love, exercise, pray and connect with others.

2. How do you find new ideas and/or ways to make a boy meets girl with a happy ever after romance fresh and different? 

I honestly don’t know. Usually a concept or a seed of a story comes to me. I brainstorm with myself and others, and it develops. I feel it’s the Lord working within me. I can go to sleep with a problem concerning the story and wake up with an answer.

3. You have also written in several different sub genres of romance. What is your favorite genre? Why? 

Most definitely romantic suspense. That is my favorite genre to read. I love the fast pace, the adventure, the suspense, the excitement.

4. What was your favorite setting for a romance and why did that appeal to you? 

That’s a hard question.  I have several—the jungle, the mountains, the canyon lands in the Southwest. Often what I love to write is the setting becoming another character in the suspense story. Since I write romantic suspense mostly, I like the setting to challenge my characters.

5. You mentioned you were attending the RWA national convention in San Antonio. In fact, you are already there. How many years have you been a member of RWA?  Please share some of your roles and contributions as an RWA member. 

I first joined RWA when it formed in the early 1980s. For a few years I wasn’t in RWA, otherwise I’ve been a member since its beginning. I have been involved with some of the local RWA chapters, and I was a president of FHL chapter of RWA for a year. I’ve volunteered at the national conference and was on the committee to determine the classes at the national conference.
Lacy Williams and Margaret Daley

6. You have been putting out novellas with other Love Inspired authors. Can you share what it is like working with authors for an anthology of novellas? 

I have enjoyed working with Lacy Williams, Debra Clopton, Janet Tronstad, Camy Tang and Linda Goodnight. They are fantastic authors to be with in a novella collection. They are professional, supportive and easy to work with.   

7. I hear you are working on a special project. Can you tell us about the series Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations?  What instigated this series? 

I was ending my Guardians, Inc. Series for Love Inspired Suspense, but I still had readers ask me if there were going to be any more of the stories about female bodyguards. I started thinking about why the readers enjoyed those stories. Many told me they loved seeing a strong woman in the book. That’s what gave me the idea to do the first one in a series about different strong women—from a law enforcement officer to a doctor to a mother. I’ve started with a female bodyguard and a female Texas Ranger. I’d love to know from you all what you think a strong woman is and what occupation you would like to see me write about in the series.

Thank you Margaret for joining with us today.  Please share with us some of your conference experiences in your comments today.

Those who comment will be entered into a drawing for some gifts from Margaret. One winner will win an ebook copy of Deadly Hunt.

A second winner will win an ebook  copy of Deadly Intent from the Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations Series.

A third winner will win a print copy of Christmas Bodyguard which is the first book in the Guardians, Inc. Series about female bodyguards.

What lovely gifts. Thank you Margaret.  I know you need energy for the conference, so I’ve set out a table filled with chocolates from Sees Candies.  Have fun.

Photo from


Emily said...

I have to comment, because I just love reading anything by Margaret Daley! She's one of the LI Suspense authors I pick up without really reading the back--I know it will be good! I truly enjoyed Guardians, Inc., and am looking forward to finding the books in the new series. My suggestion for a strong occupation is teaching. No matter the grade level, teachers face a lot of difficulties in today's classrooms. More and more students are emotionally disturbed, and have troubled backgrounds. The precious children in our schools today bear so much on their shoulders because of their home lives, and don't know how to deal with it. They lash out at school, in their own way testing to see who truly cares. Teachers are the ones bearing the load of trying to make the difference, all the while not being able to show that their hearts are breaking for so many kids. I know it's not the typical "strong" woman, but so many teachers are heroes in their own special way.

Marianne Barkman said...

I am sure you have excellent ideas for strong women, and so I will leave that up to you. I think they can actually be found in any and every occupation. I would love to win any of your novels, but would prefer a paperback. Thanks for being here

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hey, for all youse who say "Ruthy, how do you get it all done, working and writing and being a family woman/Mom/Grandma/Friend?

Margaret Daley's example is my answer. I watched what she was able to do while working as a special education teacher and putting out 20 books/year and I said: I can do this!!!!! Because it's all about time management and loving life!!!!

I think about how much time people would gain if they didn't watch television and got off facebook...

Add up those hours and wow: It's like gifting yourself time to write, each week!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYA!

Margaret, my beautiful buddy, thank you for being here!!!!

I love women in strong roles and my third indie book "Safely Home" has a woman detective as the heroine, and people love it. The hero's a lawyer and land developer, so while it sounds like she's the macho one, nothing could be further from the truth... I love seeing women tackle all kinds of jobs because we can!!!!

I'm grabbing chocolate from Sandra's box and going to write for ninety minutes before day job starts. See youse later and Margaret and all: Have fun in San Antonio!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Emily, you're so right!!!

My second-to-next series will feature a teacher heroine, and you're right, she's not your typical image of the old school elementary teacher... She's tough, disciplined, and unafraid to challenge the kids... or the establishment. And her hero... Let's just say I'm going to have fun with expected archetypes with predictable results (the happily ever after!!!) in unpredictable means.


Cindy W. said...

I'm a HUGE fan of Margaret's and as Emily said in her post above, I never have to read the back of a Margaret Daley book before purchasing it. I have loved every book I've ever read of hers and am always anxious for the next one to come out.

For a strong occupation for a woman, maybe a child psychologist, a special ed teacher, a surgical nurse,a private investigator... there are so many careers that a woman can be perceived as being strong at.

Thank you for having Margaret here today!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Marianne, yes!!!!! You're spot on, the strength of the woman can bleed through any occupation!

But I've noted a lack of women in law enforcement in a lot of CBA books, and I know around here we've got several women sheriffs, city cops, and town police, so I'm always happy to see women in untraditional roles, like Kate Beckett on "CASTLE"....

I miss "CASTLE"... what has happened to Richard??????



Jackie said...

Hi Margaret,

I love your books, and I think the strong women series will be a hit. What an amazing career you've had honoring God with your stories.

I'd love to have my name in the drawing. Thanks for sharing!

Kav said...

Oooohhh, how did I miss this new series??? Strong Women, Extraordinary Lives. Argh! I'm already two behind. I need more reading hours in a day. Like everyone else, I'm a Margaret Daley fan. Definitely no need to read the back cover blurb, just pop it into your shopping cart.

I think a strong woman leans on the Lord no matter what life dishes out. Her faith fuels her strength. She's compassionate, kind, willing to make sacrifices for a cause she believes in. And she can hold her own in a world of men. Not in an adversarial way, more like an I-can-get-this-job-done-same-as-you-so-let's-get-at-it way.

Let's see -- strong women occupations. Search and rescue canine handler. Missionary. Youth Pastor!!!!! EMT. Construction worker. Forest ranger. Farmer. Librarian :-)

Kav said...

Ruthy, I miss Castle too. What a cliffhanger ending. And funny thing -- I hadn't watched it for a couple of seasons and was just getting back into the show when bam that horrid ending happened. Sob! Wonder if they'll pick up right where they left off or months later?

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Emily, I was a teacher so know exactly what you are talking about. A person definitely has to have inner strength to be a teacher.

And you are also right about Margaret. She is a wonderful writer.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Marianne, What a profound statement. Yes, any occupation requires a strong woman. We all have our own difficulties to bear so through any circumstance we can show strength and courage.

Thanks for sharing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

We are getting some great ideas here.

Cindy, Ruthy and Kav, you've come up with some gems.

Kav can you imagine the fun a librarian could cook up? Maybe a suspense or comedy would be a change.

I like to find different occupations for both hero and heroine just because it gives us something different. It is interesting to learn about the career and each career has its own challenges which can add twists and turns to the plot.

Sandra Leesmith said...

What about a firefighter?

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome Margaret! I hope to find you and hug you at conference.

Jackie Smith said...

Agree....Margaret's books are all great! Please count me in!
I worked in Church Admin. for 31 yrs.; and I certainly depended on His strength!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jackie, Church Admin would be great esp for a CBA book.

Jackie Smith said...

FYI..just noticed on Amazon that Margaret's book Love Gone to the Dogs (Second Chances Book 1) is free on Kindle!


Margaret Daley said...

Emily, I'm so glad you enjoy my suspense stories. I was a teaching for 27 years and loved working with the children with special needs, but it is a HARD job as you said. Over the years I taught I saw so many changes and most not for the good. Thank you so much saying that.

Margaret Daley said...

Marianne, I think you are so right about strong women in every occupation.
Ruth, you are so terrific and I love knowing you.
Cindy, it is so nice seeing you here. I love your suggestion. I have a friend who does that.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks for the heads up Jackie. I'll put a link here.

Free ebook by Margaret.

Love Gone To The Dogs

Margaret Daley said...

Ruth, I interviewed a Christian captain of the police force and she was amazing. I loved talking with her.
Jackie, thank you so much.
Kav, I've got a search and rescue heroine coming in my new Search and Rescue series starting in Dec. It will be my fourth book in the series so it won't appear until next year.
Kav and Ruth, don't get me going on the ending to Castle last season. I hate waiting!!!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Its so good to have you here Margaret.

How is San Antonio? Have you done any sight-seeing?

Sandy Smith said...

I always love to read about how authors schedule their time to write. Figuring out how many words a day need you need to write makes sense, but how much time do you leave for revision? I am currently trying to get started writing a novel for the first time, and I know I will need to do a lot of revising.

I would love to be entered into the drawing for any of those books.

Sandy Smith said...

Emily, I totally agree about teachers. I am currently working as a substitute teacher. That would also make a great book character.

Margaret Daley said...

Waving to you, Sandra. I wish you were at RWA.
Tina, I know we'll see each other. That's what I love about conferences--seeing friends.
Jackie, it's nice seeing you here. Thanks for mention I have a free ebook available right now--Love Gone to the Dogs--a romantic comedy.

Margaret Daley said...

Sandy, when I go into revision mode, I don't do a weekly or daily word count because it doesn't work for me. Revising can be fast or slow depending on the story. I take a lot of notes to help me keep track of the details as I go through revising. It can be time consuming but it is when I make sure things are flowing, put in more description and emotions, and that I've tied up all loose ends. Good luck on your book.

Wilani Wahl said...

I'd love some Sees chocolate.

My suggestion of a strong woman would be what has already been mentioned a teacher, but I would also add a doctor, and a missionary.

I love Margaret's books and would love to win one of her books.

Myra Johnson said...

MARGARET!!! How fun to find you in Seekerville this morning!!! I've been incognito for a few days while making my way to San Antonio for the RWA conference. So glad you'll be there, too!!! Sure miss the great times we had in the Tulsa ACFW chapter together! Say hi to all my buds back there!

Yes, this woman is . . . can you spell . . . P-R-O-L-I-F-I-C??? You and Ruthy were obviously cut from the same cloth!

Elaine Manders said...

I've been reading Margaret Daley from way back. One of the greats for sure.

I read mostly historicals, though. In my opinion there were no stronger women than those who civilized the country. They were the ones who demanded schools, churches, libraries. They worked for temperance, abolition and children's welfare and women's rights. All the while remaining in the background and without the vote.

I'd love the chance to win a Margaret Daley novel.

Sherri Shackelford said...

Margaret is an amazing inspiration and an incredible role model!

Sandy Smith said...

I just downloaded Love Gone to the Dogs on my kindle. Looking forward to reading it!

Lee Carver said...

I agree with Marianne Barkman, that strong women can be found in all occupations. The occupation of Texas Ranger definitely projects that character from the beginning, but the strength is what she does with it. I'm so tired of romance female leads constantly breaking down in tears when the author tells me she's strong.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Good morning everyone! Great interview with Margaret.
Though I'm not a big suspense fan, I do love your LI stories. Going to grab a copy of Love Gone to the Dogs!

Ruthy, I wish we all had your energy. I can't write when my brain is mush (after 8pm) so TV is my relaxation before bed. And I'm not a morning person either! Thank goodness for afternoons and early evenings!

Isn't Kate Beckett a great example of a strong woman character? And Castle is the perfect match for her. He better be all right next season - just saying - or the network will have a riot on their hands!

Prayers appreciated for divine intervention with my Bethany House revisions! I've had so much on my plate lately that I can't seem to focus - even when I do manage to get 5 minutes of quiet in the house. Sigh.

Wishing all you guys in San Antonio a great conference experience!


Jeanne T said...

It's fun to get to know you a bit better, Margaret. I love the idea behind your strong woman series. I need to work on giving my women characters stronger occupations. :)

As I think about it, can strong women also be women who have come through difficult situations and thrived? The heroine I'm writing now is like that. :)

Margaret Daley said...

Wilani, thank you for your suggestions.
Myra, yay!!! I'll get to see you this week.

Margaret Daley said...

Elaine, I'm amazed at how much the historical woman did to make this country what it is. I can't image some of the hardships they went through day to day, especially in settling the west.

Margaret Daley said...

Sandy, I hope you enjoy Love Gone to the Dogs.
Sherri, thanks.
Lee, I've loved writing about the Texas Rangers--an amazing group.

Margaret Daley said...

Susan, praying for you with the revisions. When I receive some, I take a day or so after reading the letter to absorb it before I start working on them.

Margaret Daley said...

Jeanne, you are so right about a strong woman. When I think of one, I think of my mother.

Loves To Read said...

I love strong women characters and really like Margaret Daley 's books! Please enter me in the drawing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

I love Lee's comment. I think my strong heroine in my current wip is crying. yikes. I'm going to go change that right NOW.

For those just coming on board, Margaret has a free kindle to download. Yay Margaret.

Love Gone to the Dogs

Pam Hillman said...

A huge, hearty welcome to Margaret!!! So glad to have you in Seekerville.

I remember once sitting in the lobby listening to Margaret and 3-4 others brainstorm her next book. Amazing! :)

Lyndee H said...

Hi Margaret,
I've read so many of your books. It's a pleasure to see you here and learn about some of your process.

I used to think of my grandmother (mother's mother) as the strong woman role model, killing chickens with her bare hands and chopping trees to keep the fire going when when my grandfather was away from home building roads. Then I realized that my other grandmother, (dad's mom) was also VERY strong, but her demeanor was soft and quiet. She raised five kids in a one room house on top of a PA mountain while my grandfather worked on the railroad - no neighbors, no help, no church, no doctors. When I asked her about it years later, without hesitation she said, "It was fun."

DebH said...

Kav stole most of my good ideas for strong women occupations *sigh*. I did think of scuba diver - like for marine bio research, tourist diving or even salvage ops.

I love every Margaret Daley book I've ever read. PLEASE add my name to the draw. I've already downloaded the freebie. (whoot! Thanks Margaret!!!!!)

I like the idea of strong women role models. My mom was definitely one. Raising three kids as a single mom, no support from the deadbeat dad? Yeppers. One strong woman.

Great interview to read. Love learning more about fave authors.

CatMom said...

Hey Margaret!!
You are such an inspiration to so many (myself included). I met you at my very first ACFW conference in 2008, and liked you right away. :)

Congratulations on your amazing writing career---WOW!

Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Margaret!!! Back atcha with the lovin'....

And if you happen to see an elevator wrap with "His Montana Sweetheart" staring at you, that's me being my typical annoying... but lovable!!!!... self!!!

You know, I love the blessings we share with our stories. That means so much to me, and Margaret, you and Lenora were the first voices of Love Inspired that I "met" and I knew I wanted to have that chance, to write sweet stories at an affordable price for the every-day-Joes of the world. That means a lot to me.

Deb H. I love the story of your mom and how she persevered. When I read Ben Carson's books, his respect for the strength his mother showed in adversarial conditions just shines through his work.... Love it!!!

And those pioneer women, those first settlers, crossing the Atlantic... oh, I'm such a wimp by comparison!!!! Thank God for every one of them..

We are blessed.

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI Ruthy, What fun that one of your books is in the elevator.

Folks in case you don't know, they line the elevator doors in the hotel with book covers. Each door features a different line. It is so fun to see that and our Ruthy has one there. whooo hoooooo.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Deb H. What a sweet story of your mom.

Patti Jo, ACFW in Denver is where I met Margaret. OR maybe it was Mt Hermon?

Margaret do you remember?

I like the idea of a scuba diver. I thought my hubby was half fish when I met him because he was always in the water diving and exploring. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Pammers, Brainstorming with you is pretty amazing also. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Lyndee, you need to write characters like your grandmas. What brave women.

Tracey Hagwood said...

Hi Margaret,
I'm glad you enjoy writing suspense because I enjoy reading it. Your Christmas Bodyguard was excellent.

So many good suggestions for strong women roles, but one I think would work well, especially for romantic suspense, would be a social worker, specifically one who works for child protective services. I can visualize the heroine searching for a lost or at risk child with the help of the male lead.

Are the two "Deadly" books part of a series or can they be read indepentently?

I'd love to read Deadly Hunt.

Margaret Daley said...

Loves to Read, thanks for stopping by.
Pam, I remember that time. It's fun brainstorming with others.

Margaret Daley said...

Lyndee, both of your grandmothers sound amazing. Thank you for sharing.
DebH, my dad died and my mother had to raise 3 children and work to support us. It's not easy being a single mother.

Margaret Daley said...

Patti Jo, I so enjoyed meeting you at ACFW. I think of you and your cats. I have three and they are all different.
Ruth, you are such a special lady. I did see that poster. It looked great!!

Lyndee H said...

SANDRA, your recent notes to me have meant a lot. Thanks for your encouragement.

Margaret Daley said...

Tracey, the two Deadly stories are standalone stories about strong women in extraordinary situations. One of them, Deadly Hunt, is about a female bodyguard. I hated ending that series but it was time to move on. I had six books in the series with Christmas Bodyguard the first.

Tracey Hagwood said...

I have read four of the six, two to go!

Jamie Adams said...

I love reading your books Margaret! Must be those strong women characters.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Just received an email from Margaret. She is off to the literacy signing now so probably won't be back for awhile.

She met up with Debby Giusti and took the River Walk. Now I'm really jealous. smile But thankful they are all having so much fun.

Chill N said...

Great examples of strong women! I seem them all kinds of places (hairdresser, grocery clerk, lady who works at the post office) but no doubt some professions are better to build a suspense plot around :-) I am in awe or writers of suspense and mystery. The fact you have written so many is amazing -- and lots of people are glad you have.

Nancy C

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thank you Lyndee

You all are such a blessing to us also. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

I"m with you Nancy. Margaret does have a gift. Her books are wonderful.

Jennifer Smith said...

I enjoyed the "Christmas Peril" novella you co-wrote with Debby, Margaret. Looking forward to reading more of your books!

Julie Lessman said...

OH MY GOSH ... I'm late on Margaret Daly Day ... that's unforgivable!!

But, Margaret, I'm asking you to forgive me anyway, and I know you will because that's the kind of gal you are -- sweet and kind and AWESOME!!

LOVED the interview, Margaret, and I'm with you, Sandra -- 60 books???? Holy cow, girlfriend, no wonder you're SO good!!

You know, I'm not much on suspense (a wee bit too hyper of a gal for that -- my husband would shoot me!), but I am tempted to read yours because your historicals are excellent, so maybe I need to give your suspense a try. :)

And I LOVE the idea of a female bodyguard, so you got me there BIG TIME!!

Have a blast at RWA, my friend, and looking forward to seeing you at ACFW.


Sandra Leesmith said...

Jennifer and Julie I think Margaret is at the book signing now.

Have a wonderful evening.

Sandra Leesmith said...

DEB H Email seekerville addie and send us your email address as I have a message for you sent by Larry Poland

DebH said...

email sent to seekers. thank you so much for passing my note to Larry on via Beth. much appreciated!!!

DebH said...

thanks Ruthy, Sandra and Margaret about the kind words about my mom. If I'm half the woman she was, I'll consider myself one successful mother. Of course, the older I get, the WISER she gets.

i've a boat load of childhood stories about how she trusted the Lord to take care of us (think George Mueller type stories...) I thank the Lord each day for the mother he gave me via adoption. He sure knew what I needed.

DebH said...

half the woman my mom still is. just realized i used wrong tense with "was". she's still going strong...

Terri said...

Hi Margaret, I hope you are having a great time at the book signing. I love suspense. Please toss my name in the hat for the book!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Deb H. Thanks for sending your email. I have to wait until Tina gets back from the conference to get it but I will forward his email when I get it.

Thanks for participating today.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks to Margaret for joining us today. Sounds like you have lots of new ideas to think about for your next book. smile

Again, those at RWA National-have a super wonderful time.

Those of us at home-happy writing and happy reading.

Margaret Daley said...

Great, Tracey.
Thanks, Jamie.

Margaret Daley said...

Thanks, Julie. I love hearing from you anytime.
Terri, the booksigning was great. Met a lot of nice people.

Thanks, Sandra and everyone for sharing your time and day with me. This was so much fun.

Mary Preston said...

Always wonderful to read what Margaret has to say.

Edwina said...

Thanks for the great interview, Margaret. Always enjoy reading your books, especially about strong women

Vickie McDonough said...

Margaret is too humble to mention this, but she's written way more than 60 books. In Fact, she's nearing the 100-book mark. I'm one of her brainstorming partners, and it amazes me how she keeps coming up with such interesting ideas for books. She's a special lady.

Olivia said...

Love all the ideas of strong women: no more to add just excited to read this blog and the ensuing posts. Please enter me in the drawing for one of those memorable posts.

Michelle F. said...

Please enter me in the drawing for the print book (I can't do e-books). I liked the mention of setting. A jungle or Southwestern setting would be exciting and different.

Carol N. said...

Margaret, it's great to hear about this new series. I look forward to reading these books. I haven't read all of your books, but I've been ready them since your early ones in the 80's. Please enter me into the drawing! I'd love to win one!
Best wishes!
Carol N.