I’m delighted to welcome Christian suspense author Margaret Daley to The Bookshelf. Margaret, we’ll be talking about your writing journey, and I also have a few just-for-fun questions. But first, “all writing aside,” tell us about you. Who is Margaret Daley?I’m a mother of one son and grandmother to four granddaughters. I’ve been married thirty-nine years and have a wonderful husband. I’ve been retired from teaching special education at the high school level for a little over a year. Now I’m writing full-time and just recently sold my sixty-sixth book to Love Inspired Suspense. I always write for Love Inspired.
What an accomplishment! (An aside to my readers … I’m so proud to say I actually know Margaret, as we are members of the same local ACFW writer’s group (WIN-ACFW). She’s as sweet and pretty as she is talented, and definitely an inspiration to this fledgling author.) Margaret, would you share a little with us about how you got started as a writer? Was there an “aha” moment when you knew that’s what you wanted to do?
I never thought I would be a writer when I was growing up. I wanted to be a teacher, but I loved to read and make up stories when I played with my dolls. One day after reading a lot of romances (I was in my late twenties), I thought I would try my hand at putting one down on paper. That book will never see the light of day, but it’s what got me started and I haven’t stopped in thirty years.
Just goes to show that God’s plans for us often take us down a far different path than the one we see ourselves taking. Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
Everywhere. It might be an occupation, a current issue or a character that intrigues me to write a story. I have written a couple because of the locale. I love the jungle and wanted to place a book there. That’s where Heart of the Amazon came from.
How much time do you spend writing?
I write almost every day, at least a little. I have a weekly word count that I strive for (at least 10, 000 words). Some weeks I do more if the story is coming to me fast.
A wonderful woman—one whose influence will be with me throughout my lifetime—once quoted an old piece of wisdom to me: “Consistency, thou art a jewel.” I still believe it—and your success as a writer bears out its truth. What’s your best piece of advice for new and aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. It’s a tough business, but if you don’t write and keep submitting, I guarantee you will never sell.
Amen! Give us one writing tip that you personally find invaluable.
Listen to yourself when you are going through your story. Sometimes I’ve ignored that little voice in my head that tells me something is wrong with a scene. Invariably my editor will have me revise that scene.
Do you have any books releasing right away, or recently released?
I had a November Love Inspired called Together for the Holidays, and I have one on the shelves right now, a Love Inspired Suspense for December called Christmas Peril. Both are Christmas stories, as you can tell from the titles.
I always love Christmas stories, especially those of the happily-ever-after variety. J Of all your published works, do you have a favorite? And if so, what about that book makes it special to you?
Heart of the Amazon was a book of the heart. The words flew from me. I was so in the groove with Slade and Kate it was like they took me over.
I have yet to read that one, but will certainly search it out now. Now for that off-the-cuff stuff I mentioned. If you could ask any person, living or dead, a random question—what question would you ask of whom?
I don’t know that I would ask a question, but I would love to meet Jesus. I can imagine how awe-inspiring seeing Him would be and listening to Him talk.
I can’t think of a better answer. What books are on your bedside table right now?
Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida—it has flamingoes on the cover and I love flamingoes.
What word annoys you more than any other?
“I can’t”—which are two words. I had students who said that to me. They used their learning disability as a crutch. I wouldn’t let them because I have a learning disability and I went to college and got my masters degree.
How wonderful for your students to have a teacher who had walked in their shoes! What “super power” would you like to borrow for a while?
To be able to heal people.
Share a grammatical pet peeve…go ahead, sound off.
I really don’t have any.
Thank you for hanging out at The Bookshelf for a while, Margaret! Where can readers find your books?
They are available at http://www.eharlequin.com or any online bookstore as well as places like Wal-Mart, Barnes and Noble, Borders.
Thanks again for being with us.
Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Holt Medallion, Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines. She has sold sixty-six books to date.
Margaret is currently the Volunteer Officer for ACFW. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in
Until she retired last year, she was a teacher of students with special needs for twenty-seven years and volunteered with Special Olympics as a coach. She currently is on the Outreach committee at her church, working on several projects in her community.
You can visit her web site at http://www.margaretdaley.com and read excerpts from her books and learn about the ones recently released and soon to be released.