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Thursday, January 08, 2009

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. This year she placed second in the Short Contemporary category for the Book of the Year Contest for Heart of the Family. 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 books to date with Forsaken Canyon, a Love Inspired Suspense and a sequel to Buried Secrets, having come out in October 2008 and A Texas Thanksgiving, a Love Inspired, out in November 2008.

She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She served as vice-president for two years in WIN-ACFW. She has taught an online class for ACFW and been a presenter the last couple of years at the annual ACFW conference. She enjoys mentoring other authors.

You published your first book in 1981. Since then, you’ve sold a total of fifty-eight books! Has continued success made writing easier, or more difficult?

I’m happy to announce that I have sold two more books recently—both Love Inspired Suspense books. Over the years I’ve had my ups and downs. One down time lasted eight years when I didn’t sell anything after having sold twelve books. But I kept writing and eventually sold another book, then another. I still receive rejections. I can’t say that it is more difficult or easier—just different. Your concerns and pressures change some.

I’m sure you’ve had your share of reviews. What impact did this have on subsequent books?

Not much really. With each book I try to do my best.

Many authors struggle with only writing in one genre. Having been multi-published in different genres, what are your thoughts on this?

I love to read a variety of different types of books hence the interest in writing different types. I’m really enjoying writing both the inspirational romance and romantic suspense. Suspense is my favorite genre to read, but I don’t want to write suspense books only. They can be very intense.

How much marketing do you do? Do you market all of your books at once, or concentrate solely on the newest release?

I have a bookmark that I send out that markets the next year’s books. I focus on marketing my new release because the Steeple Hill books have a short shelf life. I have a web site and a blog that I keep updated. I belong to several group blogs. I have a quarterly newsletter.

So, tell us a little about your latest release:

What Sarah Saw is my Love Inspired Suspense for January 2009:

A mother is missing…The only witness when a single mother mysteriously vanishes is her three-year-old daughter. FBI agent Sam Pierce needs to question little Sarah. Yet child psychologist Jocelyn Gold will barely let him near the girl. Or herself. The tragic conclusion to a kidnapping case broke Sam and Jocelyn apart the year before, and their hearts still haven’t healed. But for the child’s sake—and the mother’s—they must join forces to uncover just what Sarah saw.

How did you come up with this story?

This is the first in a Love Inspired Suspense continuity series called Without a Trace. Robin Caroll, Shirlee McCoy, Patricia Davids, Roxanne Rustand and Terri Reed are the other authors. We were given a loose overall picture of our books, and we had to fill in the meat of the story and develop our characters. Each book has a suspense thread that is solved within the book, but there is an overall suspense thread that runs through all six books. My characters will appear in the other books and the other hero and heroines appeared in What Sarah Saw.

Tell us a little about your main character and how you developed him/her:

Since it is a continuity, I had to fit her character within the framework of the whole continuity series.

Jocelyn Gold has a doctorate in psychology and specialized in treating children. Besides having been a consultant for the police and FBI in New Orleans, she had a successful practice, but nine months before the book opens, she decided to leave the city and move to a small town that has a quieter life and open her practice up to all ages, instead of just counseling children.

The incident that led to this decision was a kidnapping gone wrong. Jocelyn was involved in the case from almost the beginning. Several children were witnesses to the kidnapping, and she was instrumental in coming up with some evidences to help the FBI with the case. But it wasn’t enough. The child was found dead. Jocelyn can’t seem to get the child’s face out of her thoughts. She lived with the photo and case for weeks before he was found in the swamp near New Orleans.

She had a prior relationship with the hero. They worked together on a few cases that came up in Louisiana where children went missing. Eventually they started dating and did for four months. Jocelyn knew it probably wasn’t wise to go out with someone she worked with, but she couldn’t resist Sam. His charm and integrity drew her to him.

But both were too focused on their careers to make the relationship work. Then the little boy’s kidnapping happened and instead of bringing them closer, it drove a wedge between them. Sam blamed himself for not being able to find the boy while Jocelyn kept going over what she could have done more to bring the child home. They had both been involved with kidnappings that had gone bad, but this five-year-old child touched them more than the others (for Sam, the boy looked like his younger brother; for Jocelyn, it was the timing in her life).

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Least?

I enjoyed the two main characters and the problems they gave me to work with. I least enjoyed my tight deadline.

What does your writing space look like?

My office has hot pink walls, and I have decorated it with lots of flamingoes. Otherwise it’s just a desk and chair with a couch, coffee table (which is a big book) and bookcases. Years ago my husband framed each of mine books, so that the walls of my office are lines with all my books I’ve published. They inspire me to keep going. In the picture of my office you’ll see Flo, the huge flamingo. Cheryl Wyatt gave that to me several years ago.

What would you do with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Travel and read for pure enjoyment—I don’t get to do that a lot.

Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

There are always bits and pieces of me and my experiences in each book.

What message do you hope readers gain from your novel?

That there is hope through our faith in the Lord.

Tell us what we have to look forward to in the future. What new projects are you working on?

At the moment I am finishing up the 5th book in my Fostered by Love series. This is Lisa’s story. The second book in the series (Heart of the Family) is where I introduced Lisa and her little boy, Andy, to the readers. This book will be out in November 2009.

Any parting advice?

I love hearing from readers. You can contact me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. You can visit my web site at http://www.margaretdaley.com/ and sign the guestbook for a chance to win a book during that month. I have a quarterly newsletter I send out and you can sign up for that from my first page on my web site. Also I have a blog where I host different authors who I interview and they give away one of their books in a drawing. Check this great way to meet new authors and win books at http://margaretdaley.blogspot.com/

Thanks for having me.

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