Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Author Spotlight - BJ Daniels

I'm very excited today to welcome one of my all time favorite authors, BJ Daniels to the Minxes Blog.  BJ is a USA Today Bestselling Author who writes for Harlequin Intrigue, and has won a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times. She has published over fifty books and more than forty short stories. Right, after that introduction, on to the Minxes questions!

Where were you in your writing career 5 years ago?

Five years ago I wrote a book called Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch. It changed my life. Seriously. Harlequin picked it for a reader survey, it did well and they decided to give it away. They are still giving it away as an Intrigue promotion. That opened up all kinds of doors for me. But it also began a change in my writing. That book was more like me. It came from a childhood memory. I began to trust my own judgment about my writing. (I know it took a while, about 30 books) A year later, I began my Whitehorse, Montana series. That series reflects me, my love of Montana and the place I live and how I feel about life and writing.

Where did you get the idea from for this particular book?

The idea for the Whitehorse series began with a move to a small western town in north central Montana -- in the middle of the prairie, but a place with a wonderful history. I wanted to write about it. Now 24 books later in that series, I am still writing about it. My last three books made the USA Today bestseller list (Gun-Shy Bride, Hitched! and Twelve-Gauge Guardian). I still have to pinch myself. But I believe that writing what you love pays off.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years time?

Boy, that's a good question. I feel there is something "next," but right now I'm not sure what that is. I love writing Intrigues. I'd love to write a single title. Hopefully, I will know when the time is right. I'm working on several things and have something kicking around at the back of mind. :) Of course I would love to have a bunch of single titles on the New York Times bestseller list in five years. But only if they were books I loved.

Which was the last book you read that you wish you'd written?

The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax. I thought one of my friends wrote the book. I had to meet the author at the latest Romance Writers of America conference just to make sure she existed.

Was there any particular author or book that made you want to be a writer?

I come from a family of storytellers so that is where my desire came from. I didn't read a lot as a kid. But I caught the bug my junior year in high school when my English teacher made me read Exodus. That did it for me. I've been reading ever since -- and I read everything.

Do you find writing love scenes giggle-worthy or cringe-worthy?

I actually enjoy the love scenes but mine are pretty tame. They completely depend on the characters. The book I'm finishing now...well, they might not get together on page. They're both a little shy and only on their third date. We'll see. Other characters, well, they are very passionate so of course they have to make love in the book.

What's the most romantic moment of your life so far?

That's a tough one. My husband is very romantic. He cooks for me, which I think is very sexy. But I'd have to say the other evening when we took the boat out on the lake and watched the sun go down. What could be more romantic than that?

What do you wish you'd known about being an author before you were pubbed?

I always love this question because I think ignorance is bliss. Knowing too much about the business isn't good for creative juices. You have to believe in yourself when you write. You also need to completely submerse yourself in your story. How can you do that if you spend a lot of time hearing about how bad publishing is nowadays? The one thing I didn't know that has been so much fun to find out is that you make wonderful friends along the way. Fans, other writers, editors, publishers, agents...you actually get to know people you would never have met otherwise and these friendships are invaluable.

What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?

Write. It seems so simple but so many aspiring writers don't write. They spend a lot of time promoting themselves even before they have a book. The secret in my humble opinion is: write. Finish a book. Write another one. Work to continue to get better. I still believe that if you write a good book, readers will find it.

Tell us about your latest release.

Boots and Bullets comes out in October followed by High Caliber Christmas (Nov) and Winchester Christmas Wedding (Dec.) These are all part of my Whitehorse, Montana series as mini series: Whitehorse: Winchester Ranch and Winchester Ranch Reloaded. Whew huh. The book has a different cover which is fun. It's the continuing story of the Winchester family. A very dysfunctional family and one of my favorites. The first three books in the series are: Gun-Shy Bride, Hitched! and Twelve-Gauge Guardian.

What's next for you?

I wish I knew. But I'm optimistic there are good things on the horizon. It's just my nature. :)

Thanks so much for including me in your interview,BJ

Thank you very much for the interview, BJ!

Find out more about BJ on her website : http://www.bjdaniels.com/

 BJ's books are available in the US at http://www.eharlequin.com/
From Mills and Boon in the UK at http://www.mills&boon.com/





 

5 comments:

joanne pibworth said...

Thanks so much for turning minxy for the day!
Your writing advice is so simple, but so very crucial and true. It's really easy to get caught up in other things and make excuses to yourself, but the only way to get anywhere as a writer is to write.
I love cowboys and I love Christmas, so your Nov & Dec releases have just found their way onto my Christmas list!
Jo
x

Maya said...

"If you write a good book, readers will find it." I think I'm going to print this in foot high letters and put it on my wall! Thanks for being here today and for the chance to get to know you better, BJ :) And 24 books in one series? Wow, that's amazing!

Lorraine said...

Thanks for the advice, the part about believing in yourself really spoke to me.

Joanne Coles said...

I agree with Jo P. Cowboys and Christmas--what's not to love?

Lacey Devlin said...

Great interview! I loved your writing advice too, as well as your "what you'd wished you'd known before you were pubbed". I have a couple of BJ Daniels quotes around my computer :)