Sunday, March 22, 2009


B.J. Daniels is the award-winning author of over 50 romance novels for Harlequin's Intrigue line, having earned the Romantic Times' 2002 Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Suspense. She also won the 2002 Best Harlequin Intrigue for Premeditated Marriage (11/02).
B.J. lives in Montana, which is the setting of many of her novels.
Who is the one person who most encouraged or influenced you to be a writer—and why?

My father’s family were storytellers. They would try to outdo each other. As my Uncle Jack always said, “If you’re going to tell a story, make it good or don’t bother.” So I come from a family that tended to exaggerate. A lot. That obviously had something to do with my wanting to write and tell stories. My father encouraged me always to do great things. He came from a generation where women didn’t have a lot of options and he wanted more than anything for me to have them. He got to see me published before he died and was very proud. That means a lot to me.

How long have you been writing? How many Harlequin Intrigues have you penned? Have you considered writing a mystery/suspense book that isn’t primarily romance?

I started seriously writing fiction while working as an editor and features writer for the local newspaper. I sold my first short story in 1987 to Woman’s World and my first book in 1995 to Harlequin Intrigue. I now have sold 52 books to Intrigue, a novella to Worldwide Mystery, and 38 short stories, most to Woman’s World. Most of my books are mysteries with some romance. There is always a relationship but I have written books that don’t even have a sex scene. I like to delve into other relationships in my books as well as that of the hero and heroine. I love writing Intrigues, but I do have a book I want to write that is mainstream that gets more into dysfunctional family relationships. As they say, write what you know.

Who is your favorite author and why do you like his/her work?

That’s a tough one. I like variety. In fact, I usually read three or four books over the same time period, depending on which one appeals to me that particular day. I love Joseph Finder’s books. I’m a huge fan of Joy Fielding and read everything she writes. I also read a lot of the more literary mysteries. I’m reading “In the Woods” right now by Tara French. I also love Nicci French’s books and on my shelf to be read right now are “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Gargoyle.”

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

That’s an interesting question. I think it has to be writing when my father was dying. It is hard to write when you’re crying all the time and devastated. But I did and I really think it saved me. For a little while, I could lose myself in that other world. I also knew that it was what my father would have wanted. He loved what I was doing.

What is the title of your most recently published book? Briefly tell us what it’s about and let us know where we can buy it.

My Intrigue series, "Whitehorse, Montana, ' continues April, May, June, September and October of this year. The series started with 6 books and has grown to 18. I am just having too much fun writing it as the books are set in my part of Montana with a lot of the local history woven into them.

The April book is titled “Shotgun Bride” and begins with the biological mother of one of my characters coming to Whitehorse to extort money from her daughter. The mother is on the run, desperate, and willing to do anything to save herself. Meanwhile, the daughter, now in her twenties, has only just returned to town to make a new start. Unfortunately, her former fiancĂ© is determined to make her life miserable--or worse. Fortunately, the Corbett brothers have just moved to Montana and one of them finds himself right in the middle of all the trouble.

All of the books will be available at local bookstores or on A lot of the six previous books from the series have sold out but can still be found at used bookstores. Three of the six books made Borders’ Top 10 Bestseller List.

Also: Harlequin is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and has chosen 16 books to represent its line that are available for FREE download. My book, “Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch” is one being offered. Check that out at or also on for Kindles.

What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?

I am starting a brand-new part in the Whitehorse series that will come out in 2010. The 6 books will tell the stories of the Winchester family April, May, June and October, November, December 2010. I am really excited about these books. The Winchester family is just full of mysteries. Some “missing” characters from the original Whitehorse books will be woven into the series as well.

Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?

I know they’ve all heard this again and again, but there are three things you have to do to become a published writer. You have to read. You have to sit down and write. And you have to be willing to work at continuing to get better by taking classes, reading writing books, and getting critiqued through contests or workshops. It won’t happen overnight. You have to love writing because you will spend a whole lot of time putting down words on paper that might not sell.

What writers organizations claim you as a member?
I believe my dues are paid up for: Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Kiss of Death, Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Montana RWA, and Greater Seattle RWA.

Do you have any upcoming book signings or appearances? If so, give us all the details.

I will be signing books at RWA’s national conference in July in Washington D.C.

Here’s your opportunity to tell us anything else you care to share.

I never met a writer before I decided to be one. There weren’t books in my home growing up. My father had a 5th grade education, my mother an 8th grade education. Neither encouraged me to read or write. In fact, when I first told them that I wanted to be a writer, they suggested I become a teacher or secretary so I’d have something to fall back on. My point is that your background doesn’t matter if you really want to write stories. All you have to do is try. I do think it helps though if you’re determined or just plain stubborn like me. And if you can stick with it against any odds. I wrote a lot of short stories before I got my first one published and even after that I didn’t sell every one I wrote. I did sell my first book, but that was after quite a few years of working for a newspaper writing most days. I’m always quick to encourage anyone who wants to write because they have a story they just have to tell. The world needs storytellers.

What are the addresses of your web site(s) and blog(s)? You can click on my blog from the website

No comments:

Post a Comment