Friday, January 20, 2012

How novelist Margaret Daley, ACFW president, approaches writing

Margaret Daley is Author of 82 published books and sold seven in 2011. Worked 27 years as a special needs teacher.  She was a Special Olympics coach. She serves on an outreach committee at her church and also works with the church’s vestry. She and her husband have been married 41 years and have one son and four grandchildren. You can visit Margaret at to see about her different books and read excerpts from them.

Ada:       Do you sleep? How do you keep up with your writing schedule?
Margaret:  Sometimes it is difficult, but I try to write almost every day.
Ada:  Each of your books on your website is an easy purchase because of the links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  How do published writers get these links on their websites or blogs?
Margaret:  I am an associate member of Amazon and they give me the links. The other I copy and paste from Barnes and Noble.
Ada:  Just going through your website is a lesson for beginning writers on creating a short book summary. I like the way each starts with a well-written hook. How long does it take to compose these blurbs, or does your mind automatically click them out?
Margaret: Some of the blurbs are mine and some are from my publishers. I think coming up with blurbs is hard.
Ada: How do you begin the writing process—to lay the groundwork? What system do you use for filing character profiles, setting and plotting? How deep and how thorough do you go at the beginning?
Margaret: I live with my characters for a while before I start writing. But as I write, I learn more about them the deeper I go into the story. I start with an idea and a framework for my story.  I know some of the details but a lot of them I figure out as I write--as the characters grow in my mind.
Ada: Is it easy or difficult to bring in the story complications? Have you had a character you loved so much you hated to bring in the hurt?  Ever wept with the people you created?
 Margaret:  What makes a plot is conflict and hurt is part of conflict. As a writer I owe my readers the best possible story I can give them. I go through the traumas with my characters, but I've never hesitate to put them through the wringer.
Ada:  Do you use photos and other things to stimulate your mind and enhance your writing, to paint scenes and bring in the senses?
Margaret:  Sometimes but mostly I imagine the story unfolding in my mind.
Ada:  Do you still participate in a critique group?
Margaret:  Not as much as I used to. I do have friends I brainstorm with and occasionally critique.
Ada: What event caused you to change from secular publishers to the Christian booksellers?
Margaret: God gave me a story that could only be told as an inspirational romance--The Power of Love, my first Love Inspired.
Ada:  Is there any part of writing that is a significant challenge to you?
Margaret:  Promoting. It didn't use to be as big a deal as it is in today's market. It takes a lot of time away from the actually writing. I'm not comfortable trying to sell myself.
Ada:  What was your first published book? How old were you when you started and how long did it take to achieve success?
Margaret:  My first book published was a Silhouette Romance in 1981 called Second Chance on Love. It took about three years from when I started to sell my first book.
Ada: Which among your books makes you most proud?
Margaret:  I have several favorites for different reasons. The book coming out in March called Saving Hope is a book I felt the Lord wanted me to write. He opened doors for me to get this story published. It is about human trafficking, a timely subject that needs to be dealt with in this country. Heart of the Amazon was a book of the heart. I had such fun writing it. It is African Queen meets Romancing the Stone. Another book that is close to my heart is my October 2012 from Abingdon Press called Shattered Silence. It is about different types of bullying in our society.

Ada in summary: Visit Margaret at  The visit will enlarge your vision of writing fiction. As you learn more about her, remember she sold seven books in 2011, but she also has a life ministering to others, working with other writers at American Christian Fiction Writers, and enjoying her family. I would say the Lord certainly blesses the work of her hands, and has enlarged her territory of influence by His miraculous power.