Margaret Daley, an
award-winning author of eighty-two books, has been married for over
forty years and is a firm believer in romance and love. 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, romantic
suspense for Abingdon Press, and historical romance for Summerside
Press. She is the president of American Christian Fiction Writers
When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a
suspense thread, and corralling her three cats that think they rule her
You were a
teacher for special needs children for twenty-seven years and have
recently retired. Where did your writing career begin, and what did it
take to get contracts for these eighty-two titles!
I started writing seriously in
1978. I sold my first book in 1980, which came out in April 1981 with
Silhouette Romance. I continued to write, producing twenty books with
Silhouette and Dell mainly. Then I went through an eight-year dry spell
where I couldn't sell a book. After I sold a book to Kensington in
1996, I sold six more books before my career took a totally different
path. A story came to me that could only be told with a faith element
in it. This book, which I sold to Love Inspired in 2000, started my
career in the Christian fiction market. I found my home as a writer.
suspense seem to be your genres of choice, and you have won many
awards, including the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the
Year Contest, the Golden Quill Contest, and the Holt Medallion, to name
a few. What draws you to these genres? How do you feel when you win
awards for your writing?
I think love is what makes the
world go around. I love a good love story and the hope you receive at
the end of a romance. But my all-time favorite genre to read is
suspense/adventure. That’s why I enjoy writing romantic suspense. I get
to write in two areas I love to read. I feel honored and thrilled when
I win an award.
write even if there were no rewards for doing so?
During my eight-year dry spell,
I tried to quit writing several times, but I always came back to it
because it was part of me. I couldn’t walk away even when I wasn’t
selling. Now looking back, I think the Lord was setting the stage for
me to write Christian fiction.
Of all the
stories you have written, do you have a personal favorite?
I have really enjoyed writing
several books, but the one I had to tell was Saving Hope. Even when I
received rejections from publishers on the story, I felt the Lord
wanted me to tell it for someone.
Tell us about
your latest project. What excites you about it? What do you hope
readers will take away from the story?
The story is about human
trafficking. I particularly focus on young teenage girls in this
country—how they are caught up in it, what can happen to them. I wanted
to show there is hope through the Lord, even in tough
We hear more
and more about human trafficking, which is the central theme of your
latest book, Saving Hope. What was the inspiration behind this story?
I taught middle and high school
for many years—the ages of the teens who are being drawn into child
prostitution, often kidnapped to do it. I wanted to do something to let
people know this is not just a problem in other places in the world but
here in the United States. Our children are our future. We need to
protect them not exploit them.
is another heroine who finds strength beyond her comfortable
boundaries—strength that enables her to reach out to young girls in
danger of being abducted into the sex slave trade. What inspired this
character? What is her greatest strength? Her greatest weakness?
Her greatest strength is her
passion for her cause. Her greatest weakness is her relationship with
Your story is
about a modern theme, and you have included an almost classic hero, a
Texas Ranger, to play a major role in the story. What research was
required into the Texas Rangers to make this character come alive on
the page? What do you like most about Wyatt Sheridan?
I like Wyatt’s integrity the
most. When I think of the Texas Rangers, I think of that integrity. I
admire them as a law enforcement agency. They cover a lot of area for
so few of them (under 150 for the whole state of Texas). I went to
Garland to Company B’s headquarters. I interviewed the receptionist and
a Texas Ranger. He answered questions when they come up. I recently
finished the third book in the series.
Hope is the beginning of a new series. Can you tell us a bit about the
series? What do you hope readers will take away from this series?
The second book is called
Shattered Silence and will be out in October of this year. The theme in
that book is various kinds of bullies in our society. As a teacher, I
saw the effects of bullies on kids. It was heartbreaking. The third
will be out in Spring 2013. I have titled it Scorned Justice, but that
might be changed. This book is about revenge and its effects on people.
There are endless stories that could be told about the Texas Rangers in
different parts of a big state.
What kind of
writing schedule is required for you to be comfortable contracting five
books at a time? How many books do you work on at once?
I work on one book at a time. If
I didn’t, I would mix up the stories I’m writing. I have a weekly word
count I set for myself. I write at least six days a week, sometimes
seven, depending on my deadline.
What is your favorite
and least favorite parts of the writing process?
My favorite part is putting the
story together—plotting it. My least favorite is the final
read-through. By then I’d rather not read the story yet again. It
becomes hard to tell if I said or explained something too much.
You also offer
writing help to other authors and currently serve as the president of
the American Christian Fiction Writers. What do you enjoy about the
company of other writers? Do other writers feed your creative process?
Another writer will understand
my journey better than others who don’t write. I love talking writing
but even more so brainstorming with other writers. That sparks my
Do your family
members read your work? Who is your biggest fan?
My mother-in-law (and my mother
when she was alive) is my biggest fan, but I have to say my two oldest
granddaughters (nine and eleven) are starting to read them. They tell
their friends about me. And my two youngest granddaughters want books
when the two oldest get some. They pretend to read the books, although
they are only three and four.
Do you enjoy
interacting with readers? What has been the most memorable response
from a reader?
Yes, I enjoy interacting with
readers. Some of the most memorable responses from readers are when my
story helps them get through a tough time or helps them with a problem.
What is your
favorite pastime when you are not writing?
Reading. I love to read,
especially suspense/adventure/thriller books.
Do you have
any parting words of encouragement you’d like to share with other
writers and those who enjoy reading your work?
If you are a writer, keep
working at it. Determination is so important in this business. If you
are a reader, I would love to hear from you. What do you like to read
in a book? What excites you in a story?
Ford has been a resident of
Alabama for more than ten years. Originally from Georgia, she holds a
Bachelor’s degree in English from Brenau Women’s College. She has spent
the past 9 years in sales and marketing and has been an avid reader of
Christian Fiction for more than 20 years.
A mother of two teen sons both nearing the end of high school, Kim’s
life is full and blessed. She enjoys singing, writing and spending time
with her family. She blogs at: Window
To My World