Gail's Book Nook

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Looking Out the Window: An Interview with Margaret Daley


First, tell us a little about yourself.

I am a retired teacher of special education. I’ve been writing for thirty years and have sold sixty-six books so far. I have a wonderful husband and one son who had four daughters.

I am on the board for American Christian Fiction Writers, a group of 2000 plus Christian fiction writers. If you are interested in writing Christian fiction and don’t belong to ACFW, check it out at It is a wonderful organization for support, networking and education.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?

I struggled to learn to read, but around ten I began to read a lot more. I especially loved the Nancy Drew books.

Why do you write?

I write because I have to. I’ve tried to stop and I can’t. Writing is part of me.

Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book out is Love Lessons, Love Inspired, April 2010. It is the first book in my Helping Hands Homeschool series. Homeschooling his daughter is new to devoted single father Ian Ferguson. To ensure his child gets a good education, the busy CPA hires a temporary tutor. Twenty-three-year-old college student Alexa Michaels is too young—and too pretty—to be right for the job. Yet his daughter is coming out of her shell and learning. Still, Ian is traditional, and sweet Alexa—who graduated from the school of hard knocks—is challenging some of his old-school ways. Can this dad learn some valuable lessons about love, family and faith from the least likely teacher?

What inspired you to write this particular book?

My publisher asked me to write a series about homeschooling. I was a teacher for twenty-seven years before I retired two years ago to write full-time. I know many people who homeschool their children.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

I get ideas from everywhere. I’ll see a television show that will spark something in my mind or read something in the newspaper. Sometimes it is a character. Other times an occupation I’m interested in or a place. I’ve even had an opening come to me that I had to build a story from.

How do you get to know your characters?

I live with them for a while before I start writing. I let them simmering in the back of my mind until I feel I know them enough to start writing.

What themes do you write about?

My most common ones are forgiving others and trusting in the Lord.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?

I have an office with hot pink walls and lots of flamingoes. My desk is next to a large picture window that I can look out of when I need inspiration. I write most days. It helps to keep the flow going in the story.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

I’m a pantzer more than a plotter. I start with knowing my characters pretty well (although as I write I get to know them better) and a framework for the story. As I write I fill in the gaps (or rather my characters do).

Does your faith affect your writing? How?

My writing has helped me get closer to the Lord. It has come from Him.

Do you put yourself in your books?

There’s probably a little of me in every book. What parts I’m not going to say but I’m there.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on Christmas Bodyguard, a Love Inspired Suspense book for this December. It is the first in The Guardians, Inc. series about a group of female bodyguards.

BIO: 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. Recently she has won the Holt Medallion, Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, and the Barclay Gold Contest. 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-six books to date.

Margaret is currently the Volunteer Officer for ACFW. 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 and is still on its board as an advisor. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.

Until she retired last year, she was a teacher of students with special needs for twenty-seven years and volunteered with Special Olympics as a coach. She currently is on the Outreach committee at her church, working on several projects in her community.

You can visit her web site at and read excerpts from her books and learn about the ones recently released and soon to be released.


Anne Patrick said...

Fantastic interview! I've read many of Margaret's Love Inspired Suspense books so I'm a big fan. I wish you both continued writing success!

chahtameda said...

I plan on adding Margaret Daley's new book: "Looking Out the Window", to my reading list. My mother was a teacher for over 40 years, retiring at age 72, and I am sure this will bring back fond memories to me of a teacher's love for teaching.

Linda said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this interview. I have been a GAIL PALLOTTA fan for years, and homeschooling is a topic of great interest to me. I am sure that Margaret Daley has added a valuable perspective. I look forward to reading her new book?

Laurean Brooks said...

Margaret, I've read lots of your books over the years. You are one of my top three "Love Inspired" authors. (I won't say who the other two are.) LoL

My sister, who is single, has more time to read than I do. We buy books and exchange them. I love it when she has one of yours in the mix.

Thank you, Gail, (another awesome writer) for having Margaret drop in. It was a joy getting to know her. I'm in awe.

And Margaret...har..rumph! I plan to submit my current WIP to Love Inspired. Got any suggestions to put me over the top?

God's blessings on both of you!

C said...

Gail and Margaret,

Thank you for sharing with us. I wish you both continued success. *smiles*

Danielle Thorne said...

What a wonderful storyline idea--I admire your standards and your ability to write such emotional stories that can touch everyone.

Shawna Williams said...

Wonderful interview. We're working on our ninth yr of homeschooling.

Miss Mae said...

I love to read about another Nancy Drew fan. Didn't we all grow up reading her? :)

It was great to meet you, Margaret. Wow, 66 books! I stand in awe!

Margaret Daley said...

Laurean, you should go to the Steeple Hill boards at eHarlequin. Emily Rodmell, my editior, is answering question about the lines. You don't have to sign in to read the answers, but if you want to ask her a question, you'll need to sign in. The addy is .

Miss Mae, I loved Nancy Drew. I think I write romantic suspense because of those books.

Thank you all for stopping by and posting. I really enjoyed writing my series about homeschooling. The next one will be in July called Heart of a Cowboy.

Sorry this post is late, but I thought I posted something yesterday but it never showed up.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks so much for sharing.