Saturday, October 20, 2012

An Afternoon with B J Daniels

Hi BJ, Thank you for taking the time to talk about your Montana Mystique series. I’ve always been a fan of western romance and this series delivers.

You had a bit of a break between Dana and Hud’s story in CRIME SCENE AT CARDWELL RANCH (as well as KEEPING CHRISTMAS and BIG SKY STANDOFF) and your latest in this series, JUSTICE AT CARDWELL RANCH. Now that we have Jordan’s story, do you see the other siblings having their story as well?

That could definitely happen. J

I don’t want to give away a twist in a story so let me ask you this way – I really liked Reba in BIG SKY STANDOFF, what was it like to write such a great character and have her end up where she did?

I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here so let me slow down and give our readers a chance to get to know you a bit before digging into the stories themselves.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing when I was about eight. That’s when I decided I was going to be a writer. I’d never met a writer nor did I know anything about writing. I just knew I wanted to tell stories. I didn’t get serious about writing though until I was thirty.

What inspired you to pick up the pen (or sit down at the computer) one day and create characters that capture the imagination?

They had always been living in my head. J I thought everyone had characters living in their head and stories running all the time. I was shocked to find out that everyone didn’t. I began writing them down one summer when I was camping with my cousins. They would sit in the tent at night and listen to the stories I wrote. (A captive audience)

You have a personal note to your readers in the beginning JUSTICE AT CARDWELL RANCH about some of the locations in the story. Did you write them from memory or did you have the chance to go back and revisit those places?

I had been back recently to the cabin my father built in the Gallatin Canyon. But a lot of it was from memory. The canyon is beautiful with wild country. It’s an interesting place for the characters to live.

Do you have any special technique to keep track of the characters throughout a series, especially one like this that had a few years in between?

I remember most of my characters, especially those who were dysfunctional. J The more fun they are, the more I enjoy them.

Do you see any chance of moving the series into a historical perspective and going back to the early days of the Justice and Cardwell families?

That would be fun, but I think I’ll stay in the current time. I’m more familiar with it.

Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s your take on this?

LOL, thanks for the laugh. I love what I do so I don’t mind spending long hours alone in a room in front of a computer. I don’t work in my PJs, but I know writers who do. Writers spend a lot of time along with pretend people. It makes some of us odd. J

What is the most glamorous thing you’ve done as an author?

I do get out occasionally and go to a conference or get to fly to New York City to see my editor. I get to wear my better clothes and go to dinner and be treated like I am a glamorous author. But then I go home, back to my real life, where I get back into my jeans and go to work. J

If you could be a character in any of the Cardwell books, who would it be and why?

Oh, I think I would like to be Dana Cardwell. She is really strong and determined like me. But she has four children under six. I’m not sure I could handle that. J

Looking over the past year, what has been the best moment for you in your writing career?

Wow, that would have to be the chance to write a single-title book for HQN. I was blown over when Harlequin asked me to write for the line.

What do you enjoy doing with your spare time, your non-writing time?

I love to go out in the boat. I love being on water. I also love to quilt, play tennis with my husband, travel, snowboard, waterski and read. 

If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for lunch, who would it be and what would you eat?

Stephen King. I would love to have lunch with him. I’m thinking cheeseburgers and fries. Maybe a milk shake. J

You’ve gotten the call, a Hollywood producer is going to turn JUSTICE AT CARDWELLL RANCH into a movie.  Who do you cast in the major roles?

Sam Elliot and Ali McGraw when they were younger

What are you working on now? Can you tell us a little about it?

Right now there will be four more Cardwell Ranch books after Justice at Cardwell Ranch. A favorite, CARDWELL RANCH TRESPASSER, comes out in February. I had a ball writing that book because the villain is so wonderful. She just kept surprising me. I am finishing up CARDWELL RANCH CHRISTMAS that comes out in 2013. There is nothing like as snowy Christmas in Big Sky!! Except if you are out Christmas tree hunting and stumble across a body.

Then my first single-title UNFORGIVEN comes out in December, followed by  REDEMPTION in February. Both are part of my new single-title on-going series for HQN. They are set in the fictional town of Beartooth, Montana in the shadow of the Crazy Mountains. I always wondered about the people who live in such remote and wild country. The land shapes them and the isolation causes them to have all kinds of secrets. J I fell in love with these characters, some of them ongoing in the continuing series.
I am now working on the third book in this series. It will be out next fall.

So I have a lot going on.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I love sharing Montana with my readers. I’m delighted that I will have both Harlequin Intrigues and the single-title HQNs coming out. I invite readers to pick up a book and come to Montana for a few hours. J

Thank you for taking some time with us today!

Thank you so much for having me!!

You can learn more about BJ at    

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