Monday, July 11, 2011

"Ooooie" with B.J. Daniels - USA Today Best Selling Author

by C.L. Phillips

In April 2010, I had the good fortune of meeting B.J. Daniels at the Breakout Novel Intensive.  She's my hero.  She cranks out four books each year and is so open and encouraging to new writers.  She gave me my first real peek behind the curtain so to speak.  She's frank and honest about what it takes to write compelling mysteries, and what it means to have a full-time career as an author.  Then I read her work, and my life changed.  Oooie.  You know the sound, right?  When you read something that's really good.  Nod your head.  She does that for me.

Now that I've read more of her books than a stalker would admit, please welcome my friend, B.J. Daniels.

Question :  B.J., wasssup?  Tell us about your latest project.

I have been busy writing for Harlequin Intrigue. My latest series: Whitehorse: Chisholm Cattle Company  began with BRANDED in May, LASSOED is out this month. RUSTLED will be out in July with STAMPEDED out in August. There will be two more books in that series: CORRALLED (March 2012) and WRANGLED (June 2012).

This year I am also writing for HQN, with my first single title book set for fall 2012.
On top of that, I have rereleased some of my favorite short stories. I was a short story writer before I launched into novels. I have seven ebooks of short stories out: TAKING CHANCES, DESPERADO, CUPID'S ARROW, DANCE WITH ME, THE SNOW WOMAN, THUNDERSTRUCK and BURNING MEMORIES. Each ebook has 3 short stories in it, one long and two shorter ones. Those are available through both Smashwords and Amazon.
So yeah, busy. But I love it.
Question :  What?  E-books?  A big successful author like you?  Doing e-books?  What's your experience with e-books?

The short story ebooks are my first experience with digital publishing. It is fun to see readers finding them. I think ebooks are a great way to make available more of your work that readers might not otherwise have access to. I know that I had readers often asking about my older books and how they could find them. Before ebooks, their best bet was a used bookstore. Now, readers can get all my books for their ereaders.
Question :  Has your writing changed with the advent of e-books, and if so, please describe how.

My writing hasn't changed. I can't see it changing either. I never want to put out books so quickly that they aren't my best work. I think that a lot of authors are digging books out from under their beds and throwing them out as ebooks as quickly as possible to test the market. I think that putting anything out but your best work, could hurt a writer in the long run and I'm in this for the long run.
Question : Have you discovered any new tools, tips, or techniques that you now use in your writing?

I wish. Writing for me is sitting down in front of the computer every day and getting as much of my story down as possible. I try to write 10 pages a day every day. Some days I get more done. A lot of days I get closer to 5 pages. But it all works out and I can still meet my deadlines. I wish there was something new under the sun to make writing is easier. :) I certainly haven't discovered it.
Question : How has the internet changed how you interact with your fans?

It is wonderful all the ways that I get to meet and talk with fans. In the old days, it was a fan letter by snail mail or an email. Now we can talk on Facebook. I have a blog that I try to update every few days at I twitter a little @bjdanielsauthor. The biggest problem I see with all of the new ways to visit with fans is having enough time to write books. :)
Question :  What does it feel like to be on the USA Today Best Seller List?

I can't tell you how excited I was to make the USA Today Best Seller List. A friend called to tell me I had made the list. I couldn't believe it. Making the list seems to have definitely opened new doors for me, which is very exciting. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. But while it is fun to make lists, be nominated for awards and all that, I never want to lose sight of the fact that it is about storytelling. No matter how exciting all the rest of it is, I still have to sit down every day and write. You have to love that part the most and I love writing, especially writing mysteries. That's really what my books are, mysteries with a relationship.
Interviewer's Note :  I'm so proud of B.J. - her book HIGH CALIBER CHRISTMAS  was on the USA Today Best Seller list for two weeks and took the Romantic Times Excellence Award, the first series book to accomplish this feat, and is up for the Kiss of Death romantic suspense award.
Question :  Any special perks now that you've accomplished nirvana?  Just kidding!
My Intrigues now have the cool new covers. :) (My name is bigger than the title.) I really do have to pinch myself.
And there you have it.  Fifty books and B.J. still loves storytelling.  Now you know why she's my hero and inspiration.  She makes me go "oooie" when I read her stories.  May we all be so fortunate to do the same for our readers.  Thank you B.J.


C.L. Phillips said...

One of the many things I admire about B.J. is her work ethic. She's taught me so much about the perseverance and grace required to be an author.

Interviewing her has been one of my highlights in blogging.

Happy Monday to all.


Annette said...

Welcome to Working Stiffs, B.J. And nice interview, C.L.

I'm always impressed with writers who manage ONE book a year, let alone FOUR. B.J., you say you average 10 pages a day. How many hours a day to you usually write?

Joyce said...

Welcome, B.J. Great interview!

If I was only half as productive I'd be happy. I'm working on it!

I'll admit, I was a bit of a book snob--I'd never read a Harlequin book until I downloaded a free book by B.J. (Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch) right after I got my Kindle for Christmas. It was really good!

C.L. Phillips said...

I'm covering the comments for B.J. until the sunrises in Montana, her home.

Annette - I'm sure she'll answer your question, but I asked her myself when we first met. She sticks her but in the chair starting at 6am and works all day. Every. Freaking. Day. Except in March when the fish in Florida swim away in fear! She's a serious fisherwoman. :)

And she has this really cool toy she uses to electronically capture ideas - carries it with her everywhere. Maybe she'll give us the name of it.

I was and still am amazed by her work ethic and process.


B.J. Daniels said...

Hi everyone! I'm up and so is the sun. :)Thanks Cindy for helping me out!
Annette, actually, I've been writing 6 books a year the last couple of years. I realized I could do three, then four, then five and I thought, heck, I bet I could do six. Sure enough. :)
Joyce, I'm so glad you enjoyed Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch. I just contracted to do the sequel.
And yes, the way I manage to write so much is that I write a lot. Some days though, especially at the first part of the book, it only takes me a few hours to write my 10 pages.
Great to be here.

Patg said...

Wow, four books a year and 10 pages a day. That's dedication. I could use some of that.

C.L. Phillips said...

B.J. - SIX a YEAR?? Firing up Vulcan Mind three, two, one.

Thanks again for each story. I'm a serious fan.

Take care,


Joyce said...

Six a year??? *drops over in a dead faint*

Annette said...

*fanning Joyce* Someone get the smelling salts!

B.J. Daniels said...

LOL. Ladies, it is just one book at a time. The secret is to write every day. You don't have to write a lot of pages, but you do have to stay in the story. As you all know, it's hard to write when you let too many days go by. You need to get those characters living in your head all the time. Sounds crowded huh. :)