Friday, May 6, 2011

Interview with Barbara White Daille

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Barbara White Daille. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

Kim, thanks so much for inviting me to Much Cheaper Than Therapy! I love to visit here, and not just because of the chocolate. ;)



You're welcome. I understand you have a new release out called A RANCHER’S PRIDE. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Thanks asking about my current release, which is just out from Harlequin American Romance this week.

In A RANCHER’S PRIDE, solitary rancher Sam Robertson has just gained custody of a four-year-old daughter he’d never known existed. When his ex’s sister arrives on the scene, Sam finds himself in big trouble. Not only is he attracted to the woman, he discovers she holds the key to something he doesn’t: how to communicate with his daughter, who is deaf.

Kayla Ward has heard too many horror stories about Sam even to think about leaving her beloved niece in his clutches. She’s come to town to rescue the child and plans to leave with her on the next plane.

But the orders of a local judge turn Sam and Kayla’s custody battle into an outright war only one of them can win—a war that puts both their hearts on the line and the little girl’s future in the balance.

A RANCHER’S PRIDE is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

A RANCHER’S PRIDE is a stand-alone book that was selected to be part of Harlequin American Romance’s “Men of the West” mini-series. My editor asked me for title ideas to reflect a hero-driven story. I’m so glad we chose A RANCHER’S PRIDE, because it fits the book in several ways.

First, Sam is a very proud man who doesn’t want to accept help from anyone—especially not from the heroine. Having to rely on her at times during the story only adds to the conflict between them.

In addition, his pride has been battered from actions his ex-wife had taken in the past and that affect him even today.

Finally, he learns to love a child he’d never known existed, and his daughter Becky becomes his pride and joy.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I’ve always been interested in the people in books. Even when there’s an exciting storyline, what holds my interest is how the events impact the characters.

Romances are wonderful for showing how two people manage their encounters, conflicts, and attraction, as well as their relationships with other characters in the book. I like to follow along with them through the ups and downs of the story.

And I love the idea of a guaranteed happy ending!

Also, with the home, family, and community focus of Harlequin American Romance, there’s plenty of room for humor and quirky secondary characters, both of which I love to write.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book? Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?

Since I jump back and forth between the two writing styles, I would say I’m more a hybrid of the two. Every story I’ve written has taken a slightly different course. I started out—at the age of nine—as a pantser. At that point I didn’t know you could plot a book! I wrote what came to me, and what I enjoyed.

Over time, I’ve learned that coming up with a support structure (a solid outline of the story) helps direct me when I’m writing. But by not including every single element that goes into the book, I keep the story fun for me.

As for research, I think what make this book especially fun (as well as different) is that some of the characters communicate in sign language. I didn’t have to research that, as I’m a certified American Sign Language interpreter.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

People might think I came up with the idea for A RANCHER’S PRIDE out of my experiences as an interpreter. Actually, that’s not true.

Sometimes, a book idea starts for me with a flash of a scene, a very brief picture of a character or characters in a particular situation. In this case, the idea that intrigued me was a hero who had no idea in the world that he was a father—and who discovered the fact only when the child was dropped off on his doorstep without warning.

I’ll admit, it occurred to me very early in the planning stages that having this child communicate in another language—a language the hero doesn’t know—would add even more conflict to the story. And romances are all about the conflict.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

This is one tough question. I love all the characters, from the eccentric town judge whose decision forces Sam and Kayla together, to the child whose welfare has them both at odds, to the tortured hero and heroine themselves—even if I had to be the one to torture them!

I have a lot of sympathy for Kayla, as she has experienced very hard times in her life. She’d had a sister sent away from her family when she was young, and she’s now in danger of losing a child she loves as her own.

And who could not love a sweet little four-year-old?

But if I’m forced to choose, I would have to say I most liked writing about Sam. During the story, he has to make huge adjustments and heartbreaking decisions, and I suffered along with him through each and every one.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing?


I try. ;) Let’s say I start off well prepared with backup materials and have the best intentions when it comes to keeping up with them. But then I begin writing, and the characters become so entwined in the plot and their relationships with each other and the secondary characters, they...well...they take on lives of their own. At that point, they’re so real to me, I don’t need to go back to the notes very often.

One thing I definitely try to stay up-to-date with (no pun intended!) is a calendar. It helps me keep the story events and the timeline straight.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Yes—too many to name! I love authors who inspire me by drawing me into their stories, making my heart melt or my blood chill or forcing me to turn the pages as quickly as possible to find out what happens next.

And I’m filled with inspiration every time I read one of the books in my TBR (to-be-read) pile.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I hope it’s the virtual tour I’m currently on, where I’ve been invited as a guest at different blog sites to chat about A RANCHER’S PRIDE and my previous books and to get my name “out there.”

My first two books were published just before I had ventured into the Internet. Now, with A RANCHER’S PRIDE and FAMILY MATTERS (October 2010), readers who like the type of story I write have plenty of ways to find info about my books online and to keep in touch.


First, there’s my website: http://www.barbarawhitedaille.com.

Readers should feel free to stop by and visit any time!


They can also look for me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/barbarawhitedaille



What do we have to look forward to next?

Thanks for asking! Right now, I’m working on two more stories that will be published by Harlequin American Romance, both of which are stand-alone books set in the same small town as A RANCHER’S PRIDE.

The first is the story of an injured rodeo cowboy who returns to his hometown seeking to right some old wrongs. There, he encounters his former high-school sweetheart, now a single mom struggling to survive financially and having trouble with her preteen daughter. She’s the woman he most needs to get square with. But he’s the one man she has to avoid.

The second book is the story of a young, widowed business owner who lost her Army hero husband and is determined to make a life for herself and her three kids. The rancher hero is just as single-minded in his goal to keep a promise he made—a promise that will once again turn the heroine’s world upside down.

Readers, please keep an eye on my website, where I’ll post the publication dates of these books as soon as I know them!

Thanks, Barbara!

My pleasure, Kim. Thanks again for inviting me to guest blog with you and to chat with your readers. And for the chocolate, of course. ;)

To celebrate her book release, Barbara is offering a free copy of one of her backlist titles to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (Please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Bio.

Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the dry heat and have taken up square dancing.

From the time she was a toddler, Barbara found herself fascinated by those things her mom called "books." Once she learned the words between the covers held the magic of storytelling, she wanted to see her words in print so she could weave that spell for others.

Barbara hopes you will enjoy reading her stories and will find your own storytelling magic in them!

Her newest title from Harlequin American Romance, A RANCHER’S PRIDE, was just released this week and has received a 4-1/2 star Top Pick review rating from RT Book Reviews.

Check out Barbara White Daille’s website at www.barbarawhitedaille.com


You can also find her Virtual Book Tour schedule posted there.


14 comments:

Amy Atwell said...

Congrats on the new release, Barbara! I've already finished reading A Rancher's Pride and I loved it. The character of Sam is so wonderfully drawn. He's just my type of hero--all about honor. He wants so much to do the right thing and you gave him a very tough dilemma in choosing what would be best for his daughter. Can't wait to see more books set in this sweet little town, too!

Barbara White Daille said...

Hi, Amy, and thank you for getting my day off to such a great start! ;-)

Oh, that poor Sam. It's a shame I had to torture him so much, but that's what we have to do to our characters.

I'm very glad you enjoyed A RANCHER'S PRIDE and are looking forward to more books set in Flagman's Folly. I'm having fun working on the next one.

Thanks for dropping in!

Barbara

Kim Watters said...

Good morning Barbara. I see I'm not the first one up today. Thanks for stopping by, and for your nice comment, I'm bringing you extra chocolate. A Rancher's Pride sounds like another delicious read. With that type of conflict, I can't wait to see how it's resolved. I had no idea you are a certified American Sign Language interpreter. I love when we can use real experiences in our books. Like you said, no research and real authenticity! Enjoy your day with us.

Tara Taylor Quinn said...

Barbara,

Congratulations on your release! Great blog tour!!!

Barbara White Daille said...

Good morning, Kim! Thanks for the warm welcome.

And of course, the extra chocolate is nice, too. ;-)

I'm looking forward to chatting with your readers and hope they'll feel free to leave comments and questions for me.

Meanwhile, that chocolate's looking good...

Barbara

Barbara White Daille said...

Hi, Tara,

Thanks so much! And thanks for hosting me at Story Broads the other day.

I'm in awe of what you've been up to on your tour, too. It's in such a wonderful cause, and I wish you the best of luck in getting the word out about It Happened on Maple Street.

Barbara

Estella said...

A Rancher's Pride sounds like a very good read!

I love books set in small towns.

Barbara White Daille said...

Hi, Estella, and thank you!

Towns don't get much smaller than Flagman's Folly, and the folks there tend to get into everyone's business.

To tell you the truth, that was a big part of the fun of writing the book. ;)

Barbara

Shelley Mosley said...

Hi Barbara!

I remember when we were both unpublished. Look at you! You're multi-published! And you've worked darned hard to get where you are.

Congratulations on your new book!

Shelley

Barbara White Daille said...

Shelley! It's great to see you here!

Yes, it's been a long haul for me. ;-)

And we've both worked hard.

You're published in long and short fiction and non-fiction, not something many people can say.

Thanks for the congrats on the book, and best of luck to you, too.

Barbara

Linda Andrews said...

Hi Barbara,

The A Rancher's Pride sounds like a wonderful book and I love the idea of using sign language. So is Flagman's Folly based on a particular town?

Barbara White Daille said...

Hi, Linda,

I'm glad you like the sound of A RANCHER'S PRIDE. All my books are special to me, but this one...really gets me. ;-)

Flagman's Folly is loosely built on a number of different towns in the Southwest, with my imagination added to them.

Thanks for asking!

Barbara

Tina LaVon said...

I can't wait to read this one. This last book I read of yours was wonderful!

Thank you for stopping by MCTT.

Barbara White Daille said...

Tina - it's my pleasure to be here.

Thanks so much for the compliment about my previous book!

I hope you like A RANCHER'S PRIDE just as much.

Barbara