Friday, January 20, 2012

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.

I understand you have a new release out called THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Kim, thank you for inviting me back! It's always great to stop in for a visit—and of course, I can't pass up the chocolate ;)

Thanks also for asking about my newest release from Harlequin American Romance, which debuts on February 7th.

THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER is set in Flagman's Folly, New Mexico, the same small town as in my previous book, and tells the story of ex-rodeo star Caleb Cantrell.

After growing up dirt-poor and looked down upon by folks in town, Caleb took off while he was still a teen, headed for fame and fortune. A near-fatal injury destroys his rodeo dreams, and he returns to his hometown with the goal of settling scores with the folks who’d done him wrong and then leaving them all behind for good. Despite his rocky reunion with his high-school sweetheart, he finds his interest in her still going strong. All of a sudden, he's got a hankering to hang around.

When he rents a room in her mother's bed-and-breakfast, Tess LaSalle's stuck with him day and night. She wants only to see the back of him as he leaves town, the way he left her years before. Though she's fighting attraction, too, those feelings are nothing compared to the memory of their bitter separation. When her rodeo-crazy nine-year-old discovers the great Caleb Cantrell has returned to Flagman's Folly, Tess is ten times more desperate to get rid of him—before he learns the secret she's kept from them both for all these years.

How did you arrive at the title for THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER?

Through a joint effort with my editors. (smile)

One of the best ways of getting the right story into the right hands is to clue the reader in to what the book is about, through both the cover blurb and the title.

Many readers love "secret baby" stories, whether the baby is yet to be born or, as in this case, is getting way too close to her terrible teens. I love those stories, too, which is why I wrote the book. And oh, boy, did I love this preteen! She's a real handful.

Of course, Caleb is clueless about being her daddy, but the reader knows the secret fairly early on—which makes THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER the perfect title. (In my humble opinion, of course.)

What made you decide to write in this genre?

The people. I love writing—and reading—about the characters and how they act and what they think and feel and how they handle the curves that are thrown their way. And there are many curves in romance novels, many conflicts that pop up to keep the hero and heroine frustrated and apart no matter how much they might want to be together.

As a writer, I find it challenging but fun to see how long I can keep them from resolving their conflicts. But of course, eventually they always do.

Which is another thing I love about romance—the guaranteed happy endings.

In writing for Harlequin American Romance, I can also incorporate other favorite elements, such as the hero and heroine's community, which involves both their environment and all the characters around them. In my stories, they're usually quirky characters, and that makes the books all the more fun for me to write.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

I think I'm a hybrid of the two. Along the lines of building a house, my usual work methods are to erect a fairly detailed framework (outline), but then leave lots of space to finish off within. It does sometimes mean I run up against unexpected walls! But I usually manage to hang in there and get job done.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER spins off from my previous book, A RANCHER'S PRIDE. They're both set in the town of Flagman's Folly. I fell in love with the hero and heroine of that book, as well as another important character, a four-year-old child who is deaf. I wanted to see how everything worked out for them after their own happy ending.

Along with that trio, I had a few meddling secondary characters who insisted upon coming along for the ride, including a grumpy judge with a heart of gold and a matchmaking town clerk who thinks she controls the love life of every unmarried adult in town. And who pretty much does.

As for the plot of THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER, I came across a hero who overcomes his heartbreaking childhood and finally arrives at the peak of success, only to have his dreams shattered—and his body, too. After facing down his own death, he's hell-bent to get his life back on track, no matter the cost to anyone.

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

Unfair answer alert! (smile)

Putting aside the list of secondary characters, I'll keep to the ones who play the starring roles.
I adore nine-year-old Nate, the horse-loving preteen whose smart mouth hides the hurts she won't share with anyone. I love Tess, who was devastated by the way Caleb left her and now bravely deals with her problems on her own.

And I'm in love with Caleb, after seeing all he's suffered and knowing he wants—and deserves—better. The poor man just doesn't know how to go about getting it. So, very sorry, but I can't pick just one.

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

Confession time. I start off with character sheets and am good as far as name, age, hair and eye color. And I do jot down the most significant details, but what's important varies from character to character. After that I lose track of filling in the blanks and get caught up in writing the book.

Once in a while, I'll do a character interview. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

My heroines are usually too proud to tell their troubles to someone else, and my heroes are just too danged stubborn! They all usually wait until the push point in the story, and still the other character has to drag the information out of them. (smile)

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

First, there’s my website:

Readers should feel free to stop by and visit any time! They can also look for me on Facebook and Twitter: and

Specifically for THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER, I'm just beginning a blog tour where I'll be guesting at various places all over the Internet. Much Cheaper Than Therapy is my number-one stop on the tour. Because, of course, I need to fortify myself with some chocolate! Readers can find the blog tour schedule at my website.

What do we have to look forward next?

Thank you for asking. Next up is another book set in the town of Flagman's Folly. It centers around characters who make cameo appearances in THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER.

HONORABLE RANCHER (August 2012) tells the story of Ben Sawyer, a man whose best friend died an Army hero. Ben's fighting both to keep the promise he made to take care of his friend's wife and small children and to keep his hands off the woman he's always loved from afar—his best friend's widow.

Thanks, Barbara!

Thank you, Kim, for inviting me to chat and for being such a gracious hostess.

To celebrate her book release, Barbara is offering a free copy of the first Flagman's Folly title, A RANCHER'S PRIDE, to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (Please check the blog Monday night to see who if you. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

For a second chance to win: 1. Like Barbara's Facebook page, follow her on Twitter, or sign up for her Yahoo group newsletter (link available on her website)—or do all three (smile).

2. Then send her an e-mail via the Contact Form on her website letting her know which you've done. (Drawing will close at midnight January 21. Please check her website on Monday, January 23 to see who 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....

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 lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.

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!

Check out author’s website at


Barbara White Daille said...

Good morning!

Kim - thanks again for hosting me at the blog. I'm having a cup of tea right now but will soon dig in to the chocolate.

Everyone - I'll be in and out today and all through the weekend, so please ask and comment away.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Barbara. Thanks for joining us again. Wow. You're up early. It's not often the guest is up before the host, especially when we're in the same time zone...unless you're traveling. Glad you're not quite ready for chocolate yet as I have to drag the bag away from the cats! We wouldn't want to upset you at the start of your blog tour. :) The Rodeo Man's Daughter sounds like another delicious read. There's nothing like a reunion/secret baby story. What does your typical writing day look like? Thanks again for stopping by. Enjoy your day with us.

Barbara White Daille said...

Hi, Kim,

Ready for the chocolate when you are.

I'm on a deadline that's closing in AND kicking off this blog tour, so...sleep? What's that? (smile)

My typical writing day starts off with e-mail, checking for messages from my editor, business contacts, friends, and fans.

I'm trying to touch base at Facebook and Twitter more regularly, too.

Then, after too much Internet time altogether--but who's not guilty of that, right?--I get down to work mid-morning or so.

The good thing is, once I get BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) *AND* have the file open for my work in progress, I really buckle down and make great progress.


Melanie Atkins said...

Sounds awesome, Barbara. I love the name of the town! Flagman's Folly = perfection. And I also love the hero's name. Don't know if it's the alliteration or what, but I can just picture him.

Barbara White Daille said...

Melanie - thanks! I'm glad you can picture Caleb and like the name of his hometown.

Caleb Cantrell...Flagman's Folly...

Yeah, I'm big into alliteration. LOL

Thanks for stopping by!


Laurie Schnebly Campbell said...

Barbara, it's always fun seeing you here -- especially with Nate! There don't seem to be many kids that age who are prominently featured in romances, and I'm impressed with how you've filled that void. :)

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Barbara and Kim. Barbara, thanks for sharing your process. I always love reading what works for other people. Can't wait for the book!

Barbara White Daille said...

Laurie - great to be back here!

Thanks for the comments on Nate. I've tried to make her a good but challenging preteen. You'd probably have fun analyzing to figure her out. ;)


B. A. Binns said...

I have to say I love a good cowboy, and any other author named Barbara. I enjoy your post, and I'm off after the book.

Barbara White Daille said...

June - thanks a bunch! I hope you enjoy THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER.

I love reading about other authors' processes, too, and am always looking for things that might help my writing and productivity. (ahem--see note about Internet time in a previous response. LOL)


Barbara White Daille said...

Barbara - we Barbaras have to stick together. ;)

I love cowboys, too, and sure hope you enjoy reading Caleb's story. He's a bit rough around the least, till Tess smooths him out some. ;)


Donnell said...

Okay, okay, okay, I just gotta interrupt this Much Cheaper than Therapy blog and state for the record, that I, being from New Mexico, know firsthand that there is no place called Flagmans Folly, New Mexico.

But darned after reading Barbara White Daille's books if I didn't think there was. So maybe this is the perfect blog for her to appear on.

Love having your heartstrings pulled, read her wonderful books. You'll be smiling for days.

Carry on ;)

Tina LaVon McCright said...

I love your books! Sorry I missed B I A W. I got sick.

Carol said...

Barbara, such a great interview. Your books are always filled with interesting characters and their compelling stories. Waiting for THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER.

Barbara White Daille said...

Donnell - I'm glad to get the seal of approval! ;)

And humbled to have such praise from someone who writes a darned good book herself.

Thanks for stopping by.


Barbara White Daille said...

Tina - hugs! I wondered what had happened to you. Hope you feel better soon.

Thanks for the kind words about my books.

Now, go get some rest.


Barbara White Daille said...

Carol - thanks so much. I'm always thrilled to hear that people enjoy the books.

Hope you like THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER, as well.


Nancy said...

What a great interview. I loved how you worked to come up with a title. This looks like a great deal. I love reading the comments too. Its nice to see when and authors work makes people feel like they know the small town their story is set in.

Barbara White Daille said...

Nancy - I'm glad you enjoyed the post and the comments.

Thank you for all *your* lovely comments, too.

Donnell's compliment about my small town really touched me, because I always try to weave in details to make people and places come alive--without bombarding the reader with description.

If you pick up one of my books, I hope you find that's true!

Thanks again.


Mary Marvella said...

Barbara, Barbara, Barbara, here you go again! Great hero, great story and a heroine I like but would shove aside to get at the hero! Sorry.

Barbara White Daille said...

Mary - and so, that is a bad thing--how?? LOL

I'm glad you already like Caleb. ;)

Thanks for stopping in!


Estella said...

I enjoyed the interview. The book sounds like a great read.

Barbara White Daille said...

Estella - thanks for stopping by.

I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.