1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?
Currently, I’m writing only short contemporary romance – and am loving it! In a drawer (or on the computer), I’ve got unpublished full or partial manuscripts in the romantic suspense, mystery, and YA genres. I also have a drawer filled with scribbled notes and notebooks for all those genres and more. You never know where the muse is going to take you or when you’ll come up with an idea for one genre but put a spin on it to fit another.
My reading choices do reflect the writing choices, although I pick up books outside my writing genres, too.
2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Does one of these come easy and why?
I don’t do too many villains, except for antagonists, who aren’t true villains but can cause tons of trouble for the heroes and heroines.
I love writing heroines because most of my readers (and I) identify with them.
But I’d have to say my favorite character to write is the hero. I love almost all types, from the best friend/boy next door to the bad boy. No matter who my hero is, though, he’s got characteristics from the full spectrum. He can be tough when he has to be, gentle with kids and animals, and tender with the heroine at all the right times.
3. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
I find them everywhere you mentioned. I never set out to create whole characters from the world around me, and I never take a person from real life and just plop him or her into the story. Most often, my story people come from my imagination.
Usually the hero or heroine shows up first, then the idea follows. But sometimes it’s the other way around. In the first Flagman’s Folly story, A Rancher’s Pride, I wanted to write about a hero who discovers he’s the daddy of a child he’s never known he had. It’s a storyline I love. It’s also a very popular one, so I’d hoped to make this book a little different. And I started with the what-ifs. I thought, what if the hero had a child he couldn’t communicate with…because she was deaf. And then I put poor Sam into the story and let him sink or swim. ;)
In one of my earlier books, Court Me, Cowboy, I envisioned a man sitting on the edge of a bed, tossing a wedding ring in the air and catching it. In two tosses of that ring, I had his backstory and the main conflict with the heroine. The plot wasn’t completely fleshed out, of course, but I knew the basics. And they didn’t change when I wrote the book. The opening of the story reads just as it had first come to me: One day soon, he’d get rid of this wedding ring.
4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
Same as above for the hero. In the case of the new series, The Hitching Post Hotel, the heroines all arrived after the initial plotting, since a secondary character—Jed, their matchmaking grandfather—had come to me first. The plot of book two, A Rancher of Her Own, began because I wanted to write a country boy/city girl book. It turned into a real opposites-attract story when I discovered Jane is a photojournalist who works all over the world and ranch manager Pete is a loner who has no desire ever to leave Cowboy Creek.
In another Flagman’s Folly story, Rancher at Risk, the heroine is the aunt of Sam’s little girl, and she also happens to be deaf. After playing only walk-on roles in the previous books in the series, she insisted I let her take center stage.
5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?
When I’m plotting out the hero and heroine’s story, I think about what they need. Someone to oppose them? To lend them an ear? To show them by example or experience why a choice they’re about to make is right or wrong?
Once I know what the main characters and story need, my intention is to make the villains or protagonists human by fleshing them out with their own characteristics, backstories, and goals. I try to be careful about weaving that info in so that these characters don’t steal the show.
6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?
My latest release is The Cowboy’s Little Surprise and is book one in the new series, The Hitching Post Hotel.
Cole left Cowboy Creek after raising his younger sister almost singlehandedly. He’s a roving cowboy, a real player, and the boy who once did the heroine wrong. Because of his childhood, he plans never to have a family…and then he finds out he’s already a daddy.
Tina is a granddaughter of the rancher who owns the Hitching Post. She gave her heart to Cole in grade school, and in senior high he cruelly tossed her love away. Quiet and reserved, she works as bookkeeper for the hotel, but when Cole’s return to town threatens to turn her son’s life upside-down, she turns jumps into protective mode to fight Cole every step of the way.
And the “villain,” Tina’s matchmaking grandpa, is more of a protagonist - though he does create lots of trouble!
7. What are you working on now?
A Rancher of Her Own just went through final edits, and I’ve started working on the third book in the series, which will be out in December. All three books revolved around the Hitching Post, which Jed’s granddaughters have agreed to help their grandfather turn into a destination wedding locale.
Book three is the story of Jed’s middle granddaughter, who visits Cowboy Creek for Christmas and is given charge of the hotel’s first wedding. Andi is now a widow with two small children whose CIA-agent husband was killed on the job. She’ll do anything to save her children from more hurt.
Mitch is an injured L.A. cop who comes back to Cowboy Creek to recuperate. On a visit to Jed, his former boss, at the Hitching Post, he encounters his former teenaged sweetheart, who broke his heart and walked away. She’s got something troubling her, and he’s determined to find out what it is—and her grandpa’s hearing wedding bells again!
8. How can people find you?
I love to have readers drop in to chat.
They can find me at any of the following places:
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny U.S. Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.
Barbara’s thrilled to share news about the debut of a brand-new series, The Hitching Post Hotel, about a matchmaking grandpa determined to see his three granddaughters wed. The series has just kicked off this week with The Cowboy’s Little Surprise, followed by A Rancher of Her Own in July and a third as-yet-untitled book in December.