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Q&A with BJ Daniels, Reunion at Cardwell Ranch

What’s your favorite love story? Fiction or non-fiction.

My husband and I had a lot of obstacles when we started out. But love really does conquer all. It’s an amazing love story that just keeps getting better.

You have to wear a t-shirt with one word on it for the rest of your life. Which word do you choose? 

I love this question. Cowgirl-Up. If that isn’t considered one word, then I would choose Persist.

What punctuation mark best describes your personality? Why?

Yep, it would be ! My life has been amazing. I wake up excited to see what the day will bring.

What was your favorite scene to write in Reunion at Cardwell Ranch? Why?

I loved the first scene where he sees the cat burglar running across the roofline. It was a pivotal point for Laramie. Once he decided to get involved, he was hooked – even before the kiss. 

What was the hardest scene to write? Why? 

After you’ve written more than 80 fight scenes...it is really hard to come up with something new and different. That was the hardest for me. I just want the bad guy caught and my hero and heroine to get together.

What is your favorite part of the day?

Mornings. I love waking up to sunshine. It just inspires me.

How did you choose to start writing in the Romance genre?

Actually it chose me. I wanted to write mysteries. But my first fiction sale was to Woman’s World magazine. I had to add romance and I realized I liked the relationship in my stories. About then Harlequin had just begun its Intrigue line. I figured they started it just for me. 

Is anything in Reunion at Cardwell Ranch based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

All my books are pure fiction. However, we used to have a cabin in the Gallatin Canyon some miles from Big Sky (long before Big Sky). So it is easy to write about a place where I used to dress up like Davy Crockett and play cowboy and Indians. 

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

Writing a lot. I went to work for a newspaper so I had a lot of writing experience on deadlines. I learned to write tight and get to the point. I learned so much by writing and being edited and learning to edit myself.

The hardest part for most aspiring writers is finding the time to write.  It took me a while because I didn’t treat it like a job at first. Once I did, everything fell into place.

Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two?  Summarize your writing process. 

My process is all intuition. I swear it comes from outer space and I just type in the stories.  I have no idea where it comes from since I am a true seat of the pants writer. But I love the process since I get to know my characters and the story as I write, so it is always a surprise for me too. 

B.J. DANIELS, a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, wrote her first book after a career as an award-winning newspaper journalist and author of 37 published short stories. That first book, Odd Man Out, received a four and a half star review from Romantic Times magazine and went on to be nominated for Best Intrigue for that year. Since then she has won numerous awards including a career achievement award for romantic suspense and numerous nominations and awards for best book. Daniels lives in Montana with her husband, Parker, and two springer spaniels, Spot and Jem. When she isn’t writing, she snowboards, camps, boats and plays tennis. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Thriller Writers, Kiss of Death and Romance Writers of America.

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