Friday, January 21, 2011

How Long is a Series?

I've created two fictional Texas towns for my Harlequin American Romances: Ranger Springs, in the Hill Country (for information on the area see, and Brody's Crossing, northwest of Fort Worth where West Texas begins. Each of them have their own geography, but more than that, they are inhabited by a steady cast of secondary characters who (hopefully) enrich the stories of the heroes and heroines. As I've mentioned in the past, some of these characters come from snippets of stories my Texas in-laws have told about growing up in the area southwest of Fort Worth. This is my father-in-law's homestead near Dennis, Texas on the Brazos River.

One of the frequent questions I get from readers is this: How many books will be in my Brody's Crossing series? The answer is . . . I have no idea! Perhaps my editor has an opinion on how long the series will continue, based on reader interest, but I'm not sure. (Authors don't get sales figures from our books for quite a while after they are released.) As long as I enjoy writing about these characters and don't run out of interesting plots that ring true for this particular town, I see no reason to end it. As soon as I have no more ideas, I'm sure I will move on to another spot, perhaps even (gasp!) another state.

In 2011 I'm very excited about the whole writing experience. I have finished the edits on both books, Suddenly Texan (May 2011) and The Texan and the Cowgirl (July 2011) and now I'm waiting impatiently to see the cover art. At the end of June the Romance Writers of America conference will be in New York City, a place I love. I've already reserved my hotel room; my husband and my daughter will have to "duke it out" to see which one of them is going with me, because they both love NYC.

In the past few years I haven't scheduled any booksignings, but I'm looking forward to having one (at least) at the Wal-Mart near our weekend house in Mineola, TX ( They carry Harlequin American Romances and since I spend so much time (and money) there when I'm in East Texas, I just know they'll want to schedule an event! Because I mention Graham, TX ( ) so much in my Brody's Crossing series, I may see if I can go there for a booksigning. In nearby Weatherford, there is a very supportive independent bookstore and radio program that may be interested. I see several fun events in my future!

Perhaps I'm keeping myself busy and excited because I'm having one of those "milestone" birthdays next month. "A rolling stone gathers no moss" is the old saying that seems most appropriate to me at the moment.

I hope you feel equally excited about your prospects in this new year. Our careers and personal lives are often uncertain, but having something exciting to anticipate is very important as we move forward. Best wishes for a great start to 2011.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here I am, wishing you all a happy new year, and the first month of that year is already more than half over. Hard to believe, isn’t it? I hope you had wonderful holidays and that your 2011 has gotten off to a great start.

This is the time of year I, along with most of the population, like to make resolutions.

You know what the number-one goal is, don’t you? Of course, you do. Say it with me:


I’d recently attended a workshop where the speaker announced how many people actually follow through on the resolutions they set for a new year. The answer:

Two percent.

That’s right.


And I’m proud to say I can’t be counted among them.

Last year, I went for the weight-loss goal, among others. In 2010, I lost almost two pounds. :-) That’s not so wonderful, is it? But it’s much better than going in the opposite direction!

Fortunately, I made more progress with my writing goals.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog on goal setting ( It must have been even more of a challenge than I'd planned, as many readers stopped by the blog that day but only a couple of them left comments. Either everyone was recovering from Christmas and getting ready for New Year’s Eve or else the idea I’d presented was more than people wanted to take on.

Or maybe the problem was that the post involved homework. :-)

Whether or not those people who read the blog entry have found time to do the homework, I hope they’ve taken a look at their goals. I have, and it’s been worth it. Among my aims for this year, I’ve vowed to lose weight—of course!—and to do a heck of a lot of writing.

As of yesterday, I’m down 1.3 pounds. That’s well on the way to beating last year’s goals already. But I’m taking the weight loss a week at a time.

As for the writing, I’m working on that every day.

How about you? Have you set any goals for yourself this year? If so, how are you doing with them?

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Calendars help people manage their personal schedules, time and activities. They also remind us of friends' and family members' birthdays. Each New Year I look forward to buying a kitchen calendar. I have a huge, boring utilitarian calendar on my office desk—serves as a blotter, coaster, and keyboard pad. The calendar I keep in my kitchen is the one that "Inspires" me. When I say "Inspire" I'm not referring to inspirational quotes or words of wisdom. I'm referring to "Visual Inspiration". Pictures that serve as the inspiration for my next Harlequin American Hero. When I saw the hero on the cover for my February release, Roughneck Cowboy, my first thought was that the guy should be on a calendar!

Below are examples of the types of "Inspirational Calendars" that have been found in Marin Thomas's kitchen through the years.

Firefighter Calendar

Cowboy Hunk Calendars

Hockey Heroes Calendar

Movie Star Calendars

What type of Calendar inspires you the most?

Marin Thomas
Roughneck Cowboy *Men of the West* Feb 2011
The Bull Rider's Surrender *E-HQ Weekly Read* March 2011
Rodeo Daddy *Rodeo Rebels* April 2011
The Bull Rider's Secret *Rodeo Rebels* July 2011
Riley's Story (w.t.) *Rodeo Rebels* Dec 2011