Writer’s Toolbox

Author Q&A

Here we present our exclusive collection of Q&As with a long list of illustrious authors.

Janet Dailey

Janet DaileyJanet Dailey is the author of romance novels such as Santa in Montana and Christmas in Cowboy Country.

What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?

I don’t believe in “writer’s block.” Plotting a story is purely a process of elimination.  A writer must go through all the options of what can happen next and choose the one that clicks. Sometimes—if you’re really struggling, it can be a case of “Write-anything-even-if-it’s-wrong.” You can always go back and change it.

What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?

I don’t have any. Writing is a job. Like any other job, you rarely “feel” like going to work, but once you get there and start in, you soon forget that you didn’t “feel” like working/writing.

What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?

The most valuable advice came from my high school English Teacher, Mrs. Helt. She told me to write what I know. At the time I was horrified. After all I lived I Iowa. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than writing about Iowa. It was years before I realized it was a question of research. You can write about anything—a  place, a time period, a career, as long as you research it in depth.