A Few Moments With ... Margaret Daley
It way my pleasure this month to learn a little more about ACFW’s new president, Margaret Daley. Whether you recognize her name from her participation in ACFW or from her more than 75 published novels, Margaret is clearly a person who loves to give of herself to writers of all levels. —Tiffany Colter
Long-time friend Jan Warren can describe ACFWs new president, Margaret Daley, in one word. She has much more to say, but “If I were limited to one word to describe Margaret, that word would have to be ‘mentor’. She is serious about the craft of writing Christian fiction and just as earnest about helping others achieve their writing potential.”
It was this mentoring spirit that Vickie McDonough, Daley’s friend of 10 years, first experienced. “Margaret was a mentor to me, helping a very green writer learn the rules and improve. Then the six Christian authors from our RWA group banded together in 2003 and started a monthly critique group that met in Margaret’s home. When ACFW started local chapters, we’d already been talking about starting a Christian writers’ group.”
Even now I am awed at this kind gesture that has changed my life. … It was such a God thing. —Jan Warren
And it was the same mentoring spirit that led McDonough to introduce Daley to Warren. “I met Margaret the first time at a book signing—Vickie introduced us,” Warren said. “I’ll never forget, right there she invited me to her home to join a inspirational critique group in 2004. Me, such a newbie writer that I barely knew, sit from sic-um.
“Even now I am awed at this kind gesture that has changed my life. Oh, my. It was such a God thing for which I shall be forever thankful.”
Early days prepared her for today
This comes through when Daley talks about her early days of writing. During that time she worked fulltime as a teacher in addition to writing books.
“It was a challenge writing and teaching at the same time but it taught me to be disciplined and well-organized,” Daley said. “Those qualities have helped me today even though I’m only writing now as my full-time job. It has allowed me to give back to the writing community and ACFW.”
I like to brainstorm with my writing friends. It’s fun and recharges my creative juices.
With such a busy schedule, recharging spiritually, as well as physically, is vital.
“Spiritually I spend time every morning before I start my day with the Lord and his Word,” Daley said. “Physically I exercise on the treadmill three times a week as well as doing some weight exercises to build up my muscles. Creatively I like to brainstorm with my writing friends. It’s fun and recharges my creative juices.”
The promise of an evolving industry
While many are apprehensive about the changes in publishing, Daley is enthusiastic.
“This is an exciting time with many changes in the publishing industry and the growth of Christian fiction. I have been in the business for more than 30 years and seen many changes, but nothing quite like this,” Daley, pictured here with editor Emily Rodmell, said. “With the Kindle, Nook, iPad and other e-readers, the way people buy books and read is changing. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next 10 years.”
Warren noted that Daley’s enthusiasm for the future is exhibited throughout her life. “Margaret’s a great example of remaining firm in her convictions and trusting in the Lord for whatever comes next.”
Living a surrendered life
This is the way God works in our lives when we surrender to Him—He brings in those divine connections that one by one draw us closer to Him, closer to each other, and closer to His call, Daley said.
“Since I was a child, I have believed in the Lord, but in the past three or four years my faith has deepened a lot. I read The Purpose Driven Life, and it started me on a journey that I’m still on. I’m continually amazed at the grace, love, and forgiveness the Lord gives us.”