Paradoxa Interview with Janet Dailey

Publication year
Para.doxa: Studies in World Literary Genres

There's discussion of how Daley began writing for Mills & Boon, how romance has changed since the 1970s. Here's a fairly long quote:

KM: From the beginning, your novels were different from others the British and Canadian firms were publishing. For one thing, they were set in the United States. How would you describe those differences and were they ever a source of tension between you and your publisher?

JD: At the time, I wasn't aware of differences. Initially, I was just writing the kind of story I wanted to read. But our cultural differences were obvious. American heroines tended to be a bit more independent, more outspoken. It wasn't an issue for me in the beginning, for the first 5 or 6 books. It was only when I began hearing from them phrases like "guidelines" and "tipsheets" and "things you can't do." And I kept saying, "I can, too."

That tension became a source of story ideas. I'd hear, "Heroes have to be rich," and I'd say, "Poor people can't fall in love?" And then I'd write a book where the guy was not a millionaire. Or I'd read that the main character could not be physically impaired or if there were a physical problem it must be cured by the end. And I'd ask, "Oh, can't people with disabilities fall in love?" So I wrote a book where the heroine was blind. (214)