Saturday, August 2, 2008

Author of Note - Lena Nelson Dooley

Welcome to The Bookshelf, Lena! I enjoyed my recent interview on your blog, and I’m honored to have you here to meet my readers. Let’s get right to it

What is th
e craziest thing you have ever done?

My goodness, where do I start? I was involved in several questionable activities when I was in college—with Jello, dish soap, and a missing mascot—but we don’t want to go there. Maybe speaking to a large roomful of women, none of which spoke a word of English, and I didn’t know Spanish. Speaking with an interpreter is different.

The Jello incident sounds intriguing! LOL Something to write about, perhaps… What made you want to be a writer?

God created me to be a writer. I just didn’t know it for a long time. I actually thought everyone wrote, until I married a man who didn’t. Then in May of 1984, God used several even
ts to show me what He wanted me to do. You can read about it at the bottom of the main page of my web site:

What is your latest release? Tell us about it.

Snowbound Colorado Christmas is releasing this month. This is a novella collection I wrote with Tamela Hancock Murray, Susan Page Davis, and Darlene Franklin. The marketing tag says, “Love Snowballs in Four Couples During the Blizzard of 1913.” These stories give an accurate picture of life during that time period. A fun book to write.

Sounds like a fun book to read, as well! How many books have you written, published or not?

I only have one book that hasn’t been published, but this book is my 18th book release. (Release numbers) 19, 20, and 21 will come out in 2009.

Wow, what a track record! How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Writers aren’t supposed to be sane, are we? Remember at the ACFW Conferences, Brandilyn Collins says that we writers must be aware of the “normals” around us. Just kidding.

The only way I can maintain a modicum of sanity is by centering myself into the will of the Lord for me. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Him more and on a deeper level. He helps me understand what’s going on in my life in the light of eternity.

He’s a good God, Lena – all the time! Are you a planner, or do you write “on the fly” (seat-of-the-pants)?

I call myself a “Souped-Up Seat-of-the-Pants” writer. I do some planning, but not to the level that many writers do, then I let the story take over and the characters develop.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Raising two daughters who live successful lives (in the Christian sense). Then being involved in the lives of my grandchildren, so they, too, know how to walk with God.

That is something to be proud of. What’s the one dream you’d most like to realize in your lifetime?

I’d like to accomplish everything God has planned for me. I want to live every minute and write every book and make every friend and touch every life He wants me to.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Early on, I had MY plan for my life, especially in the writing. The only way to overcome that roadblock is to surrender all of it to the One who gave you the gift. Now I recognize that if I touch a life, it’s one He wants touched. If I win an award, it’s one He planned for me. If I get a contract, it’s one He gave me. That puts everything else into perspective.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Listen to what the Lord is whispering into your heart. Follow His directions. If it’s writing, then write. Write some more. Write again. Connect with other authors and learn from then. Know that the editor is your friend.

Where can readers find you on the internet?

I’m all over the place, but specifically here: (where I interview other authors and we give away a lot of books)

Lena Nelson Dooley is a multi-published, award-winning, best-selling author. She speaks to women’s groups, writing groups, and conferences. She’s been married for 44 years to the love of her life.

She loves to mentor the writers God brings into her life. In 2006, ACFW honored her with the Mentor of the Year award. More than a dozen people have become published after spending time with her, and she’s very happy for each one of them.

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