Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Author of Note: Lena Nelson Dooley

Welcome to the Bookshelf, Lena! It was such a pleasure meeting you at the ACFW Conference, and it made me want to know you better. Maybe this little chat will do that.

How long have you been writing? Was there an “aha” moment when you knew that’s what you wanted to do?

I’ve written all my life. I came from a family where everyone wrote things. The only other person in my immediate family who is published is my brother. He had a book of sermons published. Then a few years ago, he wrote two books just for the family and had them printed about why he believes what he does.

There was a week of “aha” moments back in 1984, and I tell about them in a testimony on the About Me page of my blog: http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

I know you’re excited about your recent release, Maggie's Journey. What inspired you to write this book?

The McKenna’s Daughters series is one of those that the Lord gave me some time ago. The whole idea came from Him. And the stories have percolated in my brain for several years before they were contracted.

What’s your favorite scene from Maggie's Journey? Can you share it with us?

I always love the kissing scenes. But there were several other scenes of discovery in the book that I loved as well.

What can we expect from you next?

Book two of the series, Mary’s Blessing, has been written and will release in May 2012.

You have many published books, Lena. Have you ever wished you’d written any scene/character/plot twist, etc., differently?

Actually, once a book has gone through the publishing process, I let it go. It’s too late to look back and say, “If only.” I refuse to live my life on If onlys.

What author most influenced your writing style?

I’ve been an avid reader for most of my life, too. I’m sure all the good novels I’ve read have affected my writing for the better. I have had several readers say my writing style is similar to Tracie Peterson and Lauraine Snelling.

Do you have a favorite verse of scripture? If so, what makes it special to you?

At various stages of my life, God has given me a special verse for a season. Here are a few of them: Psalm 37:4-5, Jeremiah 29:13-14a, Philippians 3: 10. At the time God gave each one of them, it was important to my spiritual growth in that season.

What one piece of writing advice has been most beneficial to you in developing your writing career?

Keep on writing and learning and don’t be afraid to “murder your darlings”—those carefully crafted sentences that you think are essential to the story. Many times, they are not.

Just for fun…what super power would you like to be given for just one day?

I really would like to truly have the Lord’s compassion and love for all men. I’m not sure I could deal with it more than one day. The depth of that love and compassion would be way too explosive for a human heart.

Where can readers find your books? Do you have a website, blog, etc.?

All of them are also on Amazon.com, but many are also on BarnesandNoble.com and Christianbook.com.

Thank you for visiting the Bookshelf Newsletter, Lena!

About Lena Nelson Dooley:

Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 675,000 books in print. She is a member of ACFW and president of the local chapter. She recently received the Will Rogers Medallion award for western fiction.

Lena loves James, her children, grandchildren, and great grandson. She loves chocolate, cherries, chocolate-covered cherries, and spending time with friends. Helping other authors become published really floats her boat. She has been awarded three Carol Award silver pins and received the American Christian Fiction Writers Mentor of the Year award at their national conference. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially her fans.

About Maggie's Journey:

A girl who’s been lied to her whole life…

Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she was adopted. The daughter of wealthy merchants in Seattle, she feels betrayed both by her real parents and by the ones who raised her.

Maggie desires a place where she belongs. But her mother’s constant criticism and reminders that she doesn't fit the mold of a young woman of their social standing have already created tension in their home. With the discovery of the family secret, all sense of her identity is lost.

When Maggie asks to visit her grandmother in Arkansas, her father agrees on the condition that she take her Aunt Georgia as a chaperone and his young partner, Charles Stanton, as protection on the journey. Will she discover who she really is and, more importantly, what truly matters most in life?

1 comment:

Pamela J said...

I need to go to your blog page and read about your "aha" moment, Lena. You are right, these are different (good) questions.
I love it when the Lord gives us something and then He writes them through people. (for you it's these stories)
I've not read any Tracie Peterson or Lauraine Snelling books yet but have one by each on my kindle waiting for me. It will be interesting to see what I think when I do get to read them if the writing styles are similar in my opinion.
Seeing the scripture references makes me want to write them down and see what they say. I don't have them memorized.
You demonstrated the Lord's compassion and love to me, Lena, when I got to go to MN to the ACFW conference just to meet you authors. Not only did I buy your book (Snowbound Colorado Christmas 4 books-in-1 )but you went around with my book and got three of the four authors (the ones attending at the time) to sign it for me. That touched me deep down and made a tremendous impression on me. Thank you for that!