I first met Lena at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Dallas a few years back. This was my first large multi-day conference--exciting and a bit overwhelming. Lucky for me, though, I had 1) a great roommate, and 2) I had an appointment early on in the conference with Lena.
Lena is the type of lady that makes you feel right at home no matter what the setting. Conference appointments with editors and agents are quite intimidating, but if you've got a 'Lena Nelson Dooley' in your corner, you've been gifted something special.
She introduced me to a few published authors, prayed with me, and shared with me how I could strengthen my story. I cried during our first meeting, not because of all the red marks on my manuscript feedback from her, but more because she made our time together so much different, so much better, than what I had expected it to be. There's a lot of anxiety wrapped up in a heart and soul in those moments at a first large scale conference. A lot of anxiety. But she washed much of that away with her sweet spirit.
And later, during the conference, she caught me in the hall, introduced me to a couple more of her writer friends (friends who were published, yes, little me meeting multi-published authors!) and she said very kind things to them about my writing.
She just has a way of setting a beautiful tone to life in those few precious moments you share with her.
Without further adieu, I give you Mrs. Lena Nelson Dooley. So quick, pour yourself a tall cold drink, sit back and enjoy your time with her, and if you'd like more time with Lena, please sign up for her newsletter when you pay her a visit.
Lena, you are incredibly busy, so we really appreciate your time with us today. Thanks for stopping by to chat with us.
So, tell us what books you have coming out this year, when they’re available, and a bit about the heroine in each.
Wild Prairie Roses came out in May. My heroine is on a quest to find one of her father’s army buddies during the Civil War and share the Lord with him. What she finds in
, is something entirely different. Iowa
Cranberry Hearts just released this month. My heroine in this romantic suspense has just found out that everything she believed about her life was a lie. She must find the truth before someone kills her.
In Wild West Christmas, releasing in September, my heroine is the daughter of a rancher. She works on the ranch dressed like a man. When an accountant from back East comes, sparks fly.
Christmas Love at Lake Tahoe also releases in September. My heroine has lost one man who takes too many dangerous chances, and she’s not about to get involved with another man who does the same thing.
Several of your stories come out in books with a couple of stories from other authors. Do you interact with the other authors so your stories fit together? What threads these stories from different authors together into the one book?
All of my releases this year are with either a three-person or a four-person team. And yes all the stories in the collections are tied together, some more loosely than others. But we did work together to make the stories gel.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve always written. I’ve written for publication since 1984.
What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Selling the manuscripts. That’s why I now have an agent, so I can just write and promote.
You really honor your husband well when you speak of him in your dedications or on your blog. Please pass on anything you’ve learned in your relationship that would be of value to any of the younger marriages of our blog readers.
God showed me early-on that He had chosen James for me. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing. I have a strong personality that sometimes overpowers people. I had to learn to really hold James in high regard, because God holds him in high regard. I had to learn to take any problems I had with him straight to the throne room and not to my girlfriends’ homes. When I stopped “sharing” negative things about James, my marriage grew and prospered in a deeper way. And it’s been wonderful for years. As often as not, God changed me more than He changed James.
What is one important thing about your characters that you’d like for the readers to takeaway with them by the time they’ve finished your books?
Each of the main characters has some personal problem that he or she must work through in the book. I want readers to know that no matter what they’re going through, they can work through it with God and come out on the other side a better person.
To win a copy of Cranberry Hearts please visit Lena’s blog at http://LenaNelsonDooleyNewsletter.blogspot.com to find the answer to
Lena’s question below. Leave your answer and your email address in a comment below this interview.
Have fun at
Lena’s finding the answer to this question:
Where will I be on July 31?