Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, joins us today to talk about her life as a writer and to share about her new book. It took Lena eight years of trying to get her first book published but now she has over thirty-five of them!
She has offered to give away a copy of her new book, which releases in February, or a copy of one of the other books in the series. Please leave a comment below for Lena with your email address for a chance to win. Must have at least ten comments and must be from the Continental US.
Please take a few moments and spend some time with this fascinating woman.
Lena, tell us a little about yourself.
I was the middle child of three. We grew up in the northwest corner of Arkansas on fish hatcheries. I accepted the Lord as my Savior when I was 7 years old, the same summer my mother went to be with the Lord. I live in Texas with the love of my life. We’ve been married 48 years, and all our children, grandchildren, and a greatgrandson—except for my army grandson who is in Korea—live within a very few miles of us.
Sounds like you have a full life, Lena! Now just for fun, tell us three things about you that would surprise our readers.
I can swim, but I can’t water ski.
The only time I ever shot a gun, I killed an armadillo with one shot. (That’s hard to do, and it really impressed my date.)
I graduated from high school near the top of my class without ever learning how to study. (My first year at college was a rude awakening.)
I can imagine that was a rude awakening! Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
Yes. One of our favorite activities was to go to the county library every Saturday and bring home a stack of books. Mother often said, “Lena Rose, put down that book and go outside to play.”
So it was in your blood from the very beginning! What is your favorite genre to read now?
Whatever I’m reading right now. I love all kinds of genres, but not horror.
As a child or teenager, did you ever dream of being an author?
Never. I came from a family where writing was just a part of your life. I didn’t know that not everyone did.
If you could have dinner with someone famous (dead or alive) who would it be?
I’d love for my husband and I to share a meal with George and Laura Bush.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Australia because I fell in love with the continent down under long before it was chic to be interested in Australia in the US.
Have you won any awards with your writing?
I hold three silver Carol Award pins.
Love Finds You in Golden New Mexico was awarded the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in western media for fiction.
Maggie’s Journey won the 2012 Selah Award for Historical Novel from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference
Maggie’s Journey also appeared on one reviewer’s Top Ten Books in 2011
Where do you get ideas for your books?
Everywhere I go, everything I see or hear, could become a part of a novel for me.
Tell us about your latest book.
“A heartwarming tale filled with history, adventure, faith, and love.” –Lisa Wingate, bestselling and award-winning author of Dandelion Summer and Firefly Island
The search for her sisters will become a spiritual journey for the entire family.
Raised by her father, Catherine McKenna has never lacked for anything, surrounded by people to take care of her every need. On her eighteenth birthday she discovers that not only did her mother die when she was born, but she has two identical sisters. Although her father vowed not to look for his daughters, Catherine made no such promise. Setting out on her own with one clue and her maid in tow, she’s determined to find her sisters.
Collin Elliott has seen better days. After losing his ship to a violent and unexpected storm, he is trying to recover–physically and emotionally. When Angus McKenna sends him to find, follow, and protect his daughter, he wants nothing more than to finish his task and return home. Can he help her find her sisters?
And will the discoveries they make along the way teach them both what’s most important in life?
This book sounds very exciting! Is there any scene in the book that came from a real-life happening?
The only thing from real-life in this one is the part about where the triplets have missed the sisters they didn’t know they had. I had a twin who didn’t develop.
What are you working on right now?
I’m awaiting a promised contract for a new direction my writing will take right now. I can’t say any more, but the announcement will come soon.
Sounds very exciting. I can’t wait until you can share your news! What are your favorite themes to write about?
Forgiveness, getting rid of bitterness, learning to really trust God
Great themes! Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations?
Writing is my full-time job. My children are all grown, so it’s just James and me, most days.
What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
When I was younger, my middle name was wacky. Once while I was in college at Ouachita in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, I walked along a pipe that went from one side to the other over a deep rocky gulch. Not smart. Praise the Lord, He protected me.
Yes, praise the Lord! Does your faith affect your writing? How?
Faith is an integral part of who I am, so it is also an integral part of any book I write. I’ve even stopped reading books without faith written into it. My reading time is more limited, so I won’t waste it on a book without a faith thread.
I feel the same way! Do you have a favorite scripture? If so, why is it your favorite?
Philippians 3:10 is on the wall of my office. “That I may know Him …” I spend a lot of my time just getting to know the Lord in a deeper manner. It changes my life.
What are your spiritual gifts? Administration, prophetic, and intercession.
Awesome! I have enjoyed having you on my blog today. I am sure readers have enjoyed learning about you. Where can they find you or your books on the internet?
Official Fan Page: www.facebook.com/pages/Lena-Nelson-Dooley/42960748768?ref=ts