Lena Nelson Dooley is an award-winning, bestselling author. Her 18th book released this month. One of her books from last year is a finalist in the Book of the Year contest for American Christian Fiction Writers. She loves to mentor other authors. Thirteen people have become published after she helped them. She and her husband are active in Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, even though they live in a nearby suburb. She's on the Altar Ministry Team. She also volunteers with Global Ministries and in the bookstore. She loves spending time with friends and family.
JA: Please tell us about your latest book, Snowbound Colorado Christmas.
LND: This book was really fun to write. It’s set during an actual historical snowstorm in Colorado when the snow continued for about a week and accumulated to 48 inches. Tamela’s story starts the collection with the first party of the holiday season in early December. My hero is a new doctor in Denver, and my heroine is the daughter of the rancher where his father worked. At first, she doesn’t recognize him.
JA: Did you and the other authors in this anthology discuss what storylines to pursue, or did you work independently of each other?
LND: With a collection like this, you have to work together. Most of the characters appear in Tamela’s story and mine. The heroines are friends who attended finishing school back east together. So we did have to know a lot about the heroines in the other stories. And Tamela and I had to work very closely together for many scenes.
JA: You have been (and will be) part of several Christmas anthologies. What’s your favorite thing about that time of year?
LND: This is only my second Christmas anthology, but I’ll be in two next year. I love Christmas. I start playing Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. I love to hear Christmas music. I also enjoy the aspect of remembering how our Savior became a tiny baby, let mere humans take care of Him, and then went on to purchase salvation for us on the cross. Christmas celebrates the beginning of His time on earth. And I love to get together with family and friends.
JA: What do you want people to take away after reading Snowbound Colorado Christmas?
LND: I’ll only speak about my story—The Best Medicine. Don’t make arbitrary decisions about people—don’t judge them. And the readers will need to check out the last line of my story to find out what the best medicine actually is.
JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
LND: My agent is marketing several proposals to major publishers. We have some interest in more than one. I’m hoping soon we’ll be able to make an announcement.
JA: You’ve been writing full-time since 2002. What was it like making that transition?
LND: Scary! When you’ve been receiving a regular paycheck, it is a little scary to step out in faith and trust the Lord when He tells you that He will take care of you. It’s also freeing. To learn that you can trust Him completely when He tells you to make a change.
JA: You and your husband, James, enjoy traveling. What would you say is your most memorable excursion?
LND: We’ve been in Mexico visiting missionaries several times. One time, we took several members of three different missionary families from their towns—Guadalajara, Rancho Esperanza, and another town that I can’t remember the name—to Manzanillo. We really enjoyed spending a couple days in a hotel on the beach. On our way back to Guadalajara, we took the old highway so we wouldn’t have to pay so many tolls on the new highway. The Suburban we were in broke down. We were stranded with two toddlers, for several hours. We only had a couple gallons of water and some peanut butter and bread, besides the babies’ stuff. And all the things that happened to get us out of there sounds like a comedy of errors. A very long story. I’ll never forget it!! It did help me understand that I should be praying for the missionaries’ vehicles.
JA: Is there something that people would be surprised to know about you?
LND: I’m a little kooky. Yesterday was James’s birthday. He works in one facility of our church. The junior high were meeting last night. My daughter, who is a counselor, bought him dinner and I made a birthday cake and took it. We and several of the adults had a party in the kitchen. They had given out temporary tattoos to the kids when they arrived. I had my daughter put on my chest so it showed in my v-neck. My junior high granddaughter asked why I put it there. I told her so that Grandpa would know I was a Wild Woman.
JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
LND: I have a web site: www.lenanelsondooley.com. There’s a book page where you can read about all my books. On the events page, you can see slideshows of the events where I’m attending or speaking. If you leave a comment, you’ll be in a drawing for a free book. Some months I give away more than one.
I also have a blog: http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com I interview other authors on this blog and we give away free copies of their books. I featured all the authors of Snowbound Colorado Christmas on my blog in late August.
I also have a space on ShoutLife: www.shoutlife.com
Thanks for visiting with us today, Lena. May God continue to bless your writing journey!
WIN THE BOOK
If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Snowbound Colorado Christmas just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on September 15th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!
Monday, September 8, 2008