Monday, October 22, 2007

An Interview with Lena Nelson Dooley!

If you've had a chance to look over my Callapidder Days reading list, you may have noticed that 2 of the books in my Christian fiction section are be Lena Nelson Dooley. I have finished the first of the two books and she has agreed to do an interview. So sit back and enjoying learning about this delightful lady!

Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are!

"What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"

I love chocolate in most any form. Just Friday night, my husband went to Outback Steakhouse to celebrate him getting another position at the company where he works and the arrival of my first copies of my latest book. We compromised on the dessert, so we had their cheesecake with their own chocolate sauce on it. The sauce was heavenly. I could order just a bowl of that and eat it.

"Pirate's Prize" is one of your books on my reading list and I finished it a couple of days ago, it was a wonderful read and I really enjoyed it! It had a fantastic blend of a unique time, an original setting and a really great cast - where do you come up with the ideas for your new stories - what sparks your new ideas?

First, thank you for reading my books. It blesses me when someone enjoys my books. God created me with a very vivid imagination. I always made up stories in my head. When I went to a meeting or church, if the speaker didn't catch my attention in the first five minutes, I was creating stories in my head the whole time. As I grew more mature, God had to teach me how to plug all my attention into a meeting, no matter how uninteresting the speaker might be. About Pirate's Prize, I've always loved pirates. Some friends and I had an idea for a novella collection set in what is now Louisiana. I was going to write the first story. That collection didn't sell, but that idea became Pirate's Prize. I believe most of the ideas come from the Lord.

What was your 1st major writing project (whether it was the first essay you wrote when you were 9, the first book you had published, or something in between)?

Actually, writing has always been a part of my life. My first thing published was a short story in my college literary magazine. It was about a girl preparing for a date with the young man she was falling in love with. When they went out, he broke up with her. He was a ministerial student and they were freshmen. He knew he had a lot of school ahead of him, and he was in danger of falling in love with her. He couldn't afford to do that at this time in his life. It was full of young love and angst.

Do you have a personal favorite author (besides yourself of course) someone that maybe not everyone has heard of but that you think should?
I love so many authors. A few of the lesser known that I think your readers should check out are: Beth Goddard, Lisa Harris, Pamela Griffin, Susan Page Davis. A few that will burst on the scene very soon are: Ronie Kendig, Patricia Carroll, Jane Thornton, Lisa Buffaloe, Mindy Obenhaus, Lynne Gentry.

Do you hear personally from many of your readers - would you like to? How would they contact you if they were so inclined?

I love to hear from readers. With Heartsong books and the novella collection from Barbour, there's a page in the back that the reader can send to the publishing company. This lets the company know that readers like my work. You can also send letters to the address in the back of the book. Of course, you can always write directly to me at: PO Box 54614, Hurst, TX 76054.

New or old, what book have you written that you consider your personal favorite?

When people ask me this, I usually say, the newest one. I haven't written a book that I didn't like. I wrote a four book series that was repackaged in one volume. Minnesota Brothers is a very good series. I like each of the books for their uniqueness. The first two are prairie romances, the third is a different kind of mystery, and the last has a western flavor.
I love Pirate's Prize. It went to #1 on the Christian bestseller list in England. It's also out on audio, which is available on and christianbook.Com. Or your local bookstore can get it in if they want to.
I also wrote a Heartsong novel set mostly on cruises. Never Say Never is about a second chance for love. The cruise part is very authentic. My husband and I have been on a couple of cruises. We went on one right after I signed the contract for that book. On that cruise, I was able to talk to the captain and learn a lot about the ship and a captain's role. The hero in Never Say Never is the captain of a cruise ship. Actually, the cover was created using one of the pictures I took on our trip. Instead of the hero and heroine, my husband was standing beside the railing. The designers utilized it.
I also love the novella collections: Windswept Weddings, Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner, Carolina Carpenter Brides, and the latest Montana Mistletoe. I'll have another novella collection come out next September.

Your new book "Who Am I?" set in Massachusetts and sounds very interesting with its mystery/suspense elements. What connections do you have with Massachusetts, why did you pick that as your setting?

Heartsong wanted three-book series set in states. Our editor said it would be a good way to help an aspiring author get published if two who were already published would work with an unpublished author and create a series. My friend Lisa Harris and I did that with Laurie Alice Eakes. We wrote a historical series set in Iowa. A Daughter's Quest was the first in the series. Lisa's book Tara's Gold came out in July, and Laurie's book Better than Gold will be out after the first of the year.
Now Who Am I? is the first book in the Massachusetts contemporary series. Mine will be in the Heartsong Presents book club in November. Lisa's book A Matter of Trust will be in the December club mailout, and Beth's book Seasons of Love will be in January. Of course, if you're not a member of the book club, you can order them from:

Are there any similarities between you and your main character, Leiann in "Who Am I?"

I have used many of my characteristics in various people in my novels. The only thing about Leiann that is like me is that her home in Texas is in my neighborhood.

Tell us about an upcoming project you're working on that we should be on the lookout for?

My agent is marketing a women's fiction book to several major publishing houses. It's called Beyond RedemptionI set mainly in Texas, but some of it takes place in France. This one is contemporary. I'm working right now on another proposal for her to market. This one is historical, set in Colorado. And of course, I'll start writing the novella in November. It's a historical set in 1913. The collection will be titled Snowbound Colorado Christmas.
Thank you for having me, Janna. I've enjoyed this. Your readers can find me at: , and on shoutlife.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today Lena, and I appreciate you being my first famous author interview!

Leave a comment with contact info and next Monday (29th) I will do a drawing for a new copy of "Who Am I?" by Lena Nelson Dooley. I will also give away my new copy of "Pirate's Prize" and if I finish "Gerda's Lawman" before Monday we'll round it out with 3 book giveaways! Good luck everyone!


Lynette Eason said...

Wow, Lena! Two interviews on the same day...that's awesome. And totally different questions. I feel like I know you!

Looking forward to Pirate's Prize.


:-)Ronie said...

Great interview, y'all! Pirate's Prize is Lena's prize. :-D She's amazing--and a fabulous woman.

Anonymous said...

Pick me! Pick me! LOL Actually, I really enjoyed reading your blog, and the interview was very interesting. Who knows? Maybe you'll be interviewing me someday. hehe
Lora Lease

Lib said...

I enjoyed the interview very much! Thank you!

Good luck to all!

Lib @ notmuchmorethanthis [at] g mail [dot] com

Ann said...

Nice interview! I look forward to reading these books regardless. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Great interview!!

I blogged your giveaway in my Wednesday Edition of Contest Galore

Mama Bear said...

I enjoyed the interview- any gal who likes chocolate is okay in my book ;)

~Mama Bear (from OCP)

if it is okay with you, and the off chance that i win, i'd prefer if you contact me through ocp so i don' thave to put my email in a public place ;)

Christianna said...

I always like hearing about Christian authors as I love to read! Thanks for posting this interview!

Qtpies7 said...

Sounds great! I love Pirate books, lol.

Nurse Betty L. Boop said...

What a great blog and interview! I'll be reading further and add you onto my Blog Buddies list.

lisa (OCP) and
Nurse Betty L Boop

Sarah said...

What a great interview!!! Your blog looks wonderful!!! You sure have been a busy lady.

I would love to read a book by Lena Nelson Dooley. I have never experienced her style before.

You can reach me through OCP or at my email where, if I were to win, I would then forward on my mailing info.

Sarah H.

Shelly said...

Great interview!
Your OCP friend Truth seeker

Michelle said...

Wow, how cool that you got to interview her! :)

Candes said...

Wow! Possibly three book giveaways? Totally awesome! Thank you!

marshwins said...

Interesting interviews!! Definitely in for this giveaway! thanks for the opportunity!

Cara Putman said...

Hey you have to enter me. Can you believe with all I've read, I've never read one of Lena's books. Yikes! Time to fix that.

Anonymous said...

Please enter me!


Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Michelle
my email is
I love to read books and so does my son who is 3.

I would love to read a book by Lena.
I love christian books.
I think it is neat your blogs has interviews on it
That is really interesting
I've never seen anything online like that before.
Thanks for sharing this blog with me
Just reading the interview
has got me more interested in reading more about the author.
So hopefully she does another interview maybe christmas time???
When we are all at home cooking and cleaning and peruse online to see what the author is doing for the holidays that would be so neat to read.