Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lena Nelson Dooley is an award-winning author with more than 675,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers—where she received the Mentor of the Year award in 2006—DFW Ready Writers, and Christian Authors Network. She lives in Hurst, Texas, with her husband of over 47 years.

Hi, Lena! Welcome to The Borrowed Book. Did you see yourself becoming a writer as a child? If not, what did you dream of being?

I never considered it. Writing was just something that I did. I thought everyone wrote. Since I’m 67 years old, I can’t exactly remember what I dreamed about being. I wanted to become an English teacher when I went to college. But I changed my major 3 times before graduation

How long did you write before you sold your first book?

Eight long and lonely years.

Many of the people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. Can you share your favorite writing tip with them?

Write something every day. If you write only one page a day, by the end of the year, you’ll have a 365-page manuscript.

Now for the readers…many times, it’s easy for them to connect with the characters in a book, but not so much the authors themselves. Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.

I have a wonderful husband. He likes to do dishes and clean house. So I cook and do laundry and write.

Now that you are published, do you still experience rejections? If so, how are these rejections different or similar to the ones you received before becoming published?

Rejections feel the same no matter when you receive them, and I still do. The last two were in early 2010. The difference is that now I don’t grieve over them as long. I know that if God wants that publisher to buy the book, they will. I take a rejection as a sign that my agent and I haven’t found the right publisher yet.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

Maggie's Journey
By Lena Nelson Dooley
ISBN 978-1616383589
Realms/Charisma House
October 6, 2011
McKenna's Daughters Series, Book 1

Maggie's Journey grabs you on page one with characters and events that reflect real-life joys and heartaches that change the characters forever. Make room on your "keepers" shelf! —Loree Lough, best-selling author of 80 award-winning books, including From Ashes to Honor.

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?

Looks like a great book, Lena! Writers often put things in their books that are very personal—like a funny story that happened to them, a spiritual truth they learned through difficulty, or even just a character trait that is uniquely theirs. Is there something in Maggie’s Journey that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

I had a twin that didn’t develop in the womb, and for much of my young years I felt like part of me was missing. I used those feelings in this story.

Readers often talk a lot about the hero and heroine of a story, but today I’d like to know something about your villain. Does he or she have a redeeming quality? Why or why not?

The villainess is a different kind of character, and her redemption is very powerful.

What kind of research did you have to do for this book? Can you share some articles or website links you found particularly helpful?

When I was writing the book, the Seattle Public Library shared a link with me of literally thousand of historical photos they’d scanned and filed by decade. This was a valuable resource.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

Maggie’s Journey is book one in my McKenna’s Daughters series. I’ve written Mary’s Blessing, book two in the series. I’ve also finished the first edit with my editor. So I’m jumping back into writing book three.

The most common thing I hear when people learned I’ve published a book is, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” Faced with this statement, what advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?

If you don’t start now, when will you start?

What is the one question you were afraid I would ask…and how would you answer?

I think I’m pretty much an open book, so I didn’t have a fear about what you’d ask. I know that’s boring, but it’s me.

Lena is giving away a copy of her book, Maggie's Journey. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!


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