Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Interview With Lena Dooley

Today we’re talking with Lena Dooley. Lena’s a real force in the ACFW and in women’s Christian fiction, and she’s been an encourager to me. Besides that, she’s a fellow Texan.

RM: I notice that there was a ten year gap between the publication of your first and second books. Then two years later you had four more published. After that, they just started coming like popcorn. Tell us about that.

LD: God took me away from fiction writing during the ten years. I wrote curriculum. I laughingly say I became the curriculum queen. I wrote public school curriculum, private school curriculum, children's church curriculum, and children's Sunday School curriculum. He had a lot of things to teach me during that time. Then when He was ready for my novels to take off, He brought me back to them.

RM: How does James react to all the time you spend writing and speaking? He must be special.

LD: He is the only person who can come into my office and take me away from my writing. When I'm not on a tight deadline, I go whenever he asks me to. On the other side of that, he understands tight deadlines. He often goes with me when I speak. We are actually a team. I couldn't do what I do without his support--emotional, physical, spiritual. He is a very special man--God's gift to me.

RM: What effect does your background in drama have on your writing?

LD: I often tell people that the drama background has enhanced my writing. I have been a director, so I can visualize the whole scene, and dialogue is easy for me.

RM: Do the folks at church treat you any differently because you’re a writer? If so, is it a good thing or a bad one?

LD: Some people know, and some people don't. I don't make a big deal of it. There are a few friends who do though. I just tell people that I'm just an ordinary women who does the laundry and cooks the meals. Writing novels is just my job.

RM: Okay, now it’s time for you to tell us about your two forthcoming books.

LD: The Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner just released. It's a historical novella collection set in Arizona. The other team members are Vickie McDonough, Jeri Odell, and Frances Devine. I really enjoyed working with these ladies, and I think readers will love the stories. My novella is The Spinster and the Cowboy--really fun to write.

The June release will be Carolina Carpenter Brides. A contemporary collection set in North Carolina. Janet Benrey, Ron Benrey, and Yvonne Lehman are the other team members. This collection is about people who find romance in a home improvement super center. My novella is Can You Help Me? which also includes a mistaken identity.

RM: And, finally, what advice would you give an aspiring, but as yet unpublished, writer?

LD: Network with other authors, aspiring and published. Spend time with the Lord and write what He tells you. The only people who become published are the ones who submit. . .and submit. . .and submit. You get the picture.

Thank you, Lena. We look forward to your books, your postings, and all your contributions to our craft.


Eileen Key said...

What a great interview. James is her "right hand guy" we all know that. A dynamic duo. And Lena is such a blessing to all of ACFW. Thanks for sharing.

Southern-fried Fiction said...

You're right abotu Lena being a blessing! Plus ... she's a redhead!

I remember walking into my first ACFW conference. I didn't know anyone except the gal I came with. We were dying to meet people.

Then I saw another redhead in the lobby. That was all it took. :o) Lena invited us to join her for lunch and that's the rest of the story. :o)

E said...

What a great interview. James is her "right hand guy" we all know that. A dynamic duo. And Lena is such a blessing to all of ACFW. Thanks for sharing.