Welcome, Lena Nelson Dooley!
Look who’s stopped by for our Author Chat, readers! You’re in for a treat. Our honored guest, Lena Nelson Dooley, is a best-selling, award-winning–need I say prolific–author of a bevy of excellent books.
Grab a cup of something-or-other and settle back as Lena tells us a bit about herself.
**(Leave a comment or question, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for the Kindle version of Rescuing Christmas.) **Congratulations to Jacqueline Kimball, winner of Lena’s Rescuing Christmas!**
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Before Lena’s Life as a Writer
I grew up in Arkansas, a middle child with an older brother and a younger sister. My mother died when I was seven and a very traumatic time followed. (Tweet That!) After that, my father married our stepmother, a wonderful woman who loved our Daddy and us very much.
I earned a BA in Speech and Drama, and did graduate work in Drama.
My husband and I married 52 years ago. We knew each other only three months and three days before we married.
How Lena Became an Author
God told me to become a professional writer in 1984. Readers, check out the story on the About Me page at www.lenanelsondooley.com.
I finished my first novel–Home to Her Heart—in about six months. Zondervan accepted it, but before the contract came, the higher-ups decided to drop the fiction line. I submitted it several times to other publishers, each time after a major rewrite from the notes when it was rejected.
Barbour started the Heartsong line of Christian romances in 1992. I obtained the phone number of the publisher and asked if I could send my manuscript. He said yes. That was in October 1991.
I waited three months to ask about my manuscript. No answer. I waited longer and wrote again. Eventually I called him. He said that my manuscript was on the editor’s desk and he connected me to her. She told me that if I would cut 10,000 words from the manuscript, they’d contract the book. I assured her I would.
Needing to get it done quickly so they could consider it for a contract, I worked a whole week on the manuscript and mailed it on Friday. On Saturday, I received the contract in the mail. They started the contract through the channels right after our phone call.
Lena’s Journey Since 1992
God has awesomely blessed me through the years. (Tweet That!) This year He’s really heaping on things. A novella collection I’m in–Mountain Christmas Brides–has spent the last two months on the ECPA bestseller list. It has spent the last three weeks on the Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 Religious novels list.
Expert advice for aspiring writers
Connect with other authors. Network. Attend conferences. Hone your writing skills.
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Thank you for stopping by to chat, Lena. What a fantastic career! We love knowing a bit more about you, including your awesomely successful marriage. Bravo!
Readers, you can find Lena and her books at these links: