I am really excited to introduce you to my friend Cheryl Wyatt. She's one of the authors who sold her first book after being in a critique group with me. I know I had just a small part in helping her become published, but I'm glad I was able to be that part. Her book is wonderful. You can read a review of the book on my website later today. www.LenaNelsonDooley.com
Not very much. I like to write about people more interesting than myself. LOL! Although there are things that crop up in my stories resembling things in my life. For instance, Amber (heroine in book 1 USAF PJ series) HATES, and I mean HATES those “Forward this to ninety of your friends in the next five seconds or your computer monitor will explode” kind of emails. I definitely resemble that remark because I growl over those “bad luck” forwards.
And I have called God, “Dude!” on occasion early in my Christianity like Nolan (PJ from another book.) So okay, yeah, and I’m sure my dad will definitely recognize the scene in my first book when Amber crashes her sports car into a house because she backed it into a ditch, then left it in Drive then got out of the car…which idled out of the ditch and almost ran her over. Blush. I can’t believe I’m admitting this in public. LOL!
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Um, well, I’ll just tell you it had to do with a pinball machine and a bouncer at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis. Oh man. Okay nevermind. I’m kidding. Let’s tell something I’ve done AFTER I was a Christian.
Okay, quirkiest thing for real…it’s a toss up between these two things:
I accidentally crashed my motercycle into a newly dug septic tank hole. Eight feet down. The second quirkiest thing was I let my not-so-tame pony (yes, a real live horse) INTO the house one day. Well, it was hailing really hard, and I promise you that horse opened the chain link fence gate with his nose, came up the steps, stood on the landing and KNOCKED with his hoof to get in. (my mother has pictures) Okay well then after he was in he wanted back OUT of the house and NOW, only he couldn’t find the door. Very dangerous. Don’t try that at home.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I discovered that it wasn’t normal to have Webster’s Dictionary be your favorite book. About the same time I received my first rejection from Highlights Magazine in third grade.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Seriously ANYTHING WITH WORDS. I prefer romance and action-adventure type suspense. I read as much secular as I do Christian. I also love Max Lucado’s non-fiction. I will read just about anything I can get my hands on, even brochures for balding men if that’s the only thing close to me with words on it. I don’t read horror because I wake my house up screaming at two am with nightmares. For that same reason my husband has banned me from writing suspense scenes after midnight. I creep myself out. One night when he was working night shift, I abandoned my post at the kitchen table where I was plunged in the depths of a stalker scene. I heard someone on my roof and evacuated my children to the neighbor’s porch…only to find out after the cops showed up to investigate “the prowler” that it was only my sweetgum tree spitting those wretched balls at my house during a particularly windy night.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I’ve written an embarrassing fifteen or more books. Do you want titles? LOL! I have had six or seven of my as yet to be pubbed novels consistently place in ten or twelve contests though.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I used to NEED quiet, but now I think I thrive on chaos. There is chaos in every corner of my house. But for sanity’s sake, I do have the most wonderful mother’s helper (waving to Aimee) who comes in and keeps my munchkins entertained so I can recharge with a worship CD and “plug in” to God, Joel Montgomery (hero, book 1 USAF PJ series) would say. I need time to myself, and if I get that one day a week for an hour or two, I’m usually good to go.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I pray and ask God for them. I try to find names that do not resemble anyone I know or have ever known. I’m really picky about that for some reason. I like names with meaning.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Become a mother. My children are the best thing I ever did. :-)
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A jaguar or cougar or some kind of lethal cat that can move at a high rate of speed. Why? Because claws come in handy ever so often.
What is your favorite food?
It’s a toss up between ribeye steak and grilled chicken Caesar salad. YUM! You’re making me hungry.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Okay now this is an easy one. The two things I struggle with is writing characters who have a background of a dysfunctional family, or parents who didn’t care for them or weren’t there for them. Mine were. I never ever doubted my parents love and support. So writing characters who aren’t as fortunate as me is HARD. The other thing is finding time to write because my children are little and require lots of attention. How I overcome it is making sure I put God first then my husband and children always, always before my writing. Matthew 6:33 it I guess. I left one profession (Registered Nurse in OB) to stay home with them, and I know I’ll never get this time back with them. Seems like when I set quality time aside for them, my writing flows better, faster.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
It was a joy to write. It was a dream come true to sell a book. Something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little girl. Even before I knew God. He put that sense of destiny in me even when I took no thought of Him. The book has undertones of this sort of wonder, where you realize just how well He knows us and what we need. Even better than we know ourselves. It’s comforting, and I hope when people hold the book, they realize they’re holding a dream that God inspired more than thirty years ago. A dream that God brought to fruition. The book has a little boy with a wish, which I consider the same realm as dreams, things we want. So it was my way of saying to God that I understand this gift is from Him. If I can have even one reader look at my characters and think, “I wonder if God would respond to me the same way He did her character, with the same mercy, grave, love, etc.” Then all the hard work to reach this dream has been worth it.
THANKS SO MUCH LENA!!!!! I’m SURE I exceeded my word count with this, but what a FUN interview!!!!!
What word count? We don't go there in these interviews. You only have to do word count for editors.
Readers, you'll want to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of A Soldier's Promise. You'll love reading it. And check out her web site:
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You should also check back in the archives. I've interviewed a lot of cool authors.