Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Once again, I'm interviewing myself. Many of you readers have asked me to do this, and now I have a new book release.

God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

I’ve been blessed. This year, I’ll have five books releasing. The Prairie Romance Collection is the first one. I believe the Lord wants me to keep writing for Him. I have lots of ideas that are coming together. Of course, I speak several times a year, too. This year, I will participate in nine author events.

Tell us a little about your family.

I’ve been married to the love of my life for almost 45 years. We have two daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, two grandsons, and one great grandson. All but one grandson and the great grandson live close by.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

Yes. First, I don’t have as much time to read as I did before. Second, it’s hard to turn off my inner editor. But if the story really grabs me, I can. I still love to read.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a title for Summerside Press, Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, which will release next summer. It’s the longest book I’ve written, and I’m loving the situations and characters.

What outside interests do you have?

I host a critique group in my home and mentor other authors. I love getting together with friends over lunch. James and I are involved in many church activities. And we like to travel.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

With my story in The Prairie Romance Collection, Mother’s Old Quilt, I chose the area where my father’s family came from – Minnesota. I’ve often traveled there and love it. And it fit the story.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

I could say Jesus, but He’s not historical. He is eternal. So for historical, I’d love to meet Joan of Arc. I’d like to hear the passion that drove her.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

You know, these questions are harder to answer than I thought they would be. One thing? It’s hard work, more than just telling a story. And I’m a storyteller. I wish I’d known the amount of learning and preparation writing a good book would take. Much of my early writings were only for me to learn how to write.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

This isn’t a new lesson, but the Lord is showing me once again that trusting in Him is our only hope. I’ve stopped listening to naysayers on TV. Things in this world today would look bleak without my hope in the Lord.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

Pray. Pray. Pray
Read. Read. Read.
Write. Write. Write

Tell us about the featured book?

This is my first hardback with a dust cover. I’m blessed to be included in this collection with so many good authors.

From the back cover:

A Full Dozen Historical Romance Stories

Expanding western borders, turning the land, and finding a place in which to live and love defines the pioneer Heart. Within this unique collection are twelve complete stories of romance on the American Great Plains penned by twelve different multi-published authors.

After the Harvest by Lynn A. Coleman
Love Notes by Mary Davis
Mother’s Old Quilt by Lena Nelson Dooley
The Tie That Binds by Susan K. Downs
A Heart’s Dream by Birdie L. Etchison
The Bride’s Song by Linda Ford
The Barefoot Bride by Linda Goodnight
Prairie Schoolmarm by JoAnn A. Grote
The Provider by Cathy Marie Hake
Freedom’s Ring by Judith McCoy Miller
Returning Amanda by Kathleen Paul
Only Believe by Janet Spaeth

Enjoy history relived through the pioneer’s adventures, heartaches, challenges, victories, and romance. You are sure to have more than one favorite to warm your heart and encourage your faith.

Please give us the first page of the book.

This is the first page of my story in the book.
Early March 1905
Wayzata, Minnesota

“If one more thing happens, I think I’ll scream.”
Maggie Swenson trudged through snowdrifts on the way from her house to the barn. The tops of her boots didn’t come above the snow, so the cold stuff spilled over, wetting her thick wool socks. Before she had to come out here again, she needed to borrow some of Valter’s trousers. She knew it wouldn’t be ladylike to wear her brother’s long pants, but it would be better than dragging a woolen skirt that grew heavier and heavier because of the damp snow clinging to it.
It had been so long since she had any time to herself. Only six months ago, both her parents died when the buggy they were riding in smashed against an outcropping of rocks because something startled their horse and it ran away. Maggie and her brother, who at twenty-one was two years older than she, inherited the farm their parents had worked hard to sustain through summer droughts and harsh Minnesota winters. Now Maggie tried to run the farm all by herself. Valter lay in the house with a high fever, growing weaker every day, no matter what she did for him. She feared he had the dreaded influenza that was taking such a toll this year.
Just as she reached up to unlatch the door to the barn, Maggie heard a soft moan followed by a pain-filled whine. She glanced around, and the sun glinting off the white world around her stabbed her eyes. As she squinted, her gaze traveled over the landscape around the barn. The few bushes were laden with snow, as were the trees in the pasture and beyond. When she heard the sound again, she determined that it came from the side of the building. Maggie plunged into the drift that had blown against the wall of the secure structure. Now her long-johns were wet up to her knees. If she didn’t go inside soon, she might get as sick as Valter.

How can readers find you on the Internet? - Monthly free book announced on my newsletter blog - Author interviews/Free books - Regular Blogger

I’m also on Shoutlife, Facebook, and Twitter.

My official Fan page is on Facebook:

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Readers, here's a link where you can buy A Prairie Romance Collection:
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Sheila Deeth said...

Wow. Am I first to comment? Great to find out more about you Lena. Of course, you keep letting little snippets out in your interviews. But I really enjoyed this, and the introduction to your writing. The collection sounds like just what I need.

mez said...

Thank you for that peek at Mother's Old Quilt, you drew me in right away! I would love a chance to win The Prairie Romance Collection. Thanks, Lena.


adrienne said...

I'd love to win this book. Please enter me for the giveaway and thank you. I think I've seen that book at one of the publisher websites but I'm not sure. It looks good.

Edna said...

I really like to read about your life and all the interesting things that you do, I own some of your books and enjoy them very mush but would love to win one of your new ones, so please enter me into the contest.


Marilyn said...

Valter may have the dreaded influenza that was taking a toll this year. What a timely topic even though this is historical.

rebornbutterfly said...

Great interview!

I'd love to read your part in this collection!

Amber S. said...

I really love the pictures of you and of the book! I'd love a chance to win...thanks!

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I took a little rest to ice my knee, and returned to several comments. Thanks for coming by.

Actually, influenza was a harsh disease in the early years of the 20th century.

I'm really proud of this book. It looks good, and every story in it is a winner.

Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your giveaway.

windycindy said...

Your new Prairie Romance Collection book sounds fabulous! I enjoy reading a volume of stories.
Please enter me in your drawing.
Many thanks.....Cindi

Cheri2628 said...

How wonderful to learn more about YOU! I would love a chance to win this awesome book of short stories! Thanks for the giveaway.

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

Yay Lena,
Interesting interview all around. ...Joan of Arc - now that intrigues me. : )

Believing the best for you!

Julie Lessman said...

Great interview, Lena -- I love your advice on the three most important things a writer can do. And A Prairie Romance sounds great -- please throw my hat in the ring!


Carly Kendall said...

Thank you for sharing Lena. That was a great interview. This sounds like a really nice new book. Congratulations!

G.R.I.T.S. said...

sounds like a great book to add to my collection!! It was fun learning about you Lena, PLease Sign me up for the free book!


Abi said...

Oh, prairie romances. I'd love, love, love to win that one. That is right down my alley. Mother's Old Quilt. sounds interesting. so do the others. Thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

William Dunigan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I'm glad y'all found this post. If you don't win the copy, please buy one. You won't be disappointed.

Jo said...

Me, me, me. I'd love to get entered in for this drawing and win the book.


Carrie Turansky said...

Wow, what a great collection! Thanks for telling us about this, Lena. Hope your dear husband is feeling better.

carrie (at) turansky (dot) com

Frances said...

that was a very fascinating interview. I haven't ready any of her books but this one surely tempts me to search for her books. :)

if sending international, please toss my name in the hat.



raspberrygirl said...

If I'm eligible...Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Raspberrygirl, why wouldn't you be eligible?

Everyone, thanks for coming by my interview. I thoroughly enjoy bringing thm to you.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Carrie, thanks for asking about my husband. He's getting better all the time. He looks better. He's still rather weak, but he is taking three strong antibiotics per day. That can also sap your strength.

sharon54220 said...

Sounds like a great book. Would love to read it.

Marla said...

Thank you for your interview. It's always nice to learn more about you. Your books sound really good. I definitely am going to have to pick one up. Thank you for the entry.

William Dunigan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ausjenny said...

Oh I thought I had commented. I love the prarrie even if i have never seen it I love books set there and would really love to read this collection please enter me.
the packing and sorting is making me forgetful

Megan said...

you know, I'm sad that I missed the opportunity to win this one! I would have loved to read your work (guess I need to go out and buy it, huh?). Anyways, it was great to read your interview and learn a bit more about you. Glad your hubby is doing better!