I'm thrilled to welcome multi-award winning author Lena Nelson Dooley to the Coffee Corner.
Renee: Hi there, Lena and welcome to the Coffee Corner. It’s great to see you. Help yourself to a cup and tell us a little about yourself. (By the way, I don't drink much coffee so if you don’t like it, don’t worry! LOL)
Lena: I had to give up coffee several years ago, but I might like a cup of hot chocolate.
Renee: Absolutely, I think I’ll mix two cups.
Don’t you love this time of year? I love Christmas and not because of the gifts awaiting us under the tree. After all, only one Gift truly matters in the end. What’s your favorite part of this holiday season?
Lena: Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. The most important part of Christmas is that we take time to thank Jesus for coming to earth. I know if I were in His place, it might be hard for me to leave all the wonder and glory of heaven to come to a cold, dark earth. So my family really takes the time to thank Him.
The next most important part of our Christmas is family. All of our immediate family, except our Army grandson, live in greater Fort Worth. We are in four different suburbs, but still close enough to see each other often. Our family likes to gather and enjoy each other.
This year will be extra special, because our Army grandson will also be here, after missing two years in a row.
Renee: Oh, that’s so awesome. I bet everyone’s excited to see him. I hope your Christmas as blessed as it can be! Since we’ve moved back to Wyoming, we’re closer to immediate family as well…except for my oldest brother and my sisters. I know what you mean about family. Ours is spread across the country and globe. Do you have any special plans for the holiday?
Lena: We often gather at our house to celebrate. We like to play games together. Last year, we got nerf dart guns and had a shootout. One of the granddaughters and James won the shootout. There was lots of laughter and fun.
Another tradition we started a number of years ago when the grandchildren were younger. After having turkey for Thanksgiving, I would freeze the leftover turkey and make sour cream enchiladas for Christmas. Now we don’t have enough leftover turkey, so I cook either another turkey or a couple of chickens to make the enchiladas.
Renee: Now, that sounds good. We have a tradition around food as well. It involves prime rib at Thanksgiving and Cornish hens for Christmas. I really don’t know how it started (other than my husband, James—yes, our husband’s name’s the same—doesn’t care for turkey). Beef and hen’s been our meals for over ten years now.
You’re one of the greatest authors I know. How did you find your way to the page?
Lena: Wow! Thanks, Renee. I’ve always written—journals, stories, things like that. I have even written programs for the women at church. In May of 1984, God used several events to tell me to become a professional writer. If your readers want to read the testimony of that time, they can go to my website, www.lenanelsondooley.com , and click on the About Me tab. It’s an interesting story.
Renee: I hope they’ll do that. If you could tell your (and my) readers one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Lena: I love the Lord more than anything else in the world. But I also would want to tell them that I have been blessed to be able to love my husband, James for more than 50 years. Our love story is so intertwined with our love for the Lord.
Renee: And what’s the driving force behind your work? What keeps you going?
Lena: I actually write for an audience of One. When He lets me know that what I’m writing pleases Him, I continue. Of course, I do love hearing from my readers. We interact a lot on social media. That’s much better than it was when I started writing. There was a gulf between me and the readers, and I loved it when one of the readers wrote me a letter.
Renee: Oh, Lena, you don’t know how I love to hear you say that. The Lord’s the driving force behind my words. Although I don’t have an agent, I’m blessed to have a publisher, but writing’s sometimes a discouraging endeavor…what do you say to those still waiting in the wings?
Lena: If you keep your eyes on Jesus, instead of your goal of being published, He will never let you down.
Early on in my writing career, rejections were hard to take. When I finally realized that if a publisher was the one the Lord wanted to publish a book, nothing could keep it from happening, I now look to Him. And rejections are part of every writer’s life.
Renee: Successful as you are, you remain a humble, gracious woman. Please tell us you have something in the works.
Lena: My next series is: Love’s Road Home. The novels are: A Heart’s Gift, A Heart’s Redemption, and A Heart’s Forever Home. The books are about people who have experienced several different kinds of lost love, and the stories lead them to the real thing.
Renee: On a more personal note, when it’s not the holiday season or you’re not shooting it out with nerf guns, what do you do to unwind…besides drink hot chocolate? ;)
Lena: I love spending time with family and friends. During baseball season, James and I follow the Texas Rangers. We watch every game we can.
Renee: Thanks for the great interview and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. Say hi to your James for me!
THE COFFEE CORNER’S AWESOME GIVEAWAY!!!
The McKenna’s Daughter’s Series by Lena Nelson Dooley
(one winner receives a PDF Copy of all three books)
Comment Now for Your Chance to Win!
***Giveaway is completed***
About the Books:
McKenna’s Daughters Series is about identical triplets who were born on one of the last wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. Near the end of the trail, their mother dies giving birth to them, and they are separated. They don’t find out that they have sisters until near their 18th birthday. Each book is one sister’s story.
About the Author:
Multi-award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has had more than 800,000 of her books sold.
In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She is also one of the co-hosts of the Gate Beautiful blogtalk radio show.
She has experience in screenwriting, acting, directing, and voice-overs. She has been featured in articles in Christian Fiction Online Magazine, ACFW Journal, and Christian Retailing.
Lena has won numerous awards. All three of her McKenna’s Daughters novels have won awards, and Catherine’s Pursuit has received three. She lives in Texas with her husband of over 50 years. Their favorite activities involve time with their family members. Their daughters and sons-in-law have given them four grandchildren, and now they have two great grandsons, who delight them.
Lena has an active web presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin, Google+, and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books.
Find her online here:
Official Fan Page: www.facebook.com/pages/Lena-Nelson-Dooley/42960748768?ref=ts
Blogtalk Radio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/search/gate-beautiful-radio-show/