Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, where you live, etc.
I live in Texas with the love of my life. We’ve been married for almost 45 years. We love to spend time with our family. And travel. And minister together.
Tell us about your call to write in the Christian arena. When you are actually writing, do you have a real sense of God’s presence or is it more “nuts and bolts” writing for you? (I’m not sure either answer is right or wrong.)
Your readers can read the testimony of how God told me to become a professional writer on the main page of my web site. It’s an interesting testimony. – www.lenanelsondooley.com.
I do sense God with me when I write. And I feel him when I’m mulling over the story and planning chapters. And He has even changed the direction of a scene when I was at the computer writing it. This change has affected many people’s lives. They’ve let me know.
Do you consider yourself a Christian who writes good fiction or a writer who writes good Christian fiction?
I’m a Christian who writes good fiction. But I cannot write a story without including the all-important spiritual thread in it. The lack of one has caused me to quit reading fiction that’s not Christian. Even after reading a good story, I come away feeling as if something’s missing.
I’m always interested in the everyday life of a writer. What is your schedule? And what are you usually wearing when you are writing?
I spend at least 6 hours at the computer—4, 5, or 6 days a week, according to when my deadline is. I start out in my pajamas in the morning, but by mid-morning, I’m fully dressed and go to my office as I would if it were in another building, instead of my home.
That's kind of my writing schedule, as well, Lena. I get up early and after reading my Bible and prayer, I write in my pj's drinking coffee, until about 9-ish or so, then eat breakfast and dress.
Name five of your favorite things and five pet peeves.
I love my family, good friends, dark chocolate, writers who understand me, and learning new things. I don’t like for people to have a closed mind, for people to take advantage of others, for someone to be dishonest in any way, clothing sizes that aren’t really standardized, and being out in the heat.
When did you first realize that God was real? I’m not asking about your salvation experience, but when God first invaded your consciousness and you realized that He was more than just a religious concept.
I don’t know a time in my life that I didn’t know that God is real. I was raised in a strong Christian home, so God was part of our everyday life.
Now, tell us about when you came to Jesus and totally committed everything you knew about yourself to everything you knew about Him … where, when, how.
I was in my late 20s when I had a special dynamic experience that took me beyond just being saved to really walking daily with Jesus and letting his Holy Spirit direct my path. At a Spiritual Life Retreat in West Texas, for the first time, all the speakers were really walking with Him. They caught my attention and held it (which was a feat in itself). I came away from there with a new awareness of what it really meant to live the “abundant life.”
What has been your toughest walk of faith?
I’ve been through a lot of hard times: caring for invalid parents, almost losing my husband to death, and many more, but I never lost faith in the One who holds me in His hands. I think my hardest year was the year when God had told me to leave a good job and work at home writing. I knew that He told me, but there were times that I wanted to take some matters in my own hands. I had a lot of “Are you going to trust Me?” moments that year.
What went into your decision to write in your particular genre/time period?
Actually, if you look at my body of work, you’ll see that I’ve been published in several time periods and different genres. But all my works have a romantic element. I believe the motto God gave me says it all: Characters Who Grip Your Heart. Readers know that whether I’m writing contemporary or historical, straight romance, mystery, suspense, western. No matter what book they pick up of mine will have that kind of characters.
Do you read the reviews that are written about your book(s)? Do you believe and/or take to heart the reviews that are written about your book(s)?
If I know about them, I do like to read the reviews, but just to get a feel of what readers see in my books. I don’t take the really good ones too seriously, and I don’t let the not so good ones hurt my feelings. (There have been far fewer of them anyway.)
What is the message you hope people gain from reading your books?
God has a plan for your life. You can either walk in His plan, or you can get off course. But He’s always waiting to help you get back on the right path.
What do you like to read? What is in your “stack to be read” right now?
Golden, I have three large bookcase sections of to-be-read books. I pick out one according to my whim-of-the-day. I love historicals and mysteries, suspense, romance, adventure.
What do you like most about being an author? The least?
The actual writing. I love to write and craft an interesting story. The thing I probably like the lease is the solitude. Writing is a solitary thing. Every once in while, I have to break loose and just have a day out with friends.
What motivates your writing?
God created me to write, so I write. I love to write a story that can change lives and at the same time entertain.
Being an author brings opportunities to speak to different groups—book clubs, workshops, conferences. Do you enjoy public speaking or does it frighten you?
With a degree in Speech and Drama, I enjoy public speaking.
If you could shout something to the heavens, and not care who heard you, what would you shout?
I LOVE JESUS, AND I LOVE JAMES!!!
Thank you, Lena, for your pertinent answers. I've enjoyed getting to know a bit about you.
Go on Lena's web site at www.lenanelsondooley.com and learn more about her and her writing, and don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win one of her books.