Thursday, January 11, 2018

Interview with Lena Nelson Dooley and #giveaway

Today we welcome Lena Nelson Dooley to my blog. Lena is graciously offering a copy of her new  book Brides of Minnesota to one commenter. Please include contact information. 

Lena, thanks for stopping by. Can you tell me about the book, share the blurb

My latest release is a collection of my first series published by Barbour. The title is Brides of Minnesota. Here’s the blurb:

Follow a Swedish family’s journey as they settle in Minnesota where each brother seeks a living—and wife. Gustaf is left to manage his brother’s romantic mess. August considers courting his brother’s castoff. Lowell and Ollie are both fascinated by the same mysterious woman. Can a family’s faith forge a new home and nurture love?

Where did you grow up and attend school? Are there any other authors in your family? 

I grew up in Arkansas, then went to Ouachita Baptist College there, but my family moved to Texas during my college years. I finished my degree at Howard Payne, also a Baptist school.

The only other published author in my immediate family is my brother, who had a book of his sermons published. But both of my grandsons are writers—one a sports writer and the other is working on his first novel right now.

How did you get started writing? How old were you? What made you want to start? What did you enjoy reading as a child?

There is a testimony of how God told me to become a professional writer in May of 1984 on the About Me page of my web site:
I was 42 at that time. Since I was born before the time of TV in every home, I spent a lot of time reading library books. I started with things like The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. I read Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books then moved to longer novels like Gone with the Wind.

How and when did you and your husband meet? Was it love at first sight? What does he think about your being an author?

James and I met on a blind date. I had been on only one blind date before, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience, so I never wanted to go on one again. A close friend of each of us convinced me to go with James. I promised him one date and Jerry promised he’d quit bugging me about dating. Three months and three days later we were married. And he’s been my biggest cheerleader in my profession and great emotional and spiritual support through it all.

How old are your children? Do they read your books? Have any of them got the writing bug, as well?

My two daughters are in their early 50s. Both of them have read some of my books. One is an avid reader, the other one not so much, but she’s read several of mine. My older daughter could be a writer herself. The other one is more artistically inclined.

How do you research the communities and people you write about? Do you find yourself having do a lot of research?

I use the internet (only sites I trust because there’s lots of misinformation out there). Also, when I write a historical novel, I try to get books of historical photos for the places where the books are set. I do a lot of research even for contemporary novels.

Which is your favorite book? Do you have a character in your books you identify with the most?

When I’m asked that, I usually say it’s the one I’m working on right now. That’s almost like being asked which of my children do I love the most. I’ve never written a story I didn’t like. Many of my books have won awards and several have been on major bestseller lists.


Multi-published, award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley has had more than 875,000 copies of her 30+ books sold. Her books have appeared on the CBA, Publisher’s Weekly, and ECPA bestseller lists, as well as Amazon bestseller lists. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the local chapter, ACFW - DFW. She’s a member of Christian Authors’ Network, and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

  • Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award
  • Maggie’s Journey, a reviewers Top Ten Books of 2011 list, the 2012 Selah award for Historical Novel.
  • Mary’s Blessing, Selah Award Second Place
  • Catherine’s Pursuit, NTRWA Carolyn Reader’s Choice, CAN Golden Scroll Novel of the Year award second place, Will Rogers Medallion bronze medallion.
  • Her blog, A Christian Writer’s World, Readers Choice Blog of the Year Award from the Book Club Network.
  • Three Carol Award Silver pins.
  • A Texas Christmas  ECPA bestseller list
  • Love Is Patient ECPA bestseller list
  • Mountain Christmas Brides ECPA bestseller list 3 months, Publisher’s Weekly top 10 list 5 weeks
  • A Heart’s Gift won the 2017 FHL Reader’s Choice Award

She has experience in screenwriting, acting, directing, and voice-overs. She is on the Board of Directors for Higher Ground Films and is one of the screenwriters for their upcoming film Abducted to Kill. She has been featured in articles in Christian Retailing, ACFW Journal, Charisma Magazine, and Christian Fiction Online Magazine. Her article in CFOM was the cover story.

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. The Lena Nelson Dooley Show is on the Along Came A Writer Blogtalk Radio network.

Lena has an active web presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books. Her blog has a reach of over 65,000.

Blogtalk Radio, The Lena Nelson Dooley Show:

Links to buy and social media
Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble:


Unknown said...

My name is Heather Thibodeau and I would love to read your book!! My phone number is 906-284-0859. If you need my email it is

R Deedrick said...

I would love a copy of this book. As a Minnesotan, I love reading books set where I live. :) Email is

Wendy Newcomb said...

OH MY!!! I have not seen this book before but I "NEED" it!!!!!! By the names it sounds Norwegian (at least Scandinavian) and I love stories based on my ancestry.
Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

wfnren at aol dot com

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Hey Heather, glad to see you here. If you're the winner, I'll need your mailing address at that time, because I'm sending a print copy of the book.

R Deedrick, my father's family emigrated from Norway and Sweden. Book one in the collection contains events from my ancestor's lives--fictionalized, of course.

Wendy, actually the people in the book are from Sweden, but we're all Scandinavian, aren't we?

Marilyn R. said...

Great interview with Lena Nelson Dooley. It's always nice to read how authors started their career of writing. Brides of Minnesota is a book I must read. I enjoy historical stories and it'll be intriguing to see how the Swedish family's journey and finding mates all come together. Thank you for the giveaway, Lena. Blessings as you continue to write.
marilynridgway78[at} said...

The only book of yours I own is Love Finds You In Golden, New Mexico so I would be thrilled to win. We have something in common: I met my husband James on a blind date too!

If I'm the lucky (blessed) winner my address is:
Judith Smith
11867 Willow Wood N
Holland, MI 49424

Vivian Furbay said...

Would enjoy reading a book about brides in Minnesota. I read Len's blog quite often and she's got a good one. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com

Anonymous said...

What a fascinating life and call to writing!
Thank you for the giveaway!

Laurel Cagle said...

I am looking forward to reading your latest book! Thank you for the giveaway!


Lucy Reynolds said...

Thank you for the interview. Sounds like a great book.

Kay Garrett said...

Thank you so much for the interview with Lena Nelson Dooley. I always love learning more about the authors that I follow and enjoy reading their books.

Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Lena Nelson Dooley. It's on my TBR list and I'd very much enjoy reading it and then sharing it with friends.
2clowns at arkansas dot net

lollipops said...

congratulations to Vivian

VanG said...

I enjoyed the interview and would dearly love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like a delightful read. I read “A Heart’s Gift” by Lena and loved that one! ❤️ Blessings on you as you continue to write. 😊

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