Saturday, June 26, 2010

Special Guest Saturday: Lena Nelson Dooley on Her Publication Journey

Things I’ve Learned on My Publishing Journey
by Lena Nelson Dooley

As a beginning author, I had a lot to learn. I’ve always been a storyteller so that came naturally. I believe authors are created by God in their mother’s womb. However, just as sports figures and singers and actually anyone with a God-given talent, we have to learn the craft. And that takes time. For some, more time than others. But by honing your skills, you move steadily toward publication.

I’ve learned to really love my readers. Many of those who are real fans have become friends. But I also love the readers who aren’t really fans of my work. I learn from their comments, and I pray for them when they contact me. Without readers, books cannot be published.

Critique partners are very important to me. They help me see the flaws in my story so I can correct them. My critiquers are also my special friends now. We connect. We fellowship. We pray together. We grow together.

I’ve learned to appreciate the help that agents give an author. My agent has become a dear friend to me as well. She has helped me grow.

I started out intimidated by editors. One of the most valuable lessons I learned was to realize that editors wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for authors writing books. We’re partners in creating the work of fiction. I welcome their valuable input. And my editors have become my friends.

I love other authors. I learn from those who’ve been in the business longer than I have. And I help the new authors coming along beside us.

Do you see a pattern here? Our writing life gets better when we value efforts of others as much or more than we value our own efforts.

And above all else, I’ve learned that I’m a better author when I stay connected to the One who gave me the talents in the first place. God has led me places I wouldn’t have been able to go without Him.

A wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, Lena is also a fulltime writer, speaker, and book reviewer. Lena's books that are currently available: Minnesota Brothers, Pirate's Prize, Never Say Never, A Daughter's Quest, The Spinster and the Cowboy (Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner), Can You Help Me? (Carolina Carpenter Brides), Christmas Confusion (Montana Mistletoe), Who Am I?, The Best Medicine (Snowbound Colorado Christmas), Wild Prairie Roses, The Prairie Romance Collection, Cranberry Hearts, The Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner (Large Print edition), Can You Help Me? (Large Print Edition), Charlsey's Accountant (Wild West Christmas), No Thank You (Christmas Love at Lake Tahoe), A Daughter's Quest (Large Print edition).


Kameko said...

Wonderful interview! As an avid reader, it is interesting to me what an author has to go through to get a book published. I like finding out what motivates them, what they bring to their craft and what keeps them inspired. As I primarily read Christian fiction, it is a blessing when I hear it is our Lord who leads them in their writings.

Casey said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting Kameko! Lena is a great author and a wonderful lady. I enjoyed the articale myself. It is great to know the layout of the journey before actually starting out on it.

Thanks for being our guest today, Lena!

Krista Phillips said...

Thanks so much for joining us today Lena!!

Such GREAT sentiments as well. We are made better by the relationships we form with others along the way.

I have a WONDERFUL local writer's group that keeps me encouraged and helps me learn. I have GREAT online writer friends, including the shopkeepers here, who keep me sane along this path to publication.

I would have quit a long time ago without all their support, encouragement, and most of all, their willingness to tell me when my writing stinks:-)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I'm late!! (had an afternoon wedding, after a morning of not feeling great) I'm so glad I made it though! Lena, I love the thoughts you brought today. Gratitude is such an important part of life and builds on itself and comes back to you ten-fold.

Thanks for sharing your heart today!