Scavenger Hunt Stop # 9

Welcome to a fun adventure! The Christian Authors Network Scavenger Hunt takes you to the personal blogs of 26 CAN members. As you read these author interviews, look for clues—phrases that, put together, introduce you to CAN’s purpose. Some phrases are in bold print. Others may be in color, italicized, or underlined. Visit all 26 stops, collect clues, and click on the link below to enter your name in the grand-prize drawing—26 free books, one from each participating author. Some authors feature additional prizes. The hunt runs July 17-23, 2016. The winner will be announced July 25, 2016. Due to shipping costs and international regulations, US only please.

To participate:

  • Go to Christian Authors Network website. Scavenger hunt:

  • Travel from the first blog post to the next and on to the last stop.
  • Each post will contain a short phrase (you’ll recognize it—different from rest of text).
  • String phrases together in order and discover the purpose of Christian Authors Network.
  • The winner wins the grand prize of 26 books.

Now, let me introduce you to Lena Nelson Dooley, the award-winning author of over 40 books with nearly one million copies sold.

LenaD1Dianne: Tell us when and why you decided to become a writer, how you got started, your training for this profession, the title of your first book, and the amazing feeling when you held that sweet “baby” in your hands.

Lena: The readers can find how God told me to become a professional writer by checking out my About Me tab on my website: It took eight years after these events before my first book was published. Home to Her Heart was a Heartsong novel that was published in 1992. The first moment I held the book in my hands was awesome, but you know what? Every time I hold a new book in my hands is just as awesome. It doesn’t get old.

As for my training, etc., I’ve always written. I come from a family who writes. Only my brother and I have been published. Writing was just a part of life. Then I majored in Speech and Drama in college and graduate school. The drama was great training for writing novels. I’ve been a set designer, a costumer, an actress, a director. All of these experiences help me make my novels more visual to the reader, and dialogue is a breeze to write, since I’m also a playwright and screenwriter.

Dianne: You have mentored many beginning writers, and over thirty of your mentees have been published. Your award-winning blog (A Christian Writer’s World features author interviews. How did your mentoring ministry begin, and why are you so passionate about helping other writers?

Lena: Because I recognize my writing ability as a special gift from God, my heart overflows with love for Him. He had specific people placed in my path every time I needed to learn something that would hone my craft. I chose to be that person to other Christian writers, because I love them, but also as an offering of my talent back to the Lord.

Dianne: You’re a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Authors Network and other groups. What are some Christian themes in your books and how do you weave your faith into your writing without overwhelming readers?

Lena: Many of my books deal with forgiveness, trusting God, and commitment. These themes present themselves in varying ways in different books. I’ve also dealt with a root of bitterness and its consequences, a poor self-image, abandonment, and even abuse. What I do is play these things out through the lives of the characters. Yes, sometimes a book will have more Scriptures or even a salvation scene in it. But these things are organic to the lives of the characters, so they don’t stand out as overwhelming.

Dianne: As a non-fiction writer, I’ve found Christian Author’s Network to be an amazing organization, helping authors not only to spread the word about new releases but also to learn marketing strategies and to find encouragement from others on the writing journey. How has CAN benefited you as a fiction writer?

Lena: I’ve experienced the same things. And friendships with these authors have helped me learn a lot of things that I can do to help myself move forward in what God has set before me. It’s invaluable to me.

Dianne: Many authors say their favorite book is the latest one! What’s your favorite of all the books you’ve written and why?

Lena: That’s usually my answer when I’m asked the question. I loved writing every book. The first stand-alone contemporary title. My next releases, a four-book historical series set in Minnesota. And the Golden, New Mexico book, which was just released under a new title and with some revisions, the featured book (The Gold Digger, one of the 26 books in the Scavenger Hunt grand prize). I loved every novella collection I’ve been in, my pirate book. Every author needs at least one pirate book. The Mckenna’s Daughters series percolated in my mind for several years before I received a contract for them. And then there’s the book I will be releasing through my agent, hopefully before the end of August, A Heart’s Gift. How can I choose only one?

Dianne: Tell us about your newest book, The Gold Digger. What do you want readers to takeaway?

Gold Digger-front-300dpi

Lena: This book is about unmerited forgiveness. The story spreads from Boston to Golden, New Mexico. I call it my heroine-in-peril-mail-order-bride-gone-awry story. In the first edition, it won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in western media for fiction.

Dianne: Your books have won numerous awards. Mention a few more honors.

Lena: I have three Carol Award silver pins, two Will Rogers Medallion awards, one Golden Scroll award, Mentor of the Year award from American Christian Fiction Writers, two Readers Choice awards—one for a book and one for my blog, and I’ve had at least two books on both the CBA Bestseller list and the ECPA bestseller list—the two top Christian bestseller lists.

Dianne: You’re a co-host of the “Along Came a Writer” blog radio show. (I’m honored to have been a recent guest of Linda Kozar.) Tell us more about the program.

Lena: Interesting you should ask. Right now, we’re in transition. Instead of being a two-hour show with four co-hosts on someone else’s network, we are moving to our own network, which will be “Along Came a Writer.” We will each have our own show on the network, and we’ll be looking for other authors who want to have a Blogtalk radio show.

My show is “The Lena Nelson Dooley Show.” The tagline is: Books, Movies, and More. We’re very excited about this endeavor.

Dianne: Publishing has changed much during your writing career. What is the most challenging aspect for you (marketing, social media etc.)?

Lena: Marketing is always a concern. There are a lot of Christian fiction readers out there who don’t know about the plethora of Christian novels. Reaching them takes a lot of work and know-how. That’s a big thing for most authors.

Dianne: Is there one author or book that has significantly influenced your writing style?

Lena: I used to say, “I want to write like Francine Rivers when I grow up.” I love her writing. There are many very good writers who have helped me learn. But now I have to be true to my own voice, not try to be like someone else. God gave each of us a niche voice, and I’m liking fitting into mine.

Dianne: Are you working on a new book?

Lena: My first 98,000 word book will soon release. I’m working on a novella, and I have two more to write before the holiday season—one for Christmas and one for Thanksgiving.

To know more about Lena:


Blog: Http://




Official Fan Page:


Blogtalk Radio:

Amazon Author Page:


The Kindle edition of Lena’s latest book, The Gold Digger, is included in the grand-prize drawing.

Visit Lena’s blog, Stop # 10, for more Scavenger Hunt clues. She’s giving away another Kindle copy of The Gold Digger on her blog so register to win! 

If you’re just starting the scavenger hunt, go to the CAN website to begin:

Scavenger Hunt:

Personal note: Thanks for visiting my blog! Due to technical difficulties, you won’t be able to leave a comment, but this will be corrected soon. My passion: marriage, relationships, parenting, abundant living. I hope you’ll visit again–and communicate with me!