Kathi Macias
Kim Ford 

Author Interview

Kim Ford Interviews Our Featured Cover Author
-Lena Nelson Dooley

Lena Nelson DooleyLena Nelson Dooley chose to obey God and follow His leadership into a full-time writing career. Since that time, she has published more than ten titles and has more than 675,000 copies in print! In addition to writing full time, Lena enjoys traveling with her husband, visiting her daughters and their families, and mentoring others who are pursuing publication. Lena enjoys serving God through the written word, and she recently has been blessed with multiple book contracts.

Tell readers about your writing journey. How/when did you finally become a full-time writer?

In May of 1984, God used several events one week in May to let me know that He wanted me to become a professional author. My testimony of how that happened can be found by going to my blog, http://www.lenanelsondooley.com, then clicking on the About Me tab at the top of the page. For the next eighteen years, God taught me a lot. It took eight of those years before Heartsong Presents published my first novel, Home to Her Heart. I did, however, make a living much of the time by writing for companies or a church. Then ten years later, my second novel, The Other Brother, released. Before the end of that calendar year, I was able to quit my job as an administrative assistant at a church to pursue writing full time.

You have written different types of books, but historical fiction seems to dominate your style. Is that your favorite genre?

I do love writing historicals, but I have written both contemporary and historical novels. It was according to which proposals the publishers bought. Currently I’m in two three-book contracts with Realms/Charisma Media, and all six of those books are historical.

Tell us about your favorite story, both one you have written and one you have read.

My answer to this question is usually whichever I’m writing/reading right now. I loved doing my Minnesota Brothers series, because elements of the first book came from my family’s history. And writing Pirate’s Prize was a lot of fun, but then so was Never Say Never, a contemporary novel that I call my cruise novel. Of course, I loved Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, and it did win the Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in Western fiction. Now with the McKenna’s Daughters series, the stories have been percolating in my mind for several years. Writing them is a real thrill.

Now about reading. I have eclectic tastes in reading material. My all-time favorite is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. But then there are the books Dan Walsh has written, and Jim Rubart’s books, and Brandilyn Collins’s suspense books—books by Susan Page Davis, Lynne Gentry, Ronie Kendig, Vickie McDonough, Loree Lough, Deeanne Gist, Lisa Wingate. I could go on for a long time naming authors I like to read.

Can you describe your typical writing day? What is your favorite part of the process? Your least favorite?

I have an office in my home. I spend at least six hours, five or six days a week in there at the computer. It’s according to how much marketing I need to do and how close my next deadline is. I love to write. It’s what God created me to do at this season in my life. I guess my least favorite part is tight deadlines. But I’ve learned to deal with them, no matter what else is happening in my life.

You often talk about your love for travel. Do you gain ideas as you travel? Where is your favorite destination?

Yes, every trip, no matter where I go, is a research trip. I take notes and photographs. I never know when I’ll use the information in a novel. I sometimes go to used bookstores in the area and buy old books written about that area. I also watch people, and they spark ideas for stories. I loved traveling in the Caribbean, in Mexico, in Guatemala, and across the United States, but I really want to go to Hawaii and Australia then maybe Scandinavian countries where my ancestors lived.

What event in your life has most impacted your writing career?

Actually, my marriage. James and I are exact opposites. His strengths are my weaknesses, and my strengths are his weaknesses. I believe God planned it that way. We complete each other in so many ways. When God told me to become a professional writer, James understood immediately that it was coming from God. And he’s been my biggest supporter in so many ways. When my first book arrived, he teased me, making a big deal about it. I told him then that it wasn’t my success, it was our success, because I couldn’t do the things I do without his help and support—emotionally, spiritually, financially, and every other way needed.

Do you have a story that is close to your heart that has yet to make it onto the page? Can you share with readers the story that most reflects your heart?

The story that hasn’t made it onto the page yet is a contemporary women’s fiction titled Beyond Redemption. The theme is that nothing in our lives is beyond the reach of God’s redemption. It’s a pretty gritty story. I’ve written several chapters and there’s an editor at a major publishing house who is interested in it. I’m not sure when or if she will buy it. But right now it’s on my back burner, since I have all the contracts I can handle right now.

You have a great love for helping others, especially other writers. Tell us a bit about your involvement in ACFW and mentoring others.

Love Finds You in Golden New MexicoWhen God told me to become a professional writer, I knew nothing about professional writing. All along the way, He had people who poured into my life so I could move forward toward the goal. I do have a heart for other authors. I see my mentoring as a tithe of the talents God gave me. He gave me a love for each of the writers He has brought into my life.

I’ve been in ACFW since a couple of months after its inception. My membership card was number 42. I’ve been involved as a volunteer in a number of ways. I’ve spoken at several of the conferences either at workshops or Late Night Chats. I’ve done paid critiques at conference for as long as they have been offered. And now I take mentoring appointments at the conferences. When we first started having local chapters, Margo Carmichael and I helped to establish the Dallas−Fort Worth local chapter. I’ve served as secretary, vice president, and president. I may soon serve as treasurer. I love ACFW and want to give back as much as I’ve received from this marvelous organization. I hold three Carol Award silver pins, and I’ve received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award.Maggie's Journey

In addition to working with ACFW, I have hosted a critique group in my home for over twenty-five years.

Does your family read your stories? Have they ever inspired you to write a particular story?

Yes, my very first novel was inspired by an event in one of my daughter’s life. And, yes, even my husband has read most of my books. One daughter reads more than the other one, but both read as many of them as they have time to. One granddaughter also reads my books, as do cousins and aunts, even one male cousin. And my brother.

What exciting things is God doing right now in your life? In your writing career?

My family is involved at a very dynamic church, and God enriches our lives through the ministry there. We’re involved in a variety of ways. One daughter moved closer to the rest of the family this year, and we’re enjoying her family being close by. Two of the people I’ve been mentoring signed their first book contracts this year. My life is filled with excitement.

I’m thrilled to be connected with Realms/Charisma Media. I love the way the whole company works on my books. My first book with them, Maggie’s Journey, book one of my McKenna’s Daughters series, released in October. Book two is written, and I’m working on book three.

Do you have any words of encouragement you’d like to share with your fans?

I love my fans. No author would be who they are without the support of loyal fans. I’ve been connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Shoutlife. They keep me writing, trying to come up with stories that they will enjoy. I pray that each story will entertain, inform, and encourage all of them.


Kim Ford has been a resident of Alabama for more than ten years. Originally from Georgia, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Brenau Women’s College. She has spent the past 9 years in sales and marketing and has been an avid reader of Christian Fiction for more than 20 years. A mother of two teen sons and married to a technical writer and Army veteran, Kim’s life is full and blessed. She and her husband also volunteer as teachers for a resident rehab program for women with life-controlling issues. She uses her fiction to encourage the ladies she teaches. She blogs at: Window To My World