Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 700,000 books in print.
Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with over 20 signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins, and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award. The
of her day is receiving feedback
from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books.
Her 2010 release Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in publishing Western Fiction. Maggie’s Journey appeared on a reviewers Top Ten Books of 2011 list. It also won the 2012 Selah award for Historical Novel. Mary’s Blessing released in May 2012. It recently appeared on a review site’s Top Five Reads in 2012 list. Catherine’s Pursuit is coming in February 2013.
In addition to her writing,
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. She
is also one of the co-hosts of the Gate Beautiful blog radio show.
Let's go BEHIND THE BOOK, Catherine's Pursuit. (By the way, I've read it, and it's a great story which will capture your mind and your heart!)
Did You Know This About the Old West?
©2013 Lena Nelson Dooley
I know authors who really don’t like the research involved in making historical novels authentic to the time period. I am not one of those authors.
While writing my McKenna’s Daughters series, I found out a lot of things I didn’t know. And I love the minute details of life that I discover. I try to work them into the story. Here are a few of the things I found and used. Of course, there were a large number of other things, and this blog post couldn’t possibly hold them all.
In the prologues in both book one and book two, I had to research the Oregon Trail wagon trains, then choose the route that would work best for my story.
With Maggie’s Journey, book one, I researched the transcontinental railroad system, especially the part that was in the western
. I had to figure out how long it
would take to travel in 1885 from United
States Seattle, Washington Territory, to .
The characters stayed in actual hotels of the time period in Little Rock, Arkansas Denver,
Colorado, and .
They had to go east to St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis, then travel
south-southwest from there to . Little
I also had a hard time picturing
in that time period. The adult
reference librarian in the Seattle Public Library helped me find websites that
were gold mines of information that I needed. So almost all the streets,
stores, hotels, schools, hospital, etc., were all part of the city in 1885. Seattle
For Mary’s Blessing, book two, I spent quite awhile researching
City and . There were a number of interesting
things in the books I read. In that time period, some people trained goats to
pull sleds. I found a picture of one such goat team. They were planning on
using them to pull sleds to the gold fields in Portland . I didn’t find any information about
how successful they were with that endeavor. Alaska
I also had to research medical practices of the time period, farming practices around
Oregon City, and transportation between Oregon City
and . I
had the hero and heroine go from Portland Oregon
City and by trolley. My editor questioned
that, because the information she had said that the electric trolley wasn’t
built until 1890. I found pictures of the trolley station and actual trolleys
in 1885. The trolleys were pulled by horses or mules along the right-of-way
where the tracks were later laid for the electric trolley cars. Portland
With Catherine’s Pursuit, the book that released earlier this month, I found equally interesting details in
which I used in the book. I also researched steamship lines of the day. There’s
one on the cover, and the hero is a steamship captain. San Francisco San
Francisco had electricity and telephones in 1885, but Portland and didn’t. Oregon
If you want to see what life was like in 1885 in
Seattle, Portland, Oregon City, and , travel with my characters through these
places and see how they lived. San
The search for her sisters will become a spiritual journey for the entire family.
Raised by her father, Catherine McKenna has never lacked for anything, surrounded by people to take care of her every need. On her eighteenth birthday she discovers that not only did her mother die when she was born, but she has two identical sisters. Although her father vowed not to look for his daughters, Catherine made no such promise. Setting on her own with one clue and her maid in tow, she's determined to find her sisters.
Collin Elliott has seen better days. After losing his ship to a violent and unexpected storm, he is trying to recover--physically and emotionally. When Angus McKenna sends him to find, follow, and protect his daughter, he wants nothing more than to finish his task and return home. Can he help her find her sisters?
And will the discoveries they make along the way teach them both what's most important in life?