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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Author Interview: Dorothy Love



Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews! Would you tell us a little about 'Beyond All Measure'?

   Thanks for hosting me!  It's the story of one young woman whose faith is sorely tested when she loses her family and her fortune and is forced to start over, on her own, in a small Southern town. Ada is determined to make a success of her millinery business so that she won't ever again be dependent on anyone. When she falls in love with the local mill owner, she has to learn to forgive those who wronged her, and to trust both Wyatt and God with her future and her heart.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

    Before I began writing Christian fiction for adults, I published more than a dozen books for middle schoolers and young adults in the general market. Beyond All Measure is my first novel in the Christian market and for that reason, it's very special to me.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

    Oh my. I've never thought of my quirks as interesting. My husband thinks they are just weird. I have to have a cup of Earl Grey tea and complete peace and quiet when I'm working. I start each new book by outlining it in a spiral notebook. I have a hard time stopping my research to write the story. I love history, especially the history of 19th century women whose accomplishments and life stories never made it into the high school textbooks. Discovering their stories is like catnip to me and I always want to look at just one more resource before I stop. I think our history is so fascinating and I want to find a way to make it fascinating to my readers, too. Because let's face it, many of us had teachers who make Ben Stein sound hyperactive, and thus we slept through high school history class. Or at least I did.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

    Many of the books I wrote for the general market were also historicals, and I used to get my information from libraries and reference librarians. Those people are priceless. I used to have my local librarian's number on speed dial. Seriously!  But now, about 90 per cent of my information comes from online sources. I use a lot of university websites, historical society sites and the like.  Occasionally I need to read books for background material.  I love mining original sources such as letters, diaries and journals. My ideas usually come from learning about a real life woman or a real life town that intrigues me. Hickory Ridge, the setting for Beyond All Measure, is based on the Cades Cove area in the Great Smokies, for example.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

    That writing longer books is not as daunting as I imagined. I love the freedom of a longer format.

Is there anything you hope readers take away from 'Beyond All Measure'?

    The way I see it, the beauty and the purpose of books is that each reader brings her own experiences, expectations, and beliefs to the reading of a story, and from those, she makes her own meaning. Some readers will experience Beyond All Measure simply as an entertaining love story, some will see it as a story about faith lost and found, some will see it as a metaphor for our common life journey. I'm pleased with however the book speaks to each reader.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

    My husband and I are avid travelers. We love hiking and hanging out with Major and Jake, our two golden retrievers. We're a short drive to the Gulf coast and love getting away to the beach as often as we can. Beach time is usually the only time I have for catching up on my own reading.  A week at the beach with my "to be read" books is a special pleasure.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?

    I love the old movies. Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, and the Thin Man series because William Powell and Myrna Loy were so elegant and smart and witty. Those movies are just great fun. Songs: What Southern girl doesn't love at least some of Elvis's tunes? I'm a fan of the Eagles. I saw them in concert a couple of  years back. It's usually their Greatest Hits albums that are playing when I'm driving.   One of their biggest hits is a song called "Lying Eyes." It's an entire, intricate story, told in a three minute song with a complicated rhyme scheme and in a way that allows the listener to make inferences about the characters. During their concert,  Glenn Frey said that one day they needed a new song for an album they were working on, and they wrote "Lying Eyes" in fifteen minutes! Sheer genius.

Beauty for Ashes (A Hickory Ridge Novel)Are you currently working on any new novels?

    I'm just now reading the galleys for the second Hickory Ridge novel, BEAUTY FOR ASHES which will be out in March and I've turned in the third book in the series, EVERY PERFECT GIFT. In the new year, I'll be working on the first of three new historical novels for Thomas Nelson.

Thank you so much for being here! Where can we find you on the web?

    Thanks for hosting me. Find me on the web at my official site: www.DorothyLoveBooks.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DorothyLovebooks

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Remember, you can enter to win a copy of 'Beyond All Measure' right now.... Enter here.

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Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~ Philippians 4:8