Lena, welcome to my Christmas series of Writers on Reading. I’ve been looking forward to these interviews like—well, excuse the cliché—but a kid at Christmas! You’ve been busy! Your recent Christmas story, A Texas Christmas, is a novella collection with other authors. You also have a devotional in 21 Days of Christmas, a book that would be a wonderful devotional to use for Advent. And a novella in the collection Warm Mulled Kisses, that released in October. That makes three Christmas themed books this year! You even took the responsibility to be the publisher for WMK, because it’s getting hard for new authors to be published.) So…what is your favorite part about a Christmas-themed story?
I actually like all kinds of Christmas stories. For a novel or novella, I prefer that they have a romantic thread, but for short stories, they just need to have a spiritual or redemptive theme.
What do you look for when selecting a Christmassy novel or novella to cozy up with this month?
I’ve read several Christmas novels and novellas already this year. I do like for them to have strong internal/external conflicts that are worked out maybe in an unexpected way.
Yes! Nothing better than that in a novel or even real life. I don’t know about you, but many of us associate this season with traditional baking. I don’t think a Christmas novel would be complete without those special scents floating around in your head. What are your favorite Christmas goodies to read or write about?
I like Christmassy drinks—hot chocolate, spiced cider, etc. And I love homemade fudge and other candies.
Mmmm. Hot chocolate sounds ideal about now. Is there an element of these books that you’d feel cheated if it wasn’t there? Or something special you like to add to your Christmas stories?
Someone realizing that they haven’t understood the real meaning of Christmas, that Jesus came to earth to bring peace, joy, love, as well as salvation to them personally.
Beautiful! As far back as you remember, what was the first Christmas-related fiction story you
I’m sure I can answer this one. I’m so far from the early Christmas for me and for my children and grandchildren. I do need to hear/read about the first Christmas both from Luke and Matthew.
What is on your Christmas fiction to-read list this year? And what is your ideal Christmas reading experience?
As I said, I’ve already read a number of Christmas novels and have more sitting on my table waiting for me. I loved Dan Walsh’s Keeping Christmas and Cynthia Ruchti’s An Endless Christmas. And I’ve read a couple of the Barbour Publishing novella collections. They are always good.
Over the years, has any Christmas novel or novella really stuck with you that you’d like to share with our readers? And is there one you’re looking forward to rereading?
The two I gave the titles of in the last answer. They are both stories that should be read again and again. Also, Dan’s book, The Unfinished Gift from several years ago.
Excellent recommends! Thanks so much for sharing, Lena! Folks, you can continue to connect with Lena—and find out more about her books at the links below her bio. And psst, Cynthia Ruchti—recommended above—visited us during this Christmas Series. If you haven’t already, drop by and read her Christmas stories while you’re here!
Award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley has had more than 800,000 copies of her books sold. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers http://www.acfw.com/ and the local chapter, ACFW - DFW. She's a member of Christian Authors' Network, CROWN Fiction Marketing, and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.