Interview with Dorothy Love

» Posted on Jun 30, 2011 in Blog | Comments Off on Interview with Dorothy Love

Dorothy Love

This week I’m hosting Marta Perry Vanish in Plain Sight with and Dorothy Love with Beyond All Measure. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (July 3rd) evening.

Interview with Dorothy Love:

What made you start writing?

My third grade teacher told me I had talent and I should think about becoming a writer one day. I got into journalism in high school, later I edited my college newspaper and loved it. Then the fiction bug bit and I’ve been pursuing writing full time ever since.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing and when did you sell your first book?

After earning a PH.D in another field, I left that job almost 20 years ago to pursue writing full time. It took five years and innumerable rejections to learn enough (I am STILL learning!) to sell my first novel for young readers. That book came out in 1996 and I published thirteen more preteen and young adult novels at major New York secular houses before switching to the CBA and to writing historical fiction for adults two years ago.

How do you handle rejections?

I try to remember that the rejection isn’t personal. Writers are well advised to develop some objectivity about their own work. Of course rejection hurts, but later, going back to a rejected manuscript, I can often see what the editor meant. The more books I’ve published, the fewer rejections I’ve had to suffer. But that doesn’t mean my editor will love everything I send her. Rejection is part of the business.

Why do you write?

I’m in the business of providing hope. My goal with every story I’ve ever published, whether secular or inspirational, is to entertain and uplift the reader. Give them something hopeful to think about.

What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Ahhhh, free time….what a concept! Beachcombing would be number one. I love the beach and can’t wait to get there each summer. Before I began writing full time I volunteered at Head Start and I still do as much to help others as I can. I recently completed a 5K walk/run event benefitting the March of Dimes. If I weren’t writing every day I’d do more of that kind of thing. Many years ago, during my Julia Child phase, my husband gave me her famous cookbook and I used to experiment with her recipes. I got pretty good at quiches and desserts, but most of those recipes are too time consuming for me now.

What are you working on right now?

I just turned in BEAUTY FOR ASHES, the second book in the Hickory Ridge series, and now I’m writing the third one which has no title as yet.

Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

No. My characters are much more entertaining. The Hickory Ridge series is set in Tennessee where I grew up, so the people and terrain are familiar to me. But it’s all fiction.

Tell us about the book you have out right now.

Beyond All Measure is the first of the Hickory Ridge novels. It’s set in the beautiful eastern Tennessee mountains and it follows the journey of Ada Wentworth, a young Bostonian who has lost everything—family, fiancé, fortune, and comes to Hickory Ridge to begin a new life as a lady’s companion to the elderly town matriarch. Her intent is to save enough money to open a millinery shop back east. But then God intervenes, she falls in love with the local lumber mill owner, Wyatt Caldwell, and struggles to forgive those who have wronged her. Ultimately she must decide whether to trust God with her future and Wyatt with her heart.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Nothing that hasn’t been said before. For me it comes down to the three P’s:  Prayer, Perseverance, and Professionalism.

How important is faith in your books?

As important as it is in real life. In my books I try to show flawed human beings struggling to do the right thing, looking for the right answers, failing, and trying again. Part of faith is mystery isn’t it? Unknowable on this side of the veil. So I don’t write about characters who have it all figured out. To me, uncertainty and striving are more interesting and instructive than absolute certainty. I don’t want to discourage readers who may look at “perfect” characters and think they can never approach that standard and therefore can’t draw close to God. He loves us in all our imperfections, in all our struggling. I love the verse that says, “Lord help my unbelief.”

What themes do you like to write about?

Forgiveness, redemption, social justice. I’m a southerner and I specialize in Southern historical fiction. I love the South, its people and its tortured history. I love illuminating that history for readers.

What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

My latest one is always my favorite because it represents another chance to write a better story.

What is your writing schedule like?

Tuesday through Friday 9-5, plus several hours on weekends whenever I can squeeze them in around other things. Often, a couple of hours in the evenings depending on how close I am to a major deadline. Mondays are usually errand days but I sometimes write for a couple of hours in the late afternoon.