The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Jim Rubart is Jean Smith! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This week Dorothy Love is in the spotlight again! To win a copy of her new book Every Perfect Gift, leave a comment on this post!
What is the smartest writing advice you ever got?
Read 100 books for every one you write. I have not yet achieved that ratio, but I read as many other authors as I possibly can.
What was your biggest break?
My first big break came in the early 1990’s when a small, independent publishing house in New York bought my first book for young readers and sold the paperback rights to Random House. That little book stayed in print for 9 years in hardcover and for several more in paperback and launched my first authorial career. Then in 2009, I switched to writing for the CBA and for adults, and sold my first adult series to Thomas Nelson Fiction.
I’m inspired by…
The lives of 19th century Southern women who were forced by the war to become the mothers of invention. I am in awe of what they accomplished and what they endured. Most of my books are inspired by the lives of one or more of those remarkable women. I hope I do them justice.
My great adventure has been…
Life itself! I’ve been so blessed to be able to write and teach writing, my twin passions. I have a great husband who shares my love of learning, history, and travel. I have wonderful friends and colleagues who lift me up and inspire me every day.
The one thing I hope to discover is…
How to hit the New York Times bestseller list
If I could go anywhere, it would be…
Italy. Specifically Tuscany. I want to take a house there and spend a couple of months living like the locals, immersing myself in the food, culture, and life of Siena. Sigh.
If you have only…an hour…
An hour to work? I catch up on email, because I need long stretches of time to write a novel and can’t do it an hour here and there. An hour to play? Head out to a hiking trail with my husband and the golden retrievers. An hour to worship? Meditate, read from Psalms. An hour to eat? Gelato from our local company called Da Vinci. It is the best stuff this side of Rome.
Describe yourself in one word
If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save?
My goldens and then if there was time, my manuscript and my photo albums.
What has been your most surreal, “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” moment so far?
Well, nothing compares on the surreal scale to the moment when that first book contract comes through. Usually it happens after many years of practice and disappointment, and then the call comes…and you HOPE it isn’t a dream…..
What drives you to succeed?
The belief that books matter. That they can change lives for the better.
Twenty five years ago I had my eye on a certain wrist watch I really loved but it was too expensive and I forgot about it. My husband surprised me with it on Christmas morning. I’ve worn it every day since. Except for when it has to go in for overhaul.
Best Saturday Afternoon Read
Almost any book by any of my favorite Southern writers: Eudora Welty, Reynolds Price, Josephine Humphries, Gail Godwin, the overly-florid but greatly beloved Pat Conroy.
Best Forgotten Custom
Writing letters to people on beautiful stationery with a lovely pen.
Best Way to Break a Sweat
Hiking uphill with two lively dogs.
Best Style Icon
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Her style was elegant and timeless.
Sleeping late then going out for breakfast and reading the papers. And a long warm bath with Dancing Goat soap. I discovered it in a shop in South Carolina and I love that stuff.
Bobby McFerrin said it best: Don’t worry. Be happy.