A native of west Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels. For more, visit www.dorothylovebooks.com
Savanna: Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Dorothy. I’m so happy to have you here! And congratulations on your newest releases. It looks like you’ve had a busy year so far! 😉
Dorothy: I love writing about 19th century women. They lived with many constraints that made it difficult to make a meaningful life and yet so many of them managed to overcome those constraints. Today it seems impossible that women were once prohibited from making legal contracts or owning property or even keeping any money they might earn on their own. And of course there was no female suffrage until the 20th century. Women were under the complete control of men—their fathers, husbands, brother or uncles. I loved writing about Abby in A Heart So True because she’s a woman who knows what she wants even though it’s in opposition to her father and her mother. She had a tough choice to make.
Savanna: I just finished it and really enjoyed it! (Review coming soon!) 😉 Can you name a particular place you’ve traveled to that really inspired you with fresh stories?
Dorothy: I’ve spent a lot of time in the South Carolina Lowcountry. It’s one of the most beautiful and tortured places on earth. I set Carolina Gold, my 2013 novel chiefly on Pawleys Island where many 19th century rice planters had their summer cottages. When I was offered the chance to write a 19th century Southern love story there was no other possible setting than Pawleys.
Dorothy: I’m eager to introduce my protagonist, India Hartley. She is inspired by Fanny Kemble, a real life actress who came to the US in the 1840’s and married Pierce Butler, the owner of the largest plantation on St Simons Island, Georgia, where much of the novel takes place. I hope readers will enjoy the murder mystery in this story as well as learning about life in the 19th century theater and of course I hope they enjoy the love that blooms between India and Philip Sinclair, the handsome lawyer hired to defend her.
Savanna: What is your favorite cover to date?
Dorothy: I’ve been so lucky to get great covers for all my books. It’s hard to choose just one. I got a lot of comments about the cover for last year’s novel, THE BRACELET, and people are excited to see the cover for A RESPECTABLE ACTRESS, too. I love the painterly feel of the ACTRESS cover.
Dorothy: My first writing conference was the Short Course in Professional Writing at the University of Oklahoma in the mid 1980’s. So many of my writing idols were there that I was star-struck. Jeanette Walls had just published her first book. Sandra Brown, who was then a rising star in the romance genre gave a talk called “The Business of a Beating Heart.” I was still struggling to get my first book contract and I never dreamed that one day, I would be represented by the same literary agent that represents Sandra. Dwight Swain spoke on Techniques of the Selling Writer. I was so in awe of him. I still have his book on my shelf. He passed away in the early 1990’s but his influence on writers lives on. I went to a workshop led by a very well known literary agent and I still remember his looking around the room and trying to discourage aspiring writers. “There are a hundred of you in this room,” he said, “And 99 of you will never publish anything.”
Gee, thanks for the encouragement, right? I had brought a completed manuscript with me and I remember clutching it to my chest and thinking “I will be the one who does publish.” Next year my 20th book will be published. I’ve often wondered if any of the others in the room that day went on to publication.
Savanna: Wow, that’s a huge accomplishment, Dorothy! Thanks for sharing with us today.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Dorothy: I’m working on a new novel for publication next year that is a departure from my usual work. I’m not talking about it just yet, but I’m having a wonderful time writing it. I hope readers will love the story as much as I do.
Savanna: That sounds wonderful! Looking forward to reading it. 🙂 Happy writing!
Dorothy has graciously offered to give away one copy of Among the Fair Magnolias to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU! 😉
Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends August 11, 2015. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!