The Wounded Trilogy by Lynn Dove – Exclusive Interview
The article is going to focus on what it was like writing the Wounded Trilogy and the impact it has had in order to encourage more people to pick up the books.
If you have read any of the books in The Wounded Trilogy, then you have experienced the work of an amazing writer with God as her center. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lynn Dove and learn the “why” behind the masterpiece that God has lead.
1. What lead to first writing "Shoot the Wounded"?
“Shoot the Wounded started off as a short story, mainly geared towards an adult audience but after about fifty pages, I realized it was not a "short" story anymore. After writing the first chapters, life got in the way and the manuscript sat unfinished as a forgotten file on my computer for nearly ten years. During that time I was diagnosed with breast cancer and that was a two year battle, then I got the call to go to seminary to get my Masters degree in Religious Education, I was working as the Children's Minister at my church, AND my oldest daughter got married. When people ask me about being a breast cancer survivor, I say I'm not a survivor...I'm a THRIVER!
Anyway, one day as I was purging old files on my computer, I came across the yet unnamed manuscript of Shoot the Wounded and was just about to delete it, when my husband stopped me and said I should finish and publish the story. That had never really been my intention but with his urging I changed the characterization and the plot line to appeal to a young adult audience and finished the story.”
2. What was your reaction to the success of "Shoot the Wounded"?
“Shoot the Wounded's success can only be attributed to God taking my little story and expanding its influence far beyond anything I ever dreamed or imagined. To say I was a rookie in the publishing industry would be a huge understatement. I made mistakes, I didn't know what I was doing half the time, but God opened doors and connected me with people who got excited about the book, and encouraged me to keep writing. As a result, the Wounded Trilogy was born.”
3. What lead you to begin a career in writing?
“It is a cliché statement I suppose, but I have been writing since I could hold a pen. My biology teacher in high school wrote in my journal: "To the only literary biologist I know." I always wrote way more than I needed to in English (or any other subject), and I was always writing poems and short stories. I had always wanted to write a novel, but it was the encouragement of my husband that made me pursue the idea of pushing to get STW published.”
4. Do the characters in the books represent people in your own life?
“Yes, and no. All three of my children were victims of bullying in school, so I was able to draw on their experiences when I wrote about bullying in my Trilogy. We were a host family for several unwed, teen moms in our home, so I modeled the Ronnie character as a compilation of all those girls who were faced with a crisis pregnancy. Having worked with teens as a teacher and a youth leader I was privy to the struggles all teens face, so I drew on those experiences so I could write a believable story, with believable characterization. My children think they can see themselves in some of the characters, but I was very purposeful in NOT shadowing a character modeled after my own children. It would have freaked them out too much!”
5. How did your experience as a teacher influence the Wounded Trilogy?
“As a teacher and a youth leader, I have oftentimes been privy to the joys and sorrows in a teen's life. There is little that shocks me anymore. I suppose what does shock me is the fact that Christian teens have exactly the same struggles as non-Christian teens. To assume a Christian teen is "safe" from the world is taking the ostrich approach of sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the problem. Scripture says, "The enemy prowls around like a hungry lion waiting to devour". (1 Peter 5:8) The enemy is attacking our kids everyday: in the classrooms, in the hallways of their schools, on the school buses, even inside the church. As adults, educators and parents we need to be ever vigilant to watch and learn how help our children combat those attacks. My books give great insight into what happens when teens are bullied, and I give ideas how parents and teens can come against that.”
6. How do you think the Wounded Trilogy has impacted readers?
“I have been blessed to have many teens I know personally read the books and give them a huge "thumbs up", but that I suppose is expected when I know my readers personally. What has been profoundly gratifying is seeing that my books have a world-wide audience and I have had adults and youth alike from around the world write to me, or review the books and tell me that the books have impacted them.”
7. What is your greatest hope for young adults of this generation?
“I have always prayed for my children and the children I have worked with, that they would love the Lord their God with all of their mind, soul and strength. My life verse is: "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." (Proverbs 16:9). God has a plan and a purpose for everyone. The idea is to step out in faith, accept the U-turns in life because God has a plan for those too, and journey with God on what will ultimately be the greatest adventure of their lifetimes.”
8. Was it difficult for your teenagers when these books started gaining popularity because of the subject matter?
“Next to my husband, my children are my greatest fans. I have been blessed with their support and encouragement throughout the writing process, publishing and the years that followed. You will see in my acknowledgements in each book, that I thank them individually for the way they have loved me through the process.”
As a working mom myself, I can relate to putting a few things on hold. One aspect of Lynn’s journey in writing the book that sticks out is how God has used all of her experiences in writing the books. She may have originally put “Shoot the Wounded” on hold, but it was part of God’s plan in guiding her.
On October 1st, 2013 it was announced that Love the Wounded (the last book in the trilogy) is officially a finalist in the Literary Classics Book Awards! We are excited for Lynn and how God has worked through her to effectively reach others and for this honor.
If you are interested in reading The Wounded Trilogy, including Shoot the Wounded, Heal the Wounded or Love the Wounded, you can learn about each book here http://www.shootthewounded.org/.
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