WRADvocate Profile: Lian Dolan

Lian Dolan is our WRADvocate from California. She is a writer, best-selling novelist , speaker, producer, and award-winning talk show host. She is known for her humorous take on the day-to-day issues that modern women face. She is a Satellite Sister, a Chaos Chronicler, a relationship columnist at Oprah.com, and the author of Helen of Pasadena. Lian lives in Pasadena, California with her husband, two boys and one big dog.

To celebrate WRAD, Lian will be hosting a special evening where attendants will be bringing in donations for LitWorld and swapping books over good conversation. Sounds like a great way to spend an evening! Read on to learn more about Lian:


1. Do you have a memory of someone reading aloud to you that changed you in some way? How did that change you?

My father is a wonderful reader, bringing stories to life with different voices. When he read aloud to me as a child, it was always something special. He read The Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh before bedtime. A great choice for him, because he could be so many wonderful characters. And, a great choice for me, because Winnie the Pooh , in addition to being wise and wonderful, is such a tragically funny book. Hearing it aloud really brought out the sly humor.  I've gravitated to comedy and humor books ever since Pooh! The book, and my dad’s reading of it, remains a favorite memory with me .   

2. Is there a particular book that has changed your life in some way and why?

I read and reread the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a young girl.  The fact that the books were written by the woman who had lived those adventures really made the books come to life for me. Plus, Laura was smart and independent which was really refreshing I a main character.   I wanted to be Laura as a young girl and still feel like I have a lot of Half-Pint in me today! 

3. How has what you've read influenced you professionally?

Well, I’m a novelist so it’s hard to imagine how reading hasn’t influenced me. When I create a story, I draw from all sorts of sources, digging deep into my childhood history to plays I learned in high school to the latest news from the front page. Everything I ever read seems to find a place in my writing. You can’t be a writer without being a reader first and foremost. 

4.. It is said that stories and poems teach values. Is there one value in particular that has inspired your life and your good work that might connect back to a book that was either read to you or that you read on your own?

Little Women remains a favorite book. The first time I heard it, my camp counselor read it aloud over the 8 weeks of summer camp. I’ve read it many times since. The relationship between the sisters really struck me, having four sisters myself. I admired the dignity with which the women approached their lives. The family wasn’t wealthy, but the sisters were educated, and capable. They each made their own future. Without too much whining over their situation.  I loved how the March sisters supported each other, even though they were very different. I work with my sisters and we’re very much the same as the March girls: totally different, but very supportive.


To learn more about Lian, follow her on Twitter @liandolan and visit her on her website: http://www.liandolan.com/