Local Author Creates Style
Creativity, great stories, and a strong faith fashioned Frieda Dowler as a novelist.“I grew up in a family that had great imagination, particularly those on my Dad’s side who loved to tell stories from the Great Depression. They laughed a lot and looked at life lightly.”
Author of two self-published novels with a third on its way, Frieda’s inspiration began with family. In 2007, her brother, Dorian, and she debated theories found in the popular Left Behind novels written by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. Those lively talks spawned Frieda’s trilogy starting with The New World: Kingdom of Heaven (2008) and New Money for an Old America (2012).
While writing challenges Frieda, the real issue is time. Frieda and her husband, Bruce, co-own Color Café Salon on Olive Branch Parke Lane. As a stylist spending 30–40 hours a week behind the chair, training, or marketing, Frieda must prioritize her writing time.
“I live such a regulated life in the salon with 30-minute appointments that I’ve learned to accomplish smaller goals that build toward a bigger goal.”
Also, juggling family obligations and domestic duties keeps Frieda well versed in time management. Her typical writing day begins early in the morning with an hour of solitude that focuses on introspection, knowing God, and reading either the Bible or inspirational books. She strives to keep this time fresh each day. After that, she writes. Then she moves on to other responsibilities.
“Philosophically speaking, if you know yourself and know your purpose, you can be more efficient with time.”
The majority of her writing, approximately 10 hours a week, happens on Monday when the salon is closed. Frieda doesn’t set specific writing goals for each day or week to avoid hindering creativity. In fact, she recently spent three weeks honing one chapter, fewer than 2,000 words, because of its significance. In addition, she prefers working from notes rather than an outline. “I let my characters take me where they want. The book is finished when they resolve their dilemma.”
For her second novel, she toured parts of the Navajo Nation in Arizona, where she found an oppressive environment of hopelessness for Native Americans on the reservation. New Money for an Old America explores a faulty infrastructure and tribal corruption. While her first novel emphasizes escapism, the second highlights positive change. The trilogy’s final book features characters wrestling with good and evil.
Frieda is also writing a nonfiction workbook/journal for young adult women, Heaven Bound in a Hollywood World. Last fall she taught this study in two four-hour sessions at Southport United Methodist Church. For Frieda, writing is a ministry. Her advice for aspiring writers is simple: “If you have the desire to write a book, write the book! Worry about its destiny later.”
Joyce Long, Greenwood Middle School language arts teacher from 1992-2000, has called Center Grove home for the past 25 years. Currently Joyce works as the communications coordinator for Center for Global Impact and is passionate about engaging people to empower the poor.