Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Very Warm Welcome to My New Friend Donna Crow! 

Donna says:  I would be delighted to give a PDF for reading on computer or ereader of either THE SHADOW OF REALITY or A MIDSUMMER EVE'S NIGHTMARE.

Great opportunity to check out her books!

How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?

Oh, Carole, wouldn’t it be lovely if one could receive a clear “call” for life’s important steps! And even the not-so-important. It seems that I just muddle along with most things and by the grace of God it all turns out pretty well. I have loved reading all my life. I was an only child growing up on a farm. Books were my best friends. My writing has all grown out of my reading.

I've always loved reading, and we taught our boys to read before they went to school. They still read! Tell us: What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
I write mysteries and have two series going. The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries: The Shadow of Reality and A Midsummer Eve’s Nightmare are romantic suspense with literary figures in the background, Dorothy L Sayers in the first and Shakespeare in the second.

I think romantic suspense is pretty generally understood, but my other series does need a bit of explanation. The Monastery Murders are clerical mysteries. That means they have a minister, priest or rabbi as an important character, usually a detective, and they are set in a church, monastery, seminary or someplace “religious.” They also deal with spiritual themes. A Very Private Grave shows the validity of Faith and A Darkly Hidden Truth deals with motherhood and forgiveness.

Sound fantastic. How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?

Well, that depends on the novel. My Arthurian epic Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England, starts with the birth of Christ and goes through the Reformation. That took half a lifetime of research and three years of writing.

For a more typical novel, though— say around 300 pages— it takes me about a year to research and write. The plotting, researching and organizing take a big share of the time. When I’m rough drafting I love it when I can write 10 pages a day. Unfortunately, not every day goes that smoothly.

I have breakfast and devotions in my office, exercise while my computer is booting and get to work— whether it’s promoting, writing, editing or whatever stage of the process I’m in. I stay at it until 3:00 when my husband (whose office is at home, too) and I both break for afternoon tea. I usually go back to work again and stay there until my husband drags me away. It was the same when we had children at home, except I didn’t go back to work after tea. I spent that time with my children.

You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?

My most recent release is A Midsummer Eve’s Nightmare: Elizabeth and Richard want nothing more than a quiet, romantic honeymoon— with a touch of literary charm. So they have chosen the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. Perfection. Until they find that Desdemona’s brilliantly acted death scene wasn’t acted and Elizabeth’s costume designer sister and her actress roommate are terrified that they are slated to be the next victims.

So far this series is only available for ebooks— all formats.

What is the spiritual message in your book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?

Thematic structure is important to me. That has to be the former English teacher speaking. Through a secondary character’s search readers of A Midsummer Eve’s Nightmare can find answers to the question so often asked today, “Does ultimate Truth exist?”

And through the relationships of two couples, readers will be drawn to think about the true meaning of marriage. I like the scene where Elizabeth advises her star-struck younger sister:

“No!” Elizabeth’s response was so sharp Tori jumped. “You don’t even think of marrying anyone because he needs you, young lady. You find someone you can join with as two complete people— that will make one marriage. You don’t marry someone to change him or prop him up— that would only make half a marriage.”

Good advice from Elizabeth. Smile. Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through?

I’ve never given up, but for 10 years I thought the publishing industry had given up on me. From 2000 to 2010, after publishing 33 books, I didn’t publish one thing. The market was changing, but more importantly, I was changing, the focus of my writing was changing. I kept on writing through 5 deaths, 10 births and 2 marriages in our family, planting a church, moving from the home we lived in for 25 years, our daughter emigrating. . . Through all the ups and downs of life.

Although most of the books I wrote then weren’t published I’m using much of the material in new ways.

Who’s inspired you the most?

The authors I read: Jane Austen, Dorothy L Sayers, P. D. James, Kate Charles.

Some great authors. Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?

Big smile. When my first book was published in 1984 I thought that was it and I would be with that publisher the rest of my life— like a marriage. Well, a dozen publishers later, I know differently. Book publishing is a very volatile business. It’s always changing, as writers must. I used to meet publishers most often at Christian Writers Conferences. My most recent publishers (I’m currently working with three houses) have all come through my agent, especially Monarch, an imprint of Lion/Hudson, an English house that my agent knew personally. And now my agent and her husband have formed their own publishing company Greenbriar Books:

Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?

I’m a devout Anglophile. I like reading English novels, drinking tea and growing English roses. It follows, of course, that I love to travel in England.

I’m also a grandmother and love traveling to visit our children and grandchildren in Los Angeles, Boston, Kentucky and Calgary. As spread out as we are it’s a good thing I like to travel.

Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
Please do visit and send me a note. I love hearing from my readers.

Readers, leave your comments and email addresses.


Donna Fletcher Crow said...

Caroline, thank you so much for hosting me on yoru blog. What a great group of readers you have, I'm delighted for the opportunity to visit with them.

And I can't wait to read your book!

Donna Fletcher Crow said...

Donna Fletcher Crow
A Very Private Grave, # 1, The Monastery Murders
The Shadow of Reality, # 1 The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries
Deeds of Darkness;Deeds of Light blog:

Linore said...

I love your titles, Donna! They all sound so intriguing. You have a talent with titles, for sure. Right now I'm enjoying "Kathryn." Thanks!

Donna Fletcher Crow said...

Thank you, Linore! I'm delighted that you're enjoying Kathryn. Also that you like my titles. A friend has suggested that i blog about my titles, I expect to start a series soon.

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