Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Meet Hoosier Author, Dawn Crandall!

I'm so excited I can barely type! I have a Hoosier girl for you, precious readers. Squee! None other than Dawn Crandall! Hurry, look up those gorgeous covers. Gasp. Are they not awesome?! I'm sure you're nodding, right now. What? You have no time? Oh, people, please don't miss it. Fine I'll give you a peek.



All right. Everybody now! Awwwwww. Ooooooh. Okay, enough drooling. But the great news is she's giving away a free copy of The Hesitant Heiress! LEAVE A COMMENT AND EMAIL SO WE CAN CONTACT YOU! Now, let's get on with this Inspirational Historical author's interview. With no more 

ado . . .Dawn Crandall.



PT:  Welcome Dawn! We're privileged to have you on the Diamond Mine! I've been blessed to meet you in person, and now I get to help others know you as well. And you've just been on a whirlwind to several major publisher contracts. Tell the readers your background and long it really took to make it to the "Bigs."

DC:  I'd always wanted to write a book someday, mostly just for the challenge of doing so. However, I never started anything until I was married, in my thirties and not having any luck getting pregnant. I needed something else to think about, and my husband just happened to find out about this long-buried dream of mine. So, I began writing The Hesitant Heiress in January of 2010--six years ago. 

When it was nearly finished, I went to the national ACFW conference in 2011, pitched to two agents, had two partial requests... and about a week after those were sent out, two offers of representation. I finished the book a few months after I signed with Joyce Hart. I'd already begun the second book in the series, because at one point I wanted to prove to myself that I could write two different heroines from first person POV {which is the POV I'd written THH in} and not have them sound at all similar. 

So my agent started pitching my series, and in the meantime all three of my manuscripts either semi-finaled or finaled in the ACFW Genesis Contest. About two years from the date I signed with Joyce, I received word of my first book contract with Whitaker House (November 2013). Since I had all three books written, they decided to release them a few months apart as ebooks, with the high possibility of releasing them as paperbacks in the future.

Three months after the third book released in ebook form we were notified that The Hesitant Heiress finaled in the debut category of the ACFW Carol Awards--which ultimately pushed up my publishers plans to publish the paperbacks all the sooner. The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter all three released as paperbacks in the fall of 2015. 

In November 2015 I also signed another book contract for a fourth book: The Cautious Maiden. It's related to the first three books--each book is basically a standalone book written from a different heroine's first person POV, but because you learn things about each character along the way, they're pretty fun to read all together. Readers will have seen the newer main characters in past books, but have never been inside their heads before.

PT:  Your debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress, won so many awards. The Bound Heart, and The Captive Imposter, also, brought you several accolades as well. Would you recommend a budding author to use contests to improve and possibly publish a novel?

DC:  I'd really only entered the ACFW Genesis contest before becoming published, and I'd already signed with my agent by then as well... soooo, I don't really know how much the benefit the process from experience. I've had friends (Sarah Ladd and Kristy Cambron) get their first contracts because of an editor seeing a manuscript through a contest submission or contest win, so I know it's possible.

PT:  A lot of folks are talking about reading more mainstream fiction rather than Christian fiction. As a Christian Author, give us your take on that.

DC:  I like that Christian fiction has become more "real" in the last ten or so years. I know a lot of readers gave up on reading Christian fiction a long time ago, but I've urged a number of people I know to try the newer (new in the last decade, at least!) authors out there, and they are stunned by the difference in the writing, character depth and interesting plots from what there was available fifteen or twenty years ago.

PT:  You write in first person, which is very unusual in Christian Fiction. What led to your choice in this, and how has it impacted your career?

DC:  I always knew whenever I got around to writing a book that it would be written from first person POV. My favorite books were always classics like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier--both written in this tense. 

Jane Austen is also favorite of mine, and although she didn't use first person, it feels similar because she never lets the reader into the head of her heroes, but simply finds a way to convey to them what he is thinking and feeling. And this is how I LOVE to write. My mind just works best coming up with the kind of plots that simply wouldn't work out as a book written from third person POV and multiple characters.

I really enjoy getting my heroine to fall for the hero--who is usually the last person she'd ever envision herself being with. But I also love the fact that my readers feel all of my heroine's emotions just as deeply as she goes through the highs and lows of falling in love and getting to her happy ending.

PT: Give us five things fast, about Dawn Crandall that have nothing to do with writing.

DC:  Okay!

1.          I have 3 cats.
2.          I have a little boy who was born right before my first three books released as ebooks!
3.          I am expecting baby #2 this summer right before The Cautious Maiden releases!
4.          I have Attention Deficit Disorder, but it's actually a blessing when it comes to this crazy author job I have!
5.          I graduated with a degree in Christian Education from Taylor University.

PT: So you’ve got a little boy and a new one on the way. Congrats! Such exciting news. But how do you handle being a mother and all the demands of writing/editing?

DC:  I didn't write much the year after having my first baby, but I did have to finish The Captive Imposter last winter when he was between 10-11 months old—and I did so in a blur just because it had to be done!

I focused a lot of my time and energy on launching the first three books without much of a break between them. I wrote chapter one of The Cautious Maiden in May and then spent all summer writing a very extensive outline to give to my publisher. My agent gave it to them in August--and then I became pregnant again!

I didn't write those first two months because I was so sick and tired, but fortunately by the time I got the contract in November, I felt better and could dive right into writing the story out. :)

PT:  You and your husband are pre-marital mentors at your church. Does this experience present fodder for story lines, scenes, or character quirks in your books?

DC:  Not really! I think most of it simply comes from my over active imagination and all the daydreaming that comes with having ADD!

PT:  Do you use a certain Bible verse or precept to base your stories on?

DC:  I use different verses in each story--something that the heroine and hero will either grapple with or learn to live by along the way.

PT: Tell us what the future holds for you and any peeks into your next novel.

DC:  Since I'm going to be one tired momma of two babes under two come summer, I'm not sure what the plans will be! Right now, The Cautious Maiden is it, but once I emerge from the other side of this "year of the second baby", I do plan to continue writing more books into the same line of characters I've been doing. And with how popular they are, I'm sure my publisher will be happy to see the novel outlines eventually come their way.

I don't have the official back copy blurb or the cover for The Cautious Maiden because I'm still writing it, and we won't get to that part of the marketing process until the spring. But I can give you what's on the book's GoodReads page as a teaser!

PT:  Sounds fabulous!

THE CAUTIOUS MAIDEN, FALL 2016!

Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother transforms her deceased parents’ respectable country inn into a brothel to accommodate the lumberjacks in the area. When her reputation is compromised, she finds herself forced to enter into an engagement with Vance Everstone. Can she trust this man she hardly knows who has a scandalous reputation in his own right?


Wow, thanks Dawn. You can just feel her energy, and I think she's going to need it! (wink) If you want to follow Dawn, catch her at these links:

Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst
Facebook: https://facebook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst


Don't forget to leave your name, or a comment along with your email address so we can contact the blessed winner of The Hesitant Heiress!




Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles from Whitaker House. The series consists of three books: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter. 
Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary. Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

57 comments:

Renee Blare said...

Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Dawn! It's awesome to see you here. :) I love the interview and your cover. :)

R Merr said...

This is such a great read! Has the feel very much of Jane Eyre! Don't miss it! Ewe_r_merritt at yahoo dot com

Becky M said...

I just started reading my first Dawn Crandall book and it's fantastic! I cannot wait to read all the others! Beckypietig@gmail.com

Pam said...

Loved this book when i reviewed it in ebook format. Would love a print copy for my shelf!

pamelamorrisson (at) att (dot) net

Mary Antzak said...

I devour your books and look forward to reading more. Keep on writing so I don't starve!

~ ~ Mary
LibraryLady911@optonline.net

Heather Munz said...

I haven't read one of your books YET, but The Hesitant Heiress has been on my Amazon wish list for a while. I was hoping to get it for Christmas, but someone (husband) dropped the ball. ;)
heathermarlenemunz@gmail.com

Abby Breuklander said...

I just can't get over how gorgeous these covers are!! I need to move your books to the top of my reading bucket list!! alander87 at allcom dot net

Gail H. said...

I have enjoyed all three of your books and would love to have a paper copy. Have you picked out a name yet for your baby?

Kate said...

I am so excited to read this book. And the cover is beautiful!
kathrynloss(at)gmail(dot)com

Lizzie Gaskins said...

I love the cover and I would love to read this book!! My e-mail is lilhappychick10@hotmail.com !

Just Commonly said...

Love Dawn! So I'm thrilled for this giveaway! Great interview too! Fellow Jane Austen fans! Woohoo! Can't wait for The Cautious Maiden! Thanks! justcommonly(at)gmail(dot)com

Debbie Clatterbuck said...

What a great, and witty interview. I am so intrigued by Dawn Crandall's books I can hardly wait to read them. Congratulations, Dawn on your expanding family. The Lord knows the desires of your heart and he has proven faithful. Enjoy them while they are young and cherish the memories when they are adults.

princessdebbie1_2000 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Stella Potts said...

Great Interview and welcome to another Hoosier! It struck me that we readers do not consider what it takes an author to write a book and get it published. I admire you for you tenacity. These books sound so good and I really would love to win one since I have not read anything you have written. Stella. spotts06ATcomcastDOTnet.

Lane Hill House said...

I would love to be the blessed winner of The Hesitant Heiress ~ YaY! Amaryllis!! Love that name and saying it! Yes, for print copy! (And I overly love expression exclamation points :D ) Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

Gail Kittleson said...

I enjoyed meeting you, Dawn, and wish you success with your books and joy in mothering.

Karen said...

I've never read any of Dawn's books, but I'd love to start! Thanks for giving us a peek inside your mind, Dawn! mylittlebirdie (at) yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Thank you for introducing this new author and her series to me! I cam eager to start reading them!
Janice
pjrcmoore@windstream.net

heididrukortman said...

I'm interested.

Heidi Kortman

HeidiDruKortman@hotmail.com

Heather Olsen said...

I love the cover. It sure grabs my attention and makes me want to read it.
Heather Olsen
reneerachoyolsen@gmail.com

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you, Renee! It was a pleasure! ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rachael! I'm so happy you've enjoyed my books! 😍

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks for reading, Becky! I'm so glad you think it's fantastic! ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Pam! Yes, thank you for reviewing the first three as they were released in 2014/2015! It was a pleasure having you on my blog tour team!

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you, Mary! I love to hear things like that! I'll keep writing, don't worry! Though it might slow down a bit this summer! ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

Aww, I hope you can get it soon! And if all else fails, you can always request that your library purchase the set for their catalogues! 😊

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks, Abby! I just saw the finalized version of The Cautious Maiden today! It's just as gorgeous as the first three!

Dawn Crandall said...

Good luck, Gail! We're going to make a list of girl and boy names and then decide after the baby is born. :) We like to be surprised. :)

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you, Kate! Good luck! ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

If I remember right, you won an ebook version of it last spring, but you didn't have a kindle to read it on. Do you have one yet? I think you liked to be strictly "old school", right?

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Annie! How do you like the autographed set of The Everstone Chronicles that you purchased before Christmas? They're even more gorgeous in person! ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you, Debbie! I do know they'll grow fast! It's been quite a balance between "mommying", launching the first three books--and then the paperbacks--and now writing and preparing everything for The Cautious Maiden's launch this fall!

Dawn Crandall said...

My journey was actually fairly "quick and easy" compared to what happens for most writers out there! It is tough, though! No matter what!

Dawn Crandall said...

I'm so glad you've loved my books, Kathleen! I've loved the name Amaryllis ever since I first came upon it in college--and I knew THAT would be the name of my heroine if I ever wrote a novel! ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you, Gail! ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks for stopping by to enter the giveaway, Karen! 😊

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks for stopping by, Janice! ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks for entering the giveaway, Heidi! 😊

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks, Heather! I've been so very pleased with the covers Whitaker House has made for my books! ❤️

Lizzie Gaskins said...

Yes!! I was so disappointed that it didn't come in print version then! I still dont own a Kindle, Nook, or any eReader lol but win or no, I'm still going to read this book in print! I've heard too many good things about it!

BookLuver88 said...

patkf2007@hotmail.com

love your books covers!

Brenda Garver said...

brendajgarver@gmail.com
Hi Dawn, I enjoyed meeting you at the writer's workshop in Lansing last summer. Your books sound wonderful and I look forward to reading them. Congrats on your second baby!

alyssa zech said...

Whew! That sounds like such a whirlwind! And all with baby #2 on the way now as well. My second is due any day now and it sure is a lifechanger

Kirsten N said...

I love Jane Eyre and Jane Austen too. fancynoodle(at)yahoo(dot)ca

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you! The cover for The Cautious Maiden will be revealed next week! It's just as pretty! There's a sneak peak of it on my Facebook author page if anyone is curious!

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you, Brenda! ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

Yes! Congrats on your second! I was about to take a break from writing when I found out I was pregnant--but I can't say no to a book contract! ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Kristen! They will always be my ultimate favorites! And I think my love for them comes shining through. :)

Julie Moreofhim said...

The Hesitant Heiress looks like such a good book and, you're right, the cover is gorgeous! Loved this interview! As an aspiring writer, I was so inspired by her! Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway!

Julie
moreofhimblog@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I've wanted to read these books for a long time, but my to-read list is always so full! Maybe if I actually HAD the book, I could move it forward in the list. Lol.
J.C. -Indiana- (Way to go, Hoosiers!)
jcservanslave@icloud.com

deana dick said...

What a wonderful interview. I love your energy and passion. Blessings to you on your new baby. It is always nice to find an author that gives us stories that grab our attention . After reading the little bit you described about the book, it is sure to be a great story that captures real emotion and wonderful characters. I can't wait to read it. Thank you for all you do to give readers amazing books to fall in love with.

Deana
Jhdwayne(at)peoplepc(dot)com

joy said...

Beautiful covers!!

SpreadinJoy said...

Dawn -- Congrats on your writing success, fellow Hoosier! I've lived on the West Coast your whole life after graduating from Purdue. (My cousin, Marsha, went to Taylor, BTW). I also just published after spending a few years as a co-author of a book that advocates & encourages others from the patient perspective & I wonder if my coauthor, JoAnne Lake, has a temperament a bit like yours - she never likes the waiting! Blessings to you in the coming year.
I can be reached at biosleuth[at]gmail.com . . . Oh, and we have 2 cats!

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you for stopping by, Julie! Best of luck in the giveaway and in your writing dreams! ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

Yay! I'm so glad your interested in reading them--and in Indiana! Have you thought about requesting that your library purchase them for thier patrons? I know a lot of the libraries around Fort Wayne and Indianapolis already have them. ❤️

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you, Deana! All of the things you mentioned are so part of my goal in writing! I love creating deep emotion through my characters! ❤️ I hope you get a chance to read the books soon!

Anonymous said...

Good idea! Our library is usually really good about purchasing Christian fiction books (maybe it's because my sisters and I request so many of them lol.) I'm gonna look into it!
J.C. -Indiana-

Rebecca Bogan said...

I loved the interview and will be adding these books to my reading list. It's always inspiring to hear an author's story of how they got published.

My email is rebogan29@gmail.com