Friday, November 14, 2014

Interview with Dawn Crandall - Writing Gilded Age Romance

Dawn Crandall didn't begin writing until her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he encouraged her to quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn's first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW's prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013.

Thank you for joining me on my blog today, Dawn. Please tell us about your latest book:

One accidental kiss. That was all it took to throw Meredyth Summercourt's world upside-down. Determined to marry the ever-elusive Vance Everstone, she simply doesn't have the time or the desire to fall for her friend Lawry Hampton. However, with Vance out of the country and Lawry constantly at her side, Meredyth can’t help but wonder if what’s holding her to Vance is nothing more than a desire to redeem herself from their unfortunate past.

When Vance comes home to stake his claim on Meredyth, will she be strong enough to break free from the tangled web she’s convinced she deserves? Or will she find the strength to accept that God’s plan for her life could include redemption... and quite possibly the love of her best-friend?

What led you to write this story?

When I was in the middle of writing my first book in 2010 I kind of got to the point that I didn’t know how to get to the end. Nanowrimo (national novel writing month, every November) came up, and I decided I needed to get into someone else's head for a change. So I took Meredyth's character from The Hesitant Heiress and started figuring out what exactly was going on between her and Lawry (and Vance)—as evidenced in how they were behaving towards one another in THH. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could write another character from first person POV and have her not sound like Amaryllis Brigham in book one. By the following November I had an agent and my first book finished—so that’s when I dug out my 50,000 words from my 2010 Nanowrimo jaunt and started forming it into the novel The Bound Heart is now.

How do you schedule or find time for your writing? What does your average day look like?

Now that I have a baby, I write whenever I have the chance—which doesn’t seem that often compared to how I used to be able to write all day long! My average day is very baby-focused.

As a Christian author, what do you feel is the best way to weave God’s truth into your story?

With writing the character arc of my heroine, I also include a very strong spiritual journey arc as well. The main reasons anyone (my characters included) do anything is influenced by their personality, their past experiences and how they view God and His love for them. I love figuring this out for my characters. 

What is your favorite book of the Bible? Would you care to share why?

Romans is my favorite book—although it is incredibly deep and theological, I took a class on the entire book in college from a most amazing Bible scholar, and ever since then, it has been my favorite.

How has the Lord led you to become a writer? (What is your writing testimony?)

Ever since I was in 4th grade, the idea of writing a book has appealed to me. I remember my teacher had us choose some contact paper for the "cover" and then bound papers together for us—I thought that was so cool!! And I couldn't wait to fill it with a story!! Don't ask me what I ever wrote in that little book, but I do know that from then on my favorite time in school was when we were supposed to write something. :) I never thought of "being a writer" until I was in high school and (finally!) came across the kinds of books that thrilled me to read—Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott... and then later in college, books by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.

I'd made up some stories for my friends at the time and wrote out synopsis-like drafts, but nothing beyond that. At that time it was still just a dream of mine that I didn't know when I'd ever get around to actually being serious about. It wasn't until I married my husband in my late twenties and he found out the hidden secret of my heart... and believed in me 110% more than I'd ever believed in myself. He eventually had me quit working to focus on writing, and in 2010 I began writing The Hesitant Heiress (Book 1 of The Everstone Chronicles). It was pretty clear to me that I was on the right track when I had two offers of agent representation after attending my first ACFW conference in 2011 and then continued to either semi-final or final in the Genesis Contest with all three of my manuscripts in 2012 and 2013.  

Thank you for sharing about your writing journey with us, Dawn! 
Also find Dawn at: Facebook, her book review page, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook copy of Dawn Crandall's latest novel, Book Two in The Everstone Chronicles, The Bound Heart.


  1. Wonderful interview. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Katrina. I appreciate your stopping by and leaving a
      comment today.

  2. Hoping to win for my mommy as she is ill, but very much wants to read this! Great book!

    1. Hi R. Merr, I hope your mommy will be feeling better. Thank you for leaving
      a comment.

  3. The first book was good, I'd love to read the second one!! :)

  4. If I were to win book 2, I'd have to order the first one! I love series books, and this one sounds like a good read.

  5. Would love to win as Dawn Crandall is a new author for me.