I am so excited to start a new series of sorts here at the blog. When I went to the ACFW conference back in September, I was blessed to meet several amazing authors. I want to introduce them to you, along with others that I know only through online friendships or reading their books. I also want to use their stories to inspire and encourage you. No more fear.
Today is the first interview, and I would like to introduce you to Dawn Crandall. She is an author with Whitaker House. Her first series is going strong, with the second book The Bound Heart just releasing this month.
Dawn, I am thrilled to have you joining me at Serving Joyfully, and I’d like to ask you some questions about your journey as a writer.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
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.
What was your specific journey to publication?
I didn’t write for a very long time… pretty much not at all until I was thirty-two. This was mostly because I didn’t believe I could create anything worthwhile. I really didn’t even read anything beyond my favorite classics (over and over) for a very long time either. When I married my husband in 2005 we lived in a city where I didn’t know anyone, so I ended up at the library a lot. That was where I picked up a book on creating characters; my husband found it and discovered the hidden dream of my heart and encouraged me 110%. I started reading any Christian fiction I could get my hands on in order to figure out where the kinds of books I wanted to write would fit. I still didn’t write anything, but I started thinking up what I might eventually write about. Long story short, I didn’t start writing The Hesitant Heiress until January 2010. In July 2011 I joined ACFW, went to national conference that September, met with two agents and sent them the partial proposals they requested within the month. Within the week I was offered representation by both agents. In January 2012 I finished revising the ending of The Hesitant Heiress. My agent submitted it to publishers for a year a half (which is pretty common) when I was finally offered the three-book contract from Whitaker House last winter (while six months pregnant!).
Wow! While pregnant, how fun! I love how your husband encouraged you in your dream! Did you have any other notable rejections or encouragements you received along the way?
I had some really encouraging ones that said they could tell my book would definitely be published someday, but because it was so different than what the CBA industry usually publishes—historical romantic suspense from first person point of view (similar to only a very small percentage of all CBA published books)—they didn’t have a place for it in their specific line up.
What is one tip you would offer to aspiring writers?
I would encourage them to join ACFW! And definitely connect with other writers. I didn’t know many other aspiring authors in the short time I was a writer without an agent. I feel like I missed out on a part of the journey that a lot of others form really lasting friendships and bonds in by being supportive through those ever-lasting ups and downs of the submissions and rejections part of the publishing industry.
THE BOUND HEART:
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?
Connect with Dawn
Book Review Blog: www.APassionforPages.blogspot.com
Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst / www.twitter.com/dawnwritesfirst