Interview with Donna Crow

» Posted on Nov 18, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Interview with Donna Crow

A Very Private Grave
This week I’m hosting Terri Reed and Stephanie Newton with Holiday Havoc, Donna Crow with A Very Private Grave, and Karen Witemeyer with Head in the Clouds. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (November 21st) evening.

Interview with Donna Crow:

1. What made you start writing?

I have written all my life: My first short story in the third grade— about one of King Arthur’s Knights— and my first series in the sixth grade— adventure stories starring me. But I wrote my first novel Brandley’s Search (reissued as Where Love Begins) when the character of Brandley and his story got in my head and I couldn’t get it out. It was like being pregnant.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I wrote Brandley’s Search in the late 70’s, but it wasn’t published until 1986 as part of my Cambridge Collection series. My first published novel was Greengold Autumn, an inspirational romance for Zondervan’s Serenade Romance series. That was great fun to be among the first over the threshold in the exciting new world of inspirational romance.

3. How do you handle rejections?

It’s important always to have a Plan B. As soon as a manuscript is sent out I look for another market— just in case. There have been times when I couldn’t wait for a manuscript to come back because I liked Plan B better. Or plan C or Plan D or. . . Of course, that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t hurt.

4. Why do you write?

To tell the story. Especially because I always incorporate a lot of history even in my contemporary novels. I want to share the stories of those who have done so much, suffered so much, to hand the faith down to us. I believe it’s terribly important that we appreciate our heritage in order to preserve it.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Reading, gardening, playing with my grandchildren.

6. What are you working on right now?

A Darkly Hidden Truth, the second book in my Monastery Murders series. I’m having a great time with this series because my heroine is such fun to work with. She’s young and energetic and headstrong and I keep telling her she really needs to grow up. Antony agrees, but he also finds her rather charming as she is. Except now she thinks she wants to become a nun. What am I going
to do with her?

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

My thoughts, my faith, my daydreams, but not my personality. I used a lot of my daughter’s background in developing Felicity because Elizabeth did study classics at Oxford, teach school in London and go off to a monastery in Yorkshire to study (but not to become a nun). I learned very quickly, though, that giving Felicity Elizabeth’s personality made her very boring. Sweet, devout, careful people are great to live with, but not to write about.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.

I guess told you quite a bit about it when I told you about Felicity. She is devastated when she finds her beloved Fr. Dominic brutally murdered and Fr. Antony, her church history lecturer, soaked in his blood.

A Very Private Grave is a contemporary novel with a thoroughly modern heroine who must learn some ageless truths in order to solve the mystery and save her own life as she and Fr. Antony flee a murderer and follow clues that take them to out-of-the way sites in northern England and southern Scotland. The narrative mixes detection, intellectual puzzles, spiritual aspiration, romance, and the solving of clues ancient and modern.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read, read, read— the very best in your genre. Then write from your passion.

10. How important is faith in your books?

As in my life, it’s the center of everything. This is something Felicity has to learn— the reality of a life of faith. By the end of book 1 she’s starting to catch on.

11. What themes do you like to write about?

Almost all of my books deal in some way with the history of British Christianity. But that’s a subject, not a theme. I believe my overall theme is the importance of spiritual heritage.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

Perhaps the most important book I’ve written is Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England, an Arthurian grail search epic that starts with the birth of Christ and goes through the Reformation.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

I begin my day with tea and devotions in my office, then go straight to my computer, answer any pressing e-mails, then get right to work. My husband’s office is also at home, so at 3:00 we break for afternoon tea and share our days to that point— just as we did when we had children coming in from school. It’s a pattern I now see our children repeating with our grandchildren.

Please visit my website to see my book trailer of Felicity’s adventures, pictures of my research trips and my garden.