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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more.

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick.

The Joy of Writing

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ April 28, 2014

I was recently asked to be part of a mini blog tour. Since the invitation came from Pen Wilcock who has long been one of my favorite writers— and her invitation came from Claire Dunn , another writer I greatly admire— I readily accepted.

Likewise, my invitations went out to two more of my favorite writers (okay— I have lots of favorites) Fay Sampson and Dolores Gordon-Smith . Who accepted with equal affability.

That got me to thinking about how lucky I am to be a writer. Not just because I get to tell the stories I love to share, but, even more importantly, because I get to do it in company with such lovely people. The writing community may be unique in the support it gives to its members. There may be the odd limelight-grabber or back-stabber, but, if so, I’ve been fortunate enough not to encounter them. Perhaps in the heady heights of best-sellerdom, but not in the comfortable midlist where most of us dwell.

So thank you to all those who have helped me along the way, to my current writing community on both sides of the Atlantic who give me daily encouragement, and all those who have allowed me to help them along the way. We truly do need each other.

And now, to the questions— thank you for asking me, Pen.

What am I working on? And How does my writing process work? (I’m cheating and running two of my answers together)

I write three murder mystery series: The Monastery Murders, contemporary mysteries with a lot of ancient British saints in the background; Lord Danvers, a Victorian true-crime series with a fictional mystery woven around the historic murder; and The Elizabeth and Richard Literary Suspense Series, with a favorite literary great in the background of each contemporary mystery. That means I always have plenty to work on.

I try to have one book I’m writing, one I’m promoting and one in the editorial stage at any time. Currently I’m promoting A Jane Austen Encounter in the Elizabeth and Richard series, inviting readers to join Elizabeth and Richard on their idyllic second honeymoon visiting the homes of their favorite author. But be warned— evil lurks even in the genteel world of Jane Austen.

I’m also writing another Elizabeth and Richard— this one a prequel— telling the story of how they met, fell in love, but didn’t connect. It’s set in a glorious New England autumn in 1984 with the beloved American novelist Elswyth Thane and Rudyard Kipling both in the background.

And in the editing/production stage is A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary, Book 4 in my Monastery Murders. In spite of Antony’s warning her not to get into trouble when she sets off to do a spot of translating in an Oxford convent, Felicity just can’t seem to avoid danger. But it’s hardly Felicity’s fault that severed body parts start showing up in ancient holy reliquaries. Or that Felicity and one of the nuns is assaulted. Could the Medieval Latin document Felicity is translating for the sisters have anything to do with the repeated attacks?

Release day isn’t set yet, but it shouldn’t be long. Here’s a sneak peek at the artwork to be incorporated in the cover.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

One of my primary goals as a writer is to give my readers a "you are there" experience. This requires intense on the scene research, which I believe has become one of the hallmarks of my writing. I am currently planning a research trip to England which should yield the background details I need for another book in each of my series. I’ll be visiting Victorian Brighton for Lord Danvers, Regency London for another Jane Austen themed mystery for Elizabeth and Richard, and Medieval Yorkshire where Felicity and Antony are studying the English Mystics for another Monastery Murder.

Yes, as it sounds, I do travel in time as well as in space.

Why do I write what I do?

I write from my passion, telling the stories I love to tell. I can’t imagine doing anything else and every day I say "Thank you, Lord," for letting me do this.

And thank you to my writing friends for your support and to my readers. Without you there wouldn’t be any storytelling.

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more.

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Reader Comments:

Goodness, this has got me to thinking of all the people I should say thank you to: Elaine Colvin, Carole Streeter, Sheila Deeth, Janet Benrey, jenny Milchman, Ray Ellis. . .Ohhhhh the list is endless. I'm so blessed!
-Donna, April 28, 2014

It's wonderful to read Donna's books and know that we share the same passion for the sacred sites of Britain and the wealth of history still imprinted in its stones. Place is very important to both of us, and provides the inspiration for much of our work. And, yes, it really is important to go there, to walk the ground, to see, feel and smell what those ancient saints did, to get the feel of landscape and weather.
-Fay Sampson, April 30, 2014

Well said, Fay! When I'm asked to give advice to new writers I always say, "Write from your passion." I've been so blessed to be able to do just that.
-Donna, April 30, 2014

Awesome! How often do you travel?
-Isaiah Silkwood, April 30, 2014

Thank yo so much for coming by, Isaiah! Since my research is all on-site across the water in England I try to make every trip count for several books. I'm planning one this summer to research a new book for each of my series. That requires very careful planning, but I love it.
-Donna, May 1, 2014

I really enjoyed reading that, Donna! The new MM book in particular sounds ace.
It'd be nice to see you in England!

-Dolores, May 1, 2014

Wow that's cool. :) Do you use a travel agent or plan it all out yourself?
-Isaiah Silkwood, May 1, 2014

Dolores, I'll be in York--where we had our lovely Writers' Day out a couple of years ago. Maybe we can meet again!

Isaiah--oh, no--no agent. I have to work it all out myself because the planning is so intricate and the places I want to visit so out-of-the-way. it's something of a trick even now, but imagine what it was before computers and e-mail. I know, you can't imagine what life was before computers, huh?
-Donna, May 1, 2014

Great stuff, Donna. I love how we all have a different way of researching and going about our writing. And I love how you write.
-Merrilyn Williams aka Mel Menzies, May 6, 2014

I can imagine life a little before computers. We didn't get one until I was around eight. However trip planning without the internet sounds very difficult. It almost seems as it would have been better to know where you wanted to go, grab a map, hop on the plane, and make up your plans as you went. :)
-Isaiah T. Silkwood, May 22, 2014

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