Donna: Thank you, Janalyn, I’m delighted to be here today. I love meeting readers and Book Readers Central looks like a great place to do that.
Janalyn: it is, we have a lot of great book discussions here. Donna, tell us about A Very Private Grave, Book 1 The Monastery Murders
Donna: A Very Private Grave is an ecclesiastical thriller in which Felicity Howard, a young American studying at the College of the Transfiguration in Yorkshire, is devastated when she finds her beloved Fr. Dominic bludgeoned to death and Fr. Antony, her church history lecturer, soaked in his blood.
This is a contemporary novel with a thoroughly modern heroine who must learn some ancient 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 across northern England and southern Scotland.
Janalyn: That sounds very exciting. I can see why it’s classed as a thriller. How did this story come to you?
Donna: I have wanted to tell St. Cuthbert’s story every since I encountered him at Durham Cathedral some twenty years ago. When my daughter went to study in a monastery in Yorkshire the story came together for me.
Janalyn: Who is your publisher?
Donna: Monarch Books, an imprint of Lion Hudson in the UK is my primary publisher. This means that my editor is English, which is an enormous help in keeping me from committing too many American solecisms.
Kregel Books is my North America publisher and much of my promotion, such as developing my book trailer, is done through them. It’s a terrific combination. They are all great people to work with.
Janalyn: Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Donna: And what a journey it’s been! I had been offered three previous contracts for this book but something always got in the way, such as an editor moving or another story seeming more urgent. Then, after publishing 30 novels, My career flat-lined and I was out of the publishing loop for 10 years, although I was still writing.
Things came together for me when I finished this book and I found Janet Benrey to be my agent. Janet is English, living in America, so she was a Godsend. She took the book to Tony Collins at Monarch Books. It was truly a case of “all things working together for good.”
Janalyn: Donna, Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Donna: Well, I am a former rodeo queen and runner-up for Miss Rodeo America; I will do anything for research, including rappelling into a lava cave; and I have no sense of direction and maintain that I should be allowed to park in handicapped spaces because it’s a form of internal blindness.
Janalyn: What are you working on now and what’s next for you?
Donna: I’m working on Book 3 in the Monastery Murders while my publisher prepares Book 2, A Darkly Hidden Truth for publication.
Book 3, A Deadly Vow of Silence, is set in Wales and involves Antony and Felicity directing a Youth Walk to Welsh pilgrimage sites. For preparation I had a wonderful time visiting these sites in Wales, then I joined a Youth Walk from London to Walsingham (126 miles) as an overage pilgrim. It all gave me amazing background material for my story.
Janalyn: What parting comments do you want to leave with our readers?
Donna: I am so thankful to be able to live out my passion by telling stories of the Christian history of Britain. I pray that my readers will catch a new vision of the treasured heritage that is ours to live and to share.
Janalyn: And where can fans find you on the internet?
Donna: Please go to my webpage: http://www.donnafletchercrow.com/ to see my book trailer and pictures of my research trips and my garden; My Amazon Author page is: http://ning.it/ia9SMY ; and you can find me on Facebook at http://ning.it/eLjgYp as Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History or send me a friend invitation and I’ll accept with delight. Readers can contact me through my website or Facebook.
Book Giveaway Drawing:
Donna Fletcher Crow will give away a free copy of A Very Private Grave to a reader of this blog. To enter, leave a comment to this post. If you are a follower of Novel Books and tell me so in a separate comment, I’ll give you an extra chance to win.
Entries will be accepted until this coming Saturday at midnight (Pacific Time/US).
I’ll announce the winner on Novel Books next Tuesday. The winner must respond within two weeks of notification. Detailed rules of giveaways on Novel Books are located in the footer of this blog.