24 August 2014

Interview with Dawn Crandall, by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Author Dawn Crandall

Dawn Crandall is the author of The Hesitant Heiress, book one of The Everstone Chronicles series. I met Dawn through ACFW and through our mutual agent, Joyce Hart, CEO of Hartline Literary Agency.

Dawn, welcome to Overcoming With God. We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers.  
Thank you so much for having me on your wonderful blog! I do love sharing how God has overcome in my life through many situations.

Would you tell us about one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? (transparency appreciated!)
I don’t want to trivialize anything that anyone else may have had to go through which is much more difficult than my lot, but I feel as though I’ve had quite a few difficult things to overcome to get me to the place I am in life. They all seemed to work together throughout the years though, and although I would have preferred things to work out a little differently, I am very grateful for all I have now. 

First off, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder in high school. It made sense why I’d never been able to get very good grades in school… but because it was discovered so late (because I didn’t generally speak to anyone much before this point in my life), I had a very strong sense that I would never be good at anything. Becoming a Christian soon after this diagnosis helped me a lot with this lowly view of myself, and I even ended up going to Taylor University and majoring in Christian Education. I’d always wanted to write a book, but even after graduating college I did not feel that I would be any good at it. So I didn’t write. 

And then in my late twenties, God brought my husband into my life. We married, and soon after, he found out about this secret desire of mine to write a book. I guess all I really needed was to believe in someone’s belief in me. That had always been difficult too. But writing a book is not a simple thing, and I just could not get anything going. It was as if my creativity was completely blocked, and I could only get half way there. By this time, I was in my early thirties, and my husband and I felt that we should start a family. This is where things get tricky. I stopped taking the medication that helped with my ADD because I wanted to get pregnant. Suddenly a million ideas flooded my mind, and I felt like I could start plotting a novel… basically because I was allowed to let myself daydream. I still wanted babies more than to write, but because I didn’t have babies, reading everything the CBA published in the historical romance genre for a few years and studying those books was what I focused on. I spent about three years doing that while working full time, and then my husband encouraged me to stop working to focus on writing. I think he could tell I needed something to keep my mind off of the fact that I wasn’t getting pregnant. I still hadn’t actually written anything much, just some scenes which I had no idea what to do with. To make a long story short, my husband sent me to the 2011 ACFW conference a year later and came home with two partial proposal requests from agents. They both offered to represent me based on those partial proposals within the week of my sending them. My one and only proposal started making the rounds and ended up taking about eighteen months to land a three book contract. Fortunately, I’d written most of the rest of the series while I was waiting! By this time, I’d convinced myself that I didn’t need babies, because I had my books. I still wasn’t doing anything to prevent from having babies, but after seven years, I had quit hoping. It’s sad, but I again felt that there was something wrong with me, that I obviously wouldn’t be a good mom, or God would allow me to be one. It was just easier to not hope, so I didn’t. 

HOWEVER, just as my agent and I were getting those good leads from my publisher last summer…. that is when I got pregnant. The Hesitant Heiress released when my son was eighteen weeks old. He’ll be seven months old when the second one (The Bound Heart) releases in November and ten months old when the third one (The Captive Imposter) releases next February. 

I’ve been a little bit of a mess ever since getting pregnant a year ago, because for some reason, while I was pregnant, my creativity was blocked in a very similar way it was while I’d been taking the medication for ADD. I’m not sure how this is supposed to all work together for my good yet, because I feel like I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I’m still working on revising book three… but now that I can “think like a writer” again... I don’t have the time! Because I have a baby! It’s all a little backwards to me, but I’m not complaining! God’s done some pretty amazing things in my life lately! I’m just being forced to overcome this next challenge with more faith and trust than I ever remember mustering up in my entire life before now. Learning to write again with a little man hanging out with me and also demanding my time and attention away from my characters and plot while already having to function around having ADD… Yeah, I pretty much have to ask God to help me get anything done every single day. It’s not fun all the time, but it’s worth it.  

Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?  Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print?  
Unfortunately not at this time. Whitaker House has The Hesitant Heiress released as only an eBook at the moment. It is everyone’s hope that it is able to come out in paperback and even audio next spring.
CFP: We'll be praying so, Dawn! 

Thank you, for agreeing to answer these questions!
You are very welcome! I am honored to have a place on your blog! 

THE HESITANT HEIRESS BLOG TOUR

As part of her book launch, Dawn is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews, book reviews and giveaways. She’s giving away a prize pack every weekend for the six weeks of the blog tour and one larger prize pack at the end. Each of YOU who comments on any post will be entered into the drawing for that specific week, and then also for the end of the tour Grand Prize–all of which will be announced on this blog. Many of the blogger’s posting in the blog tour are also giving away a digital copy of The Hesitant Heiress.

THE FIVE WEEKLY PRIZE PACKS: a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.

THE GRAND PRIZE (at the end of week six): a Kindle Fire, a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.

CONNECT WITH DAWN

Book Review Blog: APassionforPages.blogspot.com 
Email: dawncrandallwritesfirst@gmail.com
Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst

READ THE FIRST CHAPTER FREE!!! {link} http://whpub.whitakerhouse.com/dawncrandall/heiress.html

{About The Hesitant Heiress}
After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy disappearing before her very eyes. Now the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: marry within the year to inherit her grandmother’s fortune. Amaryllis reluctantly takes part in her aunt’s society, intent on getting to the west coast on her own… and without a husband.
Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, whose father not only had a part in her expulsion, but whose ominous presence has haunted her dreams for a decade since her mother’s tragic death. Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn't who she thought at all.

{About Dawn Crandall}
A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when 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 working in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.
Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.
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.

GIVEAWAY: A copy of Dawn's debut novel. Leave a comment.


34 comments:

  1. DAWN welcome to OWG! Thank you so much for sharing with us today about your winding, exciting journey to becoming a writer and a mommy! Funny how life works out sometimes; but GOD's timing is always perfect for our lives, even if it does make us stop and wonder! ;-)

    I am very excited about your new book,The Hesitant Heiress. I'm hoping I can take a peek at it soon; it sounds absolutely wonderful! Thanks again for being with us this week!!

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    1. Thanks for having me, Teresa! I was out doing baby stuff all day, or I would have got on here earlier! I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview! :D

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  2. Hello Dawn. Seems you have had busy life so far. Wish I had your books. This is a great place for you to interview. I love these OWG girls.(Errr Angels ) Couldn't be any better than these. Congratulations on your sweet baby. You never forget the dad you become a Mother. I have 4 of my own. All blessings from GOD. Gramma and Grammy is fun too! Please put my name in the drawing. GOD bless you. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by to enter the contest, Maxie! Yes, it sure is busy now! I've never been one to have much busy-ness going on in my life... so it's a bit to get used to!!! :)

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  3. I would love to win the book. I love the E book but I think a paper back is also wonderful too
    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

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    1. I'm glad to hear you loved reading the eBook, Danie! :) Hearing that from anyone makes me so incredibly HAPPY!!! Hopefully all three books in the series will be out in paperback next spring! :D

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  4. Thank you for the opportunity at the great giveaway. Great books bring such joy!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Melanie! They really do!!! :D

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  5. So great to have you here on OWG, DAWN!! :-) Thanks so much for sharing your testimony with everybody! Sometimes things don't make any sense AT ALL lol, especially at the time of our struggles, but even so we still end up learning so many valuable lessons - with the most important being to lean on God! I'll be praying for you! What a wonderful shower of blessings though - with your precious baby AND your book contracts! :-)

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    1. Thanks for having me, Noela! Amen and amen!! :D

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  6. I'm so excited to read your book on my kindle- I'll be starting it tonight! I'm glad that the following books will be released relatively quickly- it helps me keep my head in the series :)

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping, Heidi! I'm so excited that you're going to read it tonight!!!!! :) I love this story soooooo sooooo much!!!!! :D

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  7. Dawn,
    I love the cover of your book and I'm sure the inside is beautiful as well.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Janet! I am VERY PLEASED with the covers Whitaker House provided for my books too!!! :D

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  8. Such blessings :) What an interesting interview! Would love to read your book....
    d_stevens310 at live.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by again, Deanna! I'm glad you liked it!

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  9. I am looking forward to reading your book. We adopted 3 children while waiting, but it also took us 7 years to have a birth child. Now we have 7 total. :- Congrats on your little baby! ~ Becky

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    1. Thank you, Becky!! I had NO IDEA how amazing motherhood could be! He's so much fun! I feel a bit behind to think of having 7!! But I would definitely do this again, if God gives me the chance! :)

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  10. great article, Carrie. Sometimes its amazing what things we have to deal with and can still succeed! Book sounds great!

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  11. I enjoyed the interview thank you.

    I look forward to catching up with THE HESITANT HEIRESS.

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  12. Hi Mary!!! Thank you for stopping by to enter the giveaway! :)

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  13. A superb book that I hope to purchase as a paperback come spring for my keeper shelves! Ewe_r_merritt(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  14. Thank you, Rachael! I love your enthusiasm for something so close to my heart. :)

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  15. God bless you You succeeded You overcame your difficulties
    Keep on Keeping ON!

    Chris Granville
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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  16. Thank you for stopping to enter the contest, Chris! And thank you for the encouragement! :D

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  17. I love series books! I am looking forward to reading these. lisajcowell (at) cs (dot) com

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    1. Thanks for stopping, Lisa! I hope you enjoy them when you get a chance to read them! :D

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  18. Stopping in to enter the contest...here's hoping! ;) Thank you. Wishing you every good blessing in your writing adventures and motherhood Dawn.
    ~Heather
    celebration_kids(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Heather! And thanks for stopping to enter the contest! :D

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  19. What an amazing story - thank you, Dawn and Carrie!!

    Dawn, your perseverance is inspiring and I know God has wonderful plans in store for you to reach others for Him through your writing and your personal testimony. At times, it's hard to understand why things happen and in the order that they do - however, if we are His followers, He has everything under control, including ADD, and He is always right on time!! Our trials draw us closer to God, teach us valuable lessons, help us empathize with others, and give us opportunities to witness.

    My son is in his 40's and was just diagnosed with ADD a couple of years ago - because of problems concentrating at work. He is on meds now and has a successful job as an executive with a large company while leading a busy life as the father of a teenage girl (whose athletics he helps coach) who is forever "on-the-go", and other responsibilities at home and church.

    Congrats on your baby and the release of "The Hesitant Heiress" - I'm looking forward to reading it!!

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    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment, Bonnie! Yes, having ADD is a challenge, but while I wasn't working or going to school it was fine for me to go off the medication. It was also the only option at the time. I took a different kind last summer when I was having trouble concentrating, and it seemed to work well with my still being able to brainstorm and think creatively. :) Now that I have so much going on--so many jobs now!--New Mommy, Debut Author, Home-Maker.... it might be good to try again, for as things are, like your son has, I'm sure, experienced... sometimes there are just too many things running through our ADD brains to be able to get everything done properly. :D

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  20. I've had this book on my wishlist for a little bit now, so stopping in to enter the contest :)

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    1. Welcome to the OWG blog! Am getting ready to draw the winner right now! Blessings!

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