Today I’m happy to present author Donna Crow, another guest from ourr 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back blog tour. If you’ve missed the earlier posts, this project began as a tie-in to Stacy Juba’s mystery book Twenty-Five Years Ago Today. Stacy invited her author colleagues to answer the question “What were you doing 25 years ago?” The series of essays appeared on her blog, and is now all together in one ebook! Donna has written a fun piece to share with us, so I’m going to step aside and allow her to entertain you.
Darcia, thank you so much for having me as a guest on your great blog as part of our 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror, 52 Authors Look Back, tour. If your readers enjoy magazine columns and Chicken Soup for the Soul books, then they’re sure to enjoy our collection of essays, designed to warm your heart, raise your spirits and compel you to examine your own life. Read about school days, quirky jobs, romance, raising a family, hard times, the writing journey, and find out what makes your favorite characters tick. Readers can get a full listing of authors, essay titles and retailers here: http://ning.it/OknwVR
My essay in the 25 years ago collection tells how life can come full circle as the research trips that I had begun taking regularly to England at that time changed my daughter’s life and set the course for me to write my current series The Monastery Murders. All of the backgrounds of my nearly 40 books draw on my fascination with British history and all have required onsite research trips— for which I took our daughter Elizabeth along with me.
That resulted in her eventually studying at Oxford, teaching in London, and going off to study theology at a monastery on a green hillside in Yorkshire— funnily enough exactly what my heroine Felicity Howard does. Elizabeth fell in love and married an Anglican priest. Well, the jury is still out on Felicity and Antony’s relationship, but I’m hoping it will end as happily as Elizabeth and Lee’s.
Of course, real life can take you only so far. Since I was using Elizabeth’s background, I started using her personality. Now, Elizabeth is an ideal daughter— if I do say so myself. She is sweet and obedient and devout. Lovely qualities, to be sure, but absolutely flat on the pages of a novel. So I made Felicity rash, headstrong and outspoken. I still smile at the scene in the first book A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE where Felicity races up the hill to the dining hall after discovering her flat has been turned upside down. She believes it’s an anti-women priest demonstration or an anti-American demonstration. Whatever it is, she isn’t having any:
Felicity charged up the hill at twice the speed her long legs usually carried her, her long blond braid thumping her back and her mind seething. If those self-righteous prigs who posed as her fellow students thought they could put her off with some sophomoric trick—
She approached the college building, practicing the speech she would deliver to the cassock-clad, mostly male ordinands assembled for dinner in the refectory: “Now listen up, you lot! If you think you can push me around just because your skirts are longer than mine. . .”
Sadly, Felicity never gets to deliver that speech because she discovers the body of Father Dominic, her favorite monk, brutally murdered and Father Antony, her church history professor, standing over him with blood on his hands. That launches Felicity and Antony on a flight across England and Scotland, searching for clues as they chase and are chased by murderers seeking the fabled treasure of St. Cuthbert.
Well, you would think Felicity might have learned her lesson after all that. And, indeed, she’s had enough. That’s why she’s going to become a nun. Never mind that Antony needs her help to find a valuable icon that has gone missing from the Community, never mind that her impossible mother turns up unexpectedly, never mind that the body of a dear friend turns up in a watery grave. Felicity seeks the truth of ancient holy women, but what good will that do if she can’t save Antony’s life?
In A Darkly Hidden Truth, Donna Fletcher Crow creates a world in which the events of past centuries echo down present-day hallways— a world in which saintliness and devotion compete with the noise of traffic, a world in which a thoroughly 21th-century young woman can be drawn to the timeless and luminous peace of the convent — and then, on the surface of this world, she engraves murder, violence, and theft. I came away from the book feeling as though I’d been someplace both ancient and new, and had learned a great deal there. Donna Fletcher Crow gives us, in three extremely persuasive dimensions, the world that Dan Brown merely sketches. Timothy Hallinan, The Queen of Patpong, Edgar nominated Best Novel, 2011
They have 4 adult children and 11 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.
To read more about all of Donna’s books and see pictures from her garden and research trips go to: www.donnafletchercrow.com
You can follow her on Facebook at: http://ning.it/OHi0MY
Here’s a look at a variety of Donna’s books. You can find them all on Amazon:
Here’s a look at book that brought us all together:
This collection of poignant and uplifting essays is the perfect book to enjoy over your morning coffee. The stories will warm your heart, raise your spirits and compel you to examine your own life. As a tie-in to her mystery book Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, novelist and award-winning journalist Stacy Juba invited her author colleagues to answer the question “What were you doing 25 years ago?” Read about school days, quirky jobs, romance, raising a family, hard times, the writing journey, and find out what makes your favorite characters tick. This 30,000-word book will help readers to discover new authors for their to-read list, and inspire them to reflect upon the small defining moments that have shaped their own lives. As a bonus, readers are invited to interact with the authors and discuss the past and the future in an online forum, with details in the Appendix.
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Donna, and that you’ll read her essay in 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back.
Thanks for reading.
Tags: 25 Years Ago Today, 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror, 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back, A Darkly Hidden Truth, A Very Private Grave, Author Essays, British History, British Mysteries, British Novels, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Donna Crow, Donna Fletcher Crow, Humorous Essays, Inspirational Essays, Stacy Juba, The Monastery Murders