Author, Author! — Donna Fletcher Crow

8 Jul

I am honored to have Donna Fletcher Crow, author of A Jane Austen Encounter (review HERE), give us a little glimpse into her life as a writer. Thanks so much, Donna, for sharing with my readers. 


DonnaCrow_45By The Book: Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Donna Fletcher Crow: “Making up stories as a child”— Absolutely! I was an only child living on a farm. I entertained myself with stories— and put myself to sleep at nights “watching television in my head”— before we had television. I wrote my first short story in the third grade and designed my first series of novels in the sixth grade. I didn’t start writing seriously, however, until I was in my thirties and had three of our four children.

BTB: Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

DFC: The most important thing was teachers and my mother who encouraged me to read. Especially the teachers who introduced me to the English classics, especially Jane Austen. I wrote my first novel Brandley’s Search when a minor character from a novel I read got in my head and wouldn’t let go until I had finished his story. It was like being pregnant.

BTB: When did you decide to write for the Christian market? Do you have a particular motivation to write books that contain faith threads?

DFC: It wasn’t a decision, it was simply that all my stories have a faith element. My passion is to see spiritual renewal in Great Britain, so most of my books tell stories of British Christianity. For example, A Jane Austen Encounter develops the theme of Jane Austen’s faith.

BTB: What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

DFC: How nice to say structured instead of compulsive. First thing is morning devotions, which I have in my office while eating breakfast. Then to the computer: e-mail first, then to writing, research or editing— whatever part of the process I’m in on a book. About three o’clock I break for afternoon tea with my husband, whose office is also at home. We established this pattern when we had children coming home from school. It was a perfect time to gather everyone around the table to share about their day before going on to other activities.

JaneAusBTB: A Jane Austen Encounter, like so many of your other novels, is set in England. What is the attraction for you to set your books there?

DFC: Spiritual calling.

BTB: What types of research did you do in preparing to write this novel? Did you visit the sites or read Austen’s novels?

DFC: Absolutely to both. I’ve read all of Austen’s novels several times, but I did need to refresh my memory on Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and Emma, which are the ones I refer to the most. And, of course, The Watsons which is so central to the plot. I try never to write about a place I haven’t been myself, so I had a wonderful time following the Jane Austen trail to all of her homes. Elizabeth and Richard’s visits to these sites are a reflection of my visits. You can see pictures of my research trip here:

BTB: Will Elizabeth and Richard, the protagonists in A Jane Austen Encounter, be back in another novel?

DFC: Ah, thank you for asking. I am currently working on The Flame Ignites, a prequel that recounts their first meeting before the events of The Shadow of Reality and A Midsummer Eve’s Nightmare. After that it will be A Most Singular Venture, which will take Elizabeth and Richard through Jane Austen’s London. (BTB: So glad there will be another Austen-inspired book!)

BTB: Readers are always curious as to what a writer is working on or what is next to be published. Can you give us a glimpse of current works in progress?

DFC: A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary should be out in just a few weeks. This is book four in my Monastery Murders Series. It’s a contemporary mystery set in Oxford with a lot of Christian history in the background. It also has a lot about English bellringing in it and I had a great time learning about that with the Oxford University Society of Change Ringers.

BTB: What would you like to share about your personal life?

DFC: My husband and I celebrated our fiftieth anniversary last Christmas. It was an amazing event because all four of our children, their spouses and our 11 grandchildren were all there. Since then we’ve had another grandchild and our oldest grandson, an adopted Russian, is with the US Army in Afghanistan. When I’m not writing or playing with my grandchildren I love to garden.

BTB: Thank you so much for sharing with the readers of my blog.

DFC: Thank you, Beckie, it’s been a delight to visit with you. I would love to have your readers visit my website at and follow me on Facebook at

One Response to “Author, Author! — Donna Fletcher Crow”

  1. Donna July 8, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Thank you so much for the chance to visit with you and your readers, Beckie. And again,for the lovely review of Jane Austen Encounter. I’m always so delighted when readers enjoy joining my characters’ adventures.

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