And without further ado, here's Dawn Crandall!
JOANNE SHER: Thanks for being willing to be featured here, Dawn. Tell us a bit about yourself.
DAWN CRANDALL: I’ve always wanted to write. However, when I was seventeen years old two things happened which took me off the writing path for about thirteen years. I started taking medication for Attention Deficit Disorder, and I became a Christian.
I majored in Christian Education at Taylor University and later married the best man I’ve ever met when I was twenty-seven. It wasn’t until he found out my “secret desire to write a book” that I really started to think about it. Yet, while I was still taking the ADD medication, my creativity was literally suppressed, and I didn’t know where to begin.
JOANNE: I love that your husband encouraged you like that. What do like to write?
JOANNE: Oh – sounds intriguing! How long have you been writing? At ACFW?
DAWN: I didn’t begin to write my first manuscript until January 2010—after a few years of trying to figure out WHAT and HOW to write. I did this basically by reading and studying the ins and outs of the books I loved. I started writing my first book strictly as a hobby, and because I wanted to do it for myself. There really isn’t anything I’d rather do than create a complex story about a character finding God’s perfect will for their life. Because I literally wasn’t able to pay attention in school until I was seventeen, I’m not very good at obeying (or really, knowing) the rules of grammar, but I do know how to create a tension-filled story and how to get it out just right.
I joined ACFW in July 2011 because my husband wanted to send me to the national ACFW conference in Saint Louis that fall. I felt completely out of my league. I didn’t know a single person. I was surrounded by hundreds of other writers who had been writing for much longer than I had, and I didn’t have much confidence in myself or my abilities. Fortunately I had signed up for a thirty page paid critique by a published historical romance author and received all the encouragement I could have ever asked for. It was as if God had to whop me on the back of the head—because up until that critique appointment I had planned on canceling my agent appointments. Instead of canceling them I went into those meetings excited about my book, bubbling over with enthusiasm and confidence, which resulted in two partial proposal requests, as well as two offers of representation within a week of sending those proposals out.
JOANNE: WOW – what a story! God certainly wanted you at that conference! Have you had anything published?
DAWN: Not yet, but I do have an agent who is working on that for me.
JOANNE: What are you working on right now?
During November and December I’ve been working on brainstorming and plotting out the third book in the series I’m writing. I pretty much need to know the entire story from start to finish before I go into writing the whole thing out. Now that the new year is here, I plan to have the first draft complete by the middle of March so I can enter the first chapter into the ACFW Genesis Contest.
JOANNE: Ah – a plotter, eh? Hope you can get that draft done in time! What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
DAWN: Write what you love/write the book you want to read.
JOANNE: Great advice! To you, what is the best part of ACFW? The GLC chapter?
DAWN: I love connecting with and encouraging writers. Basically, I had signed with an agent (right after the 2011 ACFW conference) before I had formed any kind of lasting relationship with any other fellow writers. I was so grateful to meet my critique partner (fellow GLC member Susan Tuttle) through the ACFW Scribes crit-group within the first few months of signing with my agent. Having such support made writing my second manuscript a hundred times easier than the first!
I also love attending the Jackson meetings. I live in Indiana and am the Secretary for the Indiana Hoosier Ink ACFW Chapter, however I love getting together with the great group of GLCers! :)
JOANNE: And we're glad you pop up to see us when you can! How can folks connect with you?DAWN: My book review blog called A Passion for Pages at www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com.
My author page at www.apassionforpages.blogspot.com.
My Facebook author page at www.facebook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst
My Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dawn.renkenberger.crandall
And look me up (Dawn Crandall) on Goodreads!
My twitter handle: @dawnwritesfirst
JOANNE: Thanks again, Dawn! It was great to get to know you a little better - and hope to see you in the mitten again soon!