Monday, January 14, 2013

Meet the Member: Dawn Crandall

It's time to get to know another member of the ACFW Great Lakes Chapter. I'm hoping to do these posts once a month - but I need members to meet! Email me if you're interested in being featured here and I'll add you to the queue.

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?


DAWN: I love to write deep and emotion-filled long historical romantic suspense from first person point of view. Each book following the first (in this series) is written from the first person perspective of a character the reader has met in a previous book.

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!

18 comments:

  1. Here's my hand wave and shout-out to Dawn!!!! She's a sweetheart of a woman, and when she says she writes tension-filled stories, she isn't kidding:) They'll put you through the ringer, but always with a HEA...

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    1. Thanks for those ultra-kind words, Susan. You are the BEST, most encouraging crit-partner I could have ever asked for. :) I thank God for you every day!

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  2. We here at ACFW of Indiana are proud of Dawn and her success with her writing. Thanks for the interview, ladies!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and promoting my interview on the Indiana Chapter email-loop, Rick. :) And thanks for having a hand in getting me to that conference in Saint Louis!

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  3. Excellent advice about writing, Dawn. I look forward to reading your work someday soon. God bless.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I'm quite the advocate for going to conferences! :)

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  4. I met sweet Dawn at last September's ACFW conference, where we almost were roommates! I look forward to reading her books one day soon. Nice interview, Joanne!

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    1. It was so nice meeting you too, Peggy. Finding the right roommate-combination for the national ACFW conference is one of the hardest things about going!

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  5. Love learning more about you, Dawn. I think your first-person, longer historicals sound fascinating. I'm hoping to go to ACFW this year--are you going? If so, we'll have to meet up!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Heather. I'm so glad to have met another person addicted to writing in first person -- even if our tenses are different. :) And I'm so glad that we're both under the Hartline umbrella. :D

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  6. Great story, Dawn! Wishing you the best with your historical fiction series!

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  7. Thanks for stopping by the Great Lakes Chapter blog, Beth. I know I will see you and your first-person manuscripts represented soon too! I loved getting to know your story back in the larger Scibes group last year!

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  8. Dawn, I can hardly wait to meet you. Your story is so exciting. The conferences are super motivating. I'm looking forward to September. ~Susie

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  9. Nice to meet you Dawn--I love your bravery to go to a great big conference like that. Good for you.

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  10. So glad to get to know you a bit more, Dawn. I must confess, as a former English student, it was the mechanics of it all that caused me to stumble. And still does.

    Anyway, it's great having you join us up here in the GLC.

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  11. Very interesting interview, Dawn AND Joanne. (I never want the interviewer to feel like the fifth wheel -- my belief is the quality of the interviewee multiplied by the quality of the interviewer.

    I can't wait to meet you at one of the Indiana chapter meetings, Dawn. And maybe I'll meet Joanne at the conference this year.

    Jeff Reynolds

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  12. Nice to get to know you, Dawn! I love a good historical, so I hope your story finds a publisher soon. :)

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  13. Dawn, great, inspiring interview. Many blessings on your endeavors. Hope to meet you soon in person. I'm going to visit your review site to see if my Biblical fiction book "Salome's Conversion" meets your criteria to review.

    Rohn Federbush

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