On the last day of this 3-Day event, I am ecstatic to have Dawn here to chat about The Everstone Chronicles, plus a giveaway! So lets get started!
JC = Just CommonlyDC = Dawn Crandall
JC: Let's start off with some flash tidbits! Coca Cola or Pepsi?
DC: I don't drink a lot of the stuff, but if I had to choose, I'd choose Pepsi.
JC: Tea or Coffee?
DC: I love them both, with sugar and cream.
JC: Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?
DC: Starbucks, White Mocha
JC: Haagen-Daz, Ben & Jerry's or Baskin Robbins?
DC: I don't really like ice cream all that much, so don't have a preference.
JC: Dogs or Cats?
JC: Harry Potter or Hunger Games?
DC: Not a huge fan of either, but I've read four books of Harry Potter Series and one book of The Hunger Games Series... and watched zero of the HP movies and three out of four HG movies. It's a toss up.
JC: Facebook or Twitter?
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JC: Now about the books. I know the first three books of The Everstone Chronicles were first released as ebooks. A year later, the paperback release. How's the response so far? Are you tired of signing autograph copies?
DC: The response has actually been great during both releases!
JC: I love all three books and I don't know which one I like more. Do you have a favorite?
DC: I don't have a favorite, but whichever one I might flip into for whatever reason completely has my heart once I'm in. Unlike most authors, I still really enjoy rereading my own books.
JC: My favorite female character is Estella/Elle from The Captive Imposter. I know she was in the other two as well, but I felt that she shines in the very book that centers around her. As to the male, quite a toss-up, but I'm always drawn to the mischievous ones like Nathan Everstone, even though both Lawry and Dexter are great characters too. Who are your favorite character(s) from all three books?
DC: I love them all equally. I love "being" the heroines as I write their stories from first person POV, and I love falling for the heroes right alongside them!
JC: Is there a character that you did not anticipate to develop into who he/she is by the end of any of the three books?
DC: It's a toss up between Nicholette Fairbanks and Roxy Blakeley--I had no idea the kind of emotional turmoil Nicholette would go through, and during the first draft of TCI, Roxy was supposed to pass away... but she didn't! And now I'm writing her book next!
JC: My best friend and I are complete opposites and I find the friendship between Amaryllis and Meredyth endearing. They are so opposite that you can't help but understand their friendship and root for them despite their misgivings. *SPOILER ALERT question***. Since both couples will be in Seattle, do you have ideas on future stories/books about their lives out West or their next generation?
DC: I might eventually write something that takes place in Seattle, perhaps about Benta Allister or even little Wynn Hampton when she's all grown up.
JC: At the start of The Hesitant Heiress, the patriarch of the Everstones, Bram always seemed so mysterious, and it fits into the storyline. Was it always your intention to have the main "villain" in the story someone else?
DC: I actually didn't know whether Bram Everstone was good or bad for most of the time I spent writing that first book (which was 2 years).
JC: Nathan and his family's backstory is intriguing as well. Will you consider writing another book about the many tangles between his mother, Grace, Elinorah, Bram and Peter?
DC: I've genuinely thought about it. I even have chapter one written for this. It would probably be a novella though, and something I do on the side.
JC: The Bound Heart's theme of love beyond it all was so emotional, especially with the inner struggle Meredyth felt between her heart and her mind. How did this compare to writing about Amaryllis' confusion about Nathan and the connection between her parents and Bram Everstone in The Hesitant Heiress?
DC: Oh, writing those two books couldn't have felt more different! Which was my goal. I wanted Meredyth to come across completely opposite of Amaryllis, and her story goes so much deeper than anyone who thinks they know her would ever imagine.
JC: Another *SPOILER ALERT question*** I'm sorry to say this, but I really don't like Jay Crawford (or whatever his name is). He was so selfish in all of the books, that I kind of wish he received a different outcome or at least received a certain "tell-off". Was there ever a moment you had planned for him and Estella to be together? (It says something good about your book if it evokes such a strong feeling =) )
DC: While I was writing both book one and two, I kind of had a plan that book three would be about Jay and Estella.... but then when I got right down to outlining her book, I knew she deserved someone better. I really enjoyed including her emotional journey of getting over Jay in The Captive Imposter--I know that's something women sometimes struggle with!
JC: Then there's Vance. I hated him - his arrogance and his selfishness in The Bound Heart, but by the end of The Captive Imposter, or actually before the end, I felt sorry and even forgiving towards him. Will you continue the story with a book 4 on him and possibly with Violet? What other themes can we expect in relation to Vance? How will his family play a part in his redemption?
DC: Ah yes, I just finished writing Vance and Violet's book--The Cautious Maiden, which releases in paperback and ebook this October! The family is involved in this story, and the themes of the book have very much to do with forgiveness and purity.
JC: Speaking of Book 4, how many more books can we expect for The Everstone Chronicles? Who can we look forward to as the main characters?
DC: I don't have a set plan, but I'm going to keep them coming! Right now I'm working on an outline for Roxy Blakeley. I might eventually write one for Nicholette. There are a few characters introduced in The Cautious Maiden that I might develop into heroines too.
JC: Possible titles and/or character names? (By the way, I love all the names you've used, from Nathan to Amaryllis to Elle/Estella and Vance...etc.)
DC: Right now, my working title for Roxy's book is "The Reckless Bride".
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JC: Now, a little more about you to satisfy curious fans (like myself). What is your favorite thing to do besides writing and reading books?
DC: I've never really enjoyed anything quite as much as those two things! I guess, spending time with friends and family.
JC: What is your favorite book of all time? For me, it'll have to be Pride and Prejudice.
DC: It's a tie between Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre--both of which I didn't read until I was an adult, and I really didn't know much about beforehand!
JC: Which author(s) have inspired you the most?
DC: Jody Hedlund, Julie Lessman and Julie Klassen.
JC: The 3 J's! What book(s) are you currently reading?
JC: What made you decide to write Christian fiction? Have you thought of any other genre to write?
DC: I knew when I started writing (The Hesitant Heiress was the first book I'd ever written) when I was in my early thirties, that it would be a Christian book and that the main characters would definitely grow spiritually though their stories. I don't think I'd like writing anything else.
JC: How do you interpret writing Christian fiction versus non-Christian fiction? What do you expect from yourself as you write?
DC: It's what comes out naturally, I suppose: the deep spiritual/character arc of the heroine.
JC: As a wife and busy new mom (congratulations!), what time do you have to write and where do you write?
DC: Well, before I had my son I babysat other people's kids, and I wrote most of THH on my friend's couch during her baby's nap time and then on my couch when I got home. I wrote most of TBH at an old roll top desk in our computer room on my days off from babysitting. I actually got pregnant while writing TCI and I think a lot of that book was written at my dining room table--while not babysitting--before and after my son was born. And as for The Cautious Maiden... which is the first book I've written completely "after baby" (and also while pregnant with baby #2!), I wrote the entire thing on my iPhone 6s. Plus while resting in bed. :O (I have some amazing apps that made this possible!--"Pages" is where I would write, then I'd save to Dropbox and email it to myself, and then I'd edit it in my kindle app!)
JC: Wow! Kudos to you! Just reading that gave me a slight nudge in my head! Any must haves (such as coffee, candy, a lucky star...etc.) with you when you write?
DC: I actually forget to eat when I'm writing. ;)
JC: Haha. I actually forget to eat when I'm working too! I love your baby's name, Rhett. Is it from the favorite southern novel, Gone with the Wind's Rhett Butler?
DC: I do love the book! I wanted to name him something old fashioned, yet cool and hardly used.
JC: What can we expect from you next?
DC: In about 6-7 months, The Cautious Maiden will be hitting the shelves of bookstores everywhere!
JC: Any next live events you'll be participating that we can look forward to, location or Facebook event?
DC: I'll have a book signing at one of my local Barnes & Noble stores (the one I used to work at!) on May 7th! There will be an author day in my "home county" in June (we'll see about this one though, because I'm also due to have the baby #2 in June!), then I'll have another book signing for The Cautious Maiden at my other Barnes & Noble in October or November! I'll have a blog tour for my new release in the fall, and I'll most likely have a Facebook party for that.
JC: Well, I sure hope I'll have the opportunity to join in on at least one of those! Any parting words for eager fans?
DC: I really love hearing from and engaging with readers on Facebook!
JC: Well, you read that?!!! Go on and connect with Dawn! And don't forget the giveaway! Scroll on down! Again, thank you Dawn for indulging me (and readers) with this great interview! I'm looking forward to ALL the future stores of The Everstone Chronicles!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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. That is the year she shared with her husband her long-time dream of writing books. He encouraged her to quit her job and to pursue her passion to write stories. Apart from writing books, Dawn also recently became a mother—she and her husband were blessed with a baby boy in March 2014. She also serves with her husband in a premarriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Dawn is a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.
29 Authors #ChristianFictionReadersRetreat this summer in Nashville, TN! #Win #Giveaways https://t.co/BZVSuCXijg pic.twitter.com/bRR3OHIrKG— Just Commonly (@JustCommonly) April 8, 2016