Coffee Chat with Dawn Crandall

Cara author interviews 8 Comments

Today I’m delighted to introduce you to debut author Dawn Crandall. Her first book, The Hesitant Heiress, is available in ebook formats.

This novel is set during the Gilded Age in Boston. Told in first person it follows the reluctant journey of Amaryllis Brigham through the top echelons of society when all she wants to do is run away back to the wilds of Washington. To gain independence, she must marry…yet that is the last thing she wants to do. Amaryllis has a strong core she hides from everyone beneath the shell of a distant, protected woman. She has to choose to allow someone in…to see the real person. There’s a hint of intrigue, a dash of suspense, and a longing for love that will satisfy stalwart historical romance fans.

Dawn, how did you get the idea for The Hesitant Heiress? Why this timeperiod?

Honestly, I’ve been in love with history for as long as I can remember. When I decided to choose The Gilded Age, it had a lot to do the dresses of the time period, the neighborhood of Back Bay in Boston, and the way the elitists of the time would flock to the coastal towns of New England for the summers. And this book’s story came to me over a few years while I spent my evenings alone while my husband worked full-time and went to school to get his MBA. I wasn’t actually writing at the time, but studying other books of the Christian genre, trying to figure out what kind of book I wanted to write, as well as HOW! Somehow, it all came together in a rather unorganized fashion, pieces here and there. For this first book, I seemed to have learned along the way, one chapter at a time. It took me exactly two years to write (2010-2011), and I changed it up so much in those two years!

Your heroine has a difficult life—one filled with secrets and misunderstandings. How did she come to you? And why was this her story/journey?

I am so intrigued by stories about characters who struggle with their self-worth, partly because it’s a struggle I still face every day. I didn’t become a Christian until I was seventeen, and finding my true worth in Christ at that particular time created a huge turning point in my life. By the time I was finally thinking about writing the novel I’d “always wanted to write,” I was early-thirty-something, newly married and on the verge of finding out what I was made to do. Even while writing the story for myself, I knew that writing was going to be my favorite hobby ever. I could see how everything in ly life had worked together to take me to that place… and I knew that’s what I wanted to convey in this book about Amaryllis Brigham.

What do you hope will stay with readers long after the book is over?

I want readers to be encouraged that although there are times in our lives that don’t seem the greatest; He is using those instances to make us who He wants us to be. Amaryllis thought she knew what she wanted, she thought she knew what was best—but she was wrong. Through her journey, she found that God had been listening to the yearnings of her heart all along—even when she’d tried to ignore them because she didn’t believe she’d ever attain them.

What did you learn/what did God show you as you were writing this book?

That God really does care about our dreams. For over a decade after college I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with myself. I’d had all kinds of random jobs, but none of them were what I wanted to do forever. I’d always wanted to write a book. It was simply one of those things that I wanted to do, solely for myself. However, the moment my husband learned of my dream, he believed in it and me 110%. He talked about it getting published, and he was the one who sent me to my first ACFW conference in 2011 where I met, and soon-after, signed with my agent. So, in a relatively short time-period, God took my dream and made it a reality, despite my self-worth-problems, and the fact that I have ADD. He made this happen. And I don’t know why. I feel incredibly grateful every day, and sometimes have to remind myself that it’s actually, for real, happening.

Where can readers connect with you?

Facebook:  Book Review Blog:  GoodReads:  Pinterest:  Twitter:

{About The Hesitant Heiress} After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy disappearing before her very eyes. Now the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: marry within the year to inherit her grandmother’s fortune. Amaryllis reluctantly takes part in her aunt’s society, intent on getting to the west coast on her own… and without a husband. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, whose father not only had a part in her expulsion, but whose ominous presence has haunted her dreams for a decade since her mother’s tragic death. Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn’t who she thought at all.

{About Dawn Crandall} 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 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he let encouraged her to quit working in 2010 in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary. Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013.

Comments 8

  1. I was fortunate to be one of the ones who got to read this book early and do reviews and I really enjoyed it. She’s got a wonderful career ahead of her. I’m looking forward to the other two in this series!

    1. Thank you, Gail! I hope I can pull it off!! I should take pointers from Cara!!! Somehow she keeps her children alive and is able to write book after book!! I’m still trying to figure this crazy way of living out!!

  2. Loved this review. Really enjoyed the book, and I can’t wait for the next one. Ewe_r_merritt(at)yahoo(dot) com

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