Friday, August 1, 2014

Would You Marry in Order to Claim an Inheritance? Q&A with Author Dawn Crandall

The Hesitant Heiress Q & A with Author Dawn Crandall

Would you marry in order to claim an inheritance?

I guess it depends.

Author Dawn Crandall addresses that very question in her debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress. Written in a manner that would please Jane Austin herself, and any fan, but with a voice that is truly her own. The Hesitant Heiress is a read sure to please! Elegantly written, intriguing, a hint of suspense and description that throws you into the Victorian era. Dawn invites you to follow Amaryllis Brigham as she struggles through past hurt and rejection to find God’s place and plan for her life—a journey with which many of us can relate.
Today, we are fortunate enough to have Dawn as our guest! Dawn thank you for being here with us today!
Dawn: Thank you, Hannah! I’m so glad you chose to have our interview to take place on my first ever book release day! I’m probably at home right now freaking out… and trying to take care of my four month old… and doing a terrible job at that because I’m so distracted….
Me: I can only imagine! A first ever book release is something to get excited about! I’ve had the privilege of meeting you and chatting a bit, but there’s more I’d like to know about you, and I’m sure our readers could agree. When did you begin writing, and what do you love most about being an Author?
Dawn: I began writing The Hesitant Heiress (or back then, Amaryllis Brigham) in January of 2010. I’d been thinking about it for a few years while working full-time, but it wasn’t until we moved closer to my hometown that my husband encouraged me not to find a job, but to write. (Although I actually did work a little, I was a nanny for an infant of a friend of mine—writing during naptime on my laptop or iPod Touch).
What I like best about being an author is hearing from my readers. It’s amazing to learn what each reader pulls from the story.   
Me: What inspired you to write The Hesitant Heiress?
Dawn: I honestly don’t know. I just started out that January with no plan (though I don’t always write like that now!) except to have fun with it. That was my primary goal. Not to be published, but to write a book that I would enjoy writing AND reading.
Me:  What was the easiest part about writing your novel? The hardest?  

Dawn: The easiest part was writing the awesome, intense “love and war” relationship between Amaryllis and Nathan Everstone. The hardest part was getting about three-fourths of the way through the book and not knowing how to get to the ending I had planned. 
Me: Well you succeeded! I'm keeping hush about the ending! The Hesitant Heiress has strong spiritual themes which I admire.  Your faith seems to have shaped your writing. Could you elaborate more on that observation
Dawn: Writing a spiritual journey arc into my main character’s beginning-to-end arc is one of my favorite parts of writing. I love figuring out and understanding the psychology of why people/characters do what they do. And then, if you throw in a spiritual journey in which God is also chasing after them, loving them and guiding them to where He wants them, or even where they can best find Him… What’s better than that? 
Me: I couldn't agree more, Dawn! God is good, even when we are crazy! Is there a book(s) and or author(s) that have influenced you in your writing and life?

Dawn: There are a lot of classics like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and Christy by Catherine Marshall—all books written from first person point of view… but that’s not all they have in common. It’s the refreshingly blunt honesty of the heroine as she tells her story that I’m so in love with.
Me: Many Authors use personal experiences in their writing. With that said, are there any instances or characters in the Hesitant Heiress in which you can relate to personally?
Dawn: Yes… not that this book is anywhere close based on any part of my life, there are times when Amaryllis goes through things that create the same kind of emotions I’ve felt in similar situations. But even in situations I’ve never been in, for some reason, I find it very easy to conjure up the correct emotions and so closely commiserate with what they might be feeling.
Me: What message do you hope readers receive from this captivating novel?
Dawn: That God does indeed know what He’s doing, and that He even works through our fumbling about as we’re trying to make sense of things.  

Me: Preach it, Dawn! I really loved Amaryllis Brigham’s character, and I’m not sure if it’s because I actually liked her personality or that your writing style made me feel like I was on this journey with her. Will her character appear in the other novels that I hear are coming out?

Book Two
Dawn: They do show up for the next book, but not as main players. I think you will all be pleased with seeing them again though. And oh, can I just say how very strange it was for me to write Amaryllis doing things in book two… but from Meredyth’s first person perspective? That was the weirdest thing ever! But I was sooooo into Meredyth, I really saw Amaryllis as Meredyth saw her! ……Okay, I’m done with the crazy-writer-talk now…..

Me: Haha, crazy-writer-talk! I completely understand! Okay, so, I adore history and all of the nitty gritty details. You impressed me with your ability to paint scenes so accurately to the time period. What kind of research did you use to help make your novel historically accurate?

Dawn: Thank you! I’m so glad you think I did a good job! I love writing descriptions—but the thing that I like best is writing them from where the main character is coming from. Everything anyone describes is always colored by where they are coming from.  
And really, I don’t really think of anything I ever do as research. I actually have so much fun finding out about history that it’s just something I’ve always done, even before I started writing.

Me: You’ve had a busy year! A new book, and a baby! You’re a first time Momma and Author! How are you adjusting, and how in the world are you finding time to write?
Dawn: Um, considering I just had my baby four months ago, and I’ve been pretty busy preparing for this book launch between diapers and bottles… I haven’t actually figured it out yet. I’ve tried a few different things… but I seriously have a very difficult time prying myself away from Mr. Adorable. I think I’m going to have to take a weekend away every once in a while.  

Me: Yes, you are totally going to have to get away! Come down to Tennessee with me for a writer's weekend! lol! Alright, let’s have a little fun getting to know you J
·       Favorite hobbies:
      Dawn: writing (well, it used to be a hobby!), reading, collecting photographs that go along with my characters and story-world [I was even doing this WAY before Pinterest!!]—which by the way, I have a Pinterest Board that goes along with The Hesitant Heiress—[]
      Me: LOVE the pinterest board!
·       Describe your “best day ever:”
      Dawn: I’m a very low-key celebrator...
      Me: Low key parties are sometimes the best!
·       Dessert you find impossible to say no to:
      Dawn: Chocolate Lava Cake. Yummmm!
      Me: Yes, YUMMM!
·       Dream vacation:
      Dawn: Spending forever on the rocky coast of Acadia National Park/Mount Desert Island, Maine—and yes, that’s why I wrote it into my book!
      Me: I've never been to Maine, but after checking out all the picks, it's on my list of places to visit now!
·        Three most important things in your life, in order of top priority:
       Dawn: God, my husband, my son… (I’m still not used to saying that!!!)
       Me: Amen to that! Any parting thoughts, comments, etc. you would like to add for your viewers?
Dawn: Don’t give up on your dreams—if it’s what you want more than anything, keep trying. I’d given up on having a baby a long time ago, and I’ve given up thinking this book—as different as it is from most—would ever be published so many times in the last few years. And now they’ve both become reality. At this time last year, I never would have imagined that this is how 2014 would turn out! 

Me: Thank you so much for being here today with us Dawn!! Hey sweet readers, please take a moment to comment below for a chance to win AMAZING prizes. Also, feel free to connect with Dawn and read more about The Hesitant Heiress via the info provided below.

{Connect With Dawn}
Book Review Blog: 
Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst

{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 encouraged her to quit working 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.
{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.


  1. This book sounds exciting! I can't wait to read it!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Sheena!! Yes, the book is VERY exciting!! A WONDERFUL read!!

    2. Hi Sheena!! Thanks for stopping by and entering the giveaways! And thank you for the interview, Hannah!

  2. This book sounds exciting! I can't wait to read it!

  3. Love, love, love the interview! Thanks so much for sharing Dawn!

    1. Hi Laura & thanks for hanging out with Dawn today! She was such a pleasure to interview!

    2. Thanks, Hannah! And thanks, Laura!! Sorry I just got on here! I've been busy with the baby all day!!

  4. I can tell you are loving being a mom AND a published author, Dawn!

    1. Hi Anne! Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. :) I couldn't agree more with you. Dawn is such a loving mom and talented author!

    2. Thanks for stopping by, Anne!! :)

  5. Great interview. Amazing read. If you don't have this book, go get it! :)

  6. Thank you! Yes, The Hesitant Heiress was a FABULOUS read! I find myself talking like they did, all proper and stuff, lol. :)

  7. Super excited! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  8. Hi, Bree!!! Thanks for stopping by and entering the giveaway!! :)

  9. I love the book and this interview! This interview was fun and inspiring!

    1. Hi Katie!!! Your review is still one of my favorites!!! I'm glad you stopped by to enter the contests!! :)

  10. I love first person books. They are some of my favorites. I think we need more of them! Looking forward to reading this book. :)


    1. I agree! There need to be more!! Well, more well written ones! There are some that I don't end up liking at all for some reason! I think it has to do with the writer's voice and how they handle writing the other characters. Thanks for stopping by the enter the contests!! :)

  11. Dawn, congratulations on the release of your first book! It must feel so good to know all your hard work and dedication to your project has finally come to fruition. Who are some of your favorite Victorian author or what are some of your favorite Victorian novels. Is there a certain aspect of the Victorian time period that you enjoy?

    I am a book reviewer/blogger for and I would love to have a chance to read and review your book, and possibly host you for an author interview on my website, Would you be interested?

    Enjoy you new baby! I look forward to hearing from you!


    1. Hi Marisa! I will definitely take up up on that!! Some of my favorite books are Jane Eyre, anything by Jane Austen, North and South, Rebecca, Christy, Great Expectations.... those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I just love that time period--and I'm sure the awesome buildings and constructions of the time, as well as the dresses had something to do with me choosing that era. :)

  12. "They do show up for the next book, but not as main players." I love "They do show up..." Dawn, I would like to ask if while writing your first book in the series, if there were characters who showed up that you weren't expecting? I am drawn to Amaryllis' name ~ and... it was your first title! Thanks for entering me in to the mix for a win! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

    1. Thanks for stopping by to enter the contests, Kathleen!! :)

  13. Loved the book! Dawn has a wonderful and exciting career ahead of her.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Gail! I'm soooooo glad you enjoyed reading The Hesitant Heiress!!!!

      Ha!! If I can figure out this whole writing books while being a stay at home mom to a newborn thing!!!! I'm trying!!!

  14. I'm going to go check out your Pinterest board! I used to collect pictures from magazines in a huge file cabinet drawer all categorized... but now I have Pinterest! I still don't have the heart to toss my collection, though :) Thanks for the giveaway!!!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

    1. I still have all of my "pre-Pinterest" photos and clippings too!! They are too valuable for my imagination!!! :) Thanks for stopping again, Heidi!! :)

  15. Dawn,
    Your book sounds like a fun book to read. I would absoluty love to read your new book. And I love the covers of each of the books too. Look forward to reading them soon