Tuesday, April 9, 2013

One question that never fails to show up in almost any author interview I do is “What advice do you have for beginning writers?”

And I always, in some form or another, reply, “Write from your passion.”
That translates: Don’t write for fame. Don’t write for money. Don’t write about something because it’s a hot topic. Write about what you believe in. Write about what fascinates you. Write about something worth spending your life on. Because when you write, that’s what you do— you pour your life on the page.

For me, my passion is history. Specifically, the history of Great Britian. Most specifically, the Christian history of Great Britain. This is born out of my passion to see revival in these islands.

I love telling the stories of the deeds of holy men and women from past centuries. I believe it’s so important that these stories not be lost because if people of the past hadn’t stood strong, suffered and died for the faith we would not be enjoying its benefits today. These acts—some heroic like St. George; some living a quiet life of simple holiness like St. Cuthbert— are there to inspire us and to give us strength and courage for today. But they must be told if we are to grow from them.

Of course, this theme is obvious in my Arthurian epic Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian History (A Novel of the Holy Grail in ebbok format), which covers 1500 years of English history from the birth of Christ through the Reformation. But it also turns up in my books even if I’m writing a family saga about Idaho pioneers as I do in my Daughters of Courage series, or if I’m writing a contemporary murder mystery as in my Monastery Murders series.

Let me give you a couple of examples. First, from A Tincture of Murder, #4 in my Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series. I had long wanted to tell the story of the work of the 19th century Tractarian slum priests in England. These men from genteel families and with the best educations, chose to build churches in the worst slums— beautiful churches to give the people a vision of heaven. And, even more shocking, they chose to live among their people. And—worst of all— they began soup kitchens and asylums for fallen women and starving children. When I found a true crime in York in 1856— actually two crimes— I knew I could tell that story.

Likewise, I have long wanted to write about the history of Christianity in Wales. In An Unholy Communion, #3 in my Monastery Murders, I got my chance. This is a contemporary series with a thoroughly modern American heroine, but when Felicity agrees to help lead a group of young people on a pilgrimage across Wales she learns about Christian martyrs in Wales in Roman times, about the work of St. David evangelizing his nation and about the amazing 1904 Welsh Revival. These are the stories I love sharing with my readers.

Writing from your passion is no guarantee of fame or fortune. It’s not even a guarantee of publication. But it is a guarantee that you’ll never be bored.

Come back Friday for a chance to win Donna's latest book, An Unholy Communion!

Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 40 books, mostly novels dealing with British history.  The award-winningGlastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail, an Arthurian grail search epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work.  She is also the author of The Monastery Murders: A Very Private Grave, A Darkly Hidden Truth andAn Unholy Communion as well as the Lord Danvers series of Victorian true-crime novels and the romantic suspense series The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries. Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho.  They have 4 adult children and 11 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.

To read more about all of Donna’s books and see pictures from her garden and research trips go to:http://www.donnafletchercrow.com/ 

You can follow her on Facebook at: http://ning.it/OHi0MY


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me on your beautiful blog! I love sharing my stories with new readers.

  2. Your passion shows in your novels and they're wonderful reads!

  3. How lovely, thank you Sheila! Your comment means a lot to me.

  4. Once again, wisdom and truth from Donna Fletcher Crow. Thanks!


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