I am so happy to welcome Donna home for her first stop after a trip to the mysterious Calgary (at least so that faraway land seems to me). Perhaps I am influenced by Donna’s haunting, evocative work, which brings to my mind fog-shrouded abbeys and secrets that shouldn’t be told. Fans of history and mystery should take a look–and everyone who wonders if they will ever make it will appreciate Donna’s take below.
Jenny, I am so honored to be included it on your “Made it” blog— even if I haven’t made it yet. I whole-heartedly agree with your guest some time back who made the point that we never really do make it. Every achievement is to be celebrated, but there are always the far pavilions to be reached.
When I won my first award— clear back in 1983– (I had to look at the plaque on my wall to be sure) My father hugged me and said, “Well, now you’ve made it. You can stop working so hard.” I explained, “Oh, no, Daddy. That means I have to work all the harder to live up to it.”
My dear, departed daddy was a wonderful role model of celebrating every victory. When he was far gone with Alzheimer’s he remained sweet and cheerful. “Are you having a good day, Daddy?” I would ask.
“Every day we get is a good day,” his unfailing reply.
And so getting my website up was a “Made it” moment for me because after 20 years of a reasonably successful writing career I spent 10 years in the wilderness. Still writing, but not publishing. Then came the contract for A Very Private Grave (in the middle of the financial crash when publishers were pulling back)— certainly a “Made it” moment. And like starting a whole new career as well. Ten years ago there were no websites, no blogs, no Facebook, no Twitter. . .
But as I said, every new plateau is just that— only a plateau. There’s always the next cliff to be scaled. For me, the cliffhanger was getting, not just a contract for A Very Private Grave but for the whole Monastery Murders series. Or if not quite the whole series, at least for the next book.
My excellent and very conservative English publishers Monarch Books kindly agreed to put the first chapter of A Darkly Hidden Truth, #2 The Monastery Murders, in the back of Private Grave, but it was clearly understood that there would be no contract until the sales figures were in on that first book.
And not just figures from the UK release which occurred last June, but figures from the American release— which wouldn’t occur until September. Surely the longest four months on record. I don’t even know how long I’ve been holding my breath, but I can tell you I have no fingernails left.
Today, O frabjous day! My lovely, understated editor sent me a five line note stating that they are ready to proceed with book #2.
After I quit shouting (a neighbors swears that’s why her baby wouldn’t go down for his nap) I had tea and chocolate cake with my husband, then sat down and wrote this blog.
Thank you for celebrating with me, Jenny.
Readers may watch the trailer for A Very Private Grave, see pictures from my research trips for both books, buy books and take a tour of my garden, among other delights, at www.DonnaFletcherCrow.com
Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 35 books, mostly novels of British history. The award-winning epic GLASTONBURY, is her best-known work, an Arthurian grail search covering 15 centuries of English history. A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE, book 1 in the Monastery Murders series is her reentry into publishing after a 10 year hiatus. THE SHADOW OF REALITY, Book 1 The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries, is a romantic intrigue available on Ebook.
Donna and her husband have 4 adult children and 10 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener and tea-drinker. To see the book video, or to order A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE, or to see pictures from Donna’s research trips, go to www.DonnaFletcherCrow.com