Behind the Scenes: Writing with Dawn Crandall

Good morning reader friends:

Dawn CrandallTwo days ago I posted my review of Dawn Crandall’s debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress. To celebrate the release of her novel, Dawn is making two appearances on my blog to share her thoughts on her writing process, as well as and the story behind The Hesitant Heiress! Yesterday she talked about the inspiration behind The Hesitant Heiress; in our second session, she is going to share with us the process behind her novel writing. I am beyond excited to welcome Dawn to A Way With Words and know you all will enjoy meeting one of Christian fiction’s newest beloved authors.

Read the interview and scroll to the bottom of the post to see how you can win an e-book copy of The Hesitant Heiress, one of Christian fiction’s hottest new releases!

  •  Have you always liked to write?

Writing was always my favorite subject in school! ALWAYS! But then again, I was never good at anything else in school…. besides drawing. But does that even count?

  •  Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

It came on super strong after I found books I actually loved to read while I was in high school. They were all classics—and they are still my favorites!

  •  What inspired you to write your first book?

My husband had a HUGE role in my actually starting to write. I didn’t write after high school. Life got busy, and I had to focus on working. It wasn’t until he encouraged me to stay home and write that I sat down to figure this book-writing thing out.

  •  Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

Many of the classics I love so much… Jane Eyre, Jane Austen’s books, Les Miserables, Great Expectations… but also, when I had to think about what kind of readers I would have, I needed to delve into what was being written by Christian Historical Romance authors… and that was when I found Julie Lessman, Julie Klassen, Jody Hedlund, Elizabeth Camden and my newest favorite author, Lori Benton. I love the way they write their characters and their plots!

  • Do you have a specific writing style?

Definitely! I’d call it character-driven, emotionally transparent first person… if I had to call it something. 🙂

  •  What does your writing process look like?

My writing process is scary. I’ve mentioned in other interviews that I have ADD… It totally gets in my way a lot, even as it helps with other aspects of dreaming up/thinking up what’s going to happen in my manuscript. So far, with the two books I’ve finished (as well as the third one, which ‘m working on), I get at least half of the book written before I even know what’s really going on. I write a bunch of scenes, and I have a plan… but then I go and rearrange all of my scenes and change things up, or find out what a character is really up to. It’s like a jig saw puzzle in my head. I joke with my husband that he cannot talk to me when I’m at my laptop rearranging things because I’m “performing brain surgery” on my novel and need all of my concentration. Otherwise, I get mixed up and lose my place.

  •  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Yes. Everything. Like I said, it’s very difficult to write a book while struggling through the scatterbrain-ness of having ADD. But there’s also very little I love more than writing these complexly emotional first-person stories that point to God and His healing power in all situations.

  •  Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action?

Actions scenes are the most difficult for me. Love scenes—well, I guess actually, most scenes—come to me in pieces. But because they’re emotionally-based, it’s easier to get them to make sense. Actions scenes are so technical!

  •  What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Marketing. I know it’s what needs to be done no matter your publisher. Any author these days really needs to be “out there” promoting in some way. I wasn’t required to do the blog tour for The Hesitant Heiress’s release, but I knew it would be good to do. I would have so much rather sat back and taken my own advice—which is: IF YOU’RE GOING TO WRITE A BOOK, MAKE IT THE BEST BOOK YOU POSSIBLY CAN. IT WILL SPEAK FOR ITSELF.

  •  What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

I guess that was it. 🙂

  •  Do you have a favorite writing conference to attend? What is it?

I attend the ACFW conference every year. Even when pregnant or when there’s a six month old at home. I’m not looking forward to leaving him. I’m hardly able to leave him in the nursery at church!

  •  Do you have any particular advice for new writers attending conferences?

Pay for the offered critiques. Go to your agent meetings. I really hate big crowds of people, and I never would have gone to my first conference except that my husband sent me. [He believed in me a lot!] I’ve been back ever since because I know how important it is to make friends with other writers, whether they are published or aspiring.

As part of her book launch, Dawn is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews, book reviews and giveaways. She’s giving away a prize pack every weekend for the six weeks of the blog tour and one larger prize pack at the end. Each of YOU who comments on any post will be entered into the drawing for that specific week, and then also for the end of the tour Grand Prize.

THE FIVE WEEKLY PRIZE PACKS: a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.

THE GRAND PRIZE (at the end of week six): a Kindle Fire, a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.


Read Chapter One of The Hesitant Heiress for free!

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.

Upcoming novels by Dawn Crandall

The Bound Heart by Dawn Crandall Published by Whitaker House

November 2014

February 2015

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.

Connect with Dawn



Book Review Blog:




Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst





5 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Writing with Dawn Crandall

  1. Seriously! If I hadn’t married him, Amaryllis would still be buried in my heart to this day. I’m so glad he believed in me so much! It was all I needed! 🙂

  2. Love YOUR advice on marketing! Lol I am such an introvert. To me, that would be the most difficult part. Love that your hubby was so supportive. I don’t know what I would do without mine! 🙂 God bless, and I hope that the marketing part gets easier for you! 🙂

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