Thursday, October 07, 2010


 In June, when author Donna Fletcher Crow visited Straight From Hel, she talked about her book, A Very Private Grave, an ecclesiastical thriller. It debuted in the UK first, then three months later in the US. I asked her at that time to stop by again and tell us how it went and what her experiences were.

She’s back again today – and she has a lot to tell us about what has happened since June. Donna is a multi-published author. She’s written over 35 books, mostly novels of British history, and is still writing more. The award-winning epic Glastonbury, is her best-known work, an Arthurian grail search covering 15 centuries of English history.

For her, the last three months have been about more than just the one book. Or even two. Or three.

Please welcome Donna Fletcher Crow.

Still Schizophrenic

Hi again, Helen, a lot of water has rolled across the Atlantic since I was with you last June talking about my experience working for two publishers on opposite sides of the Atlantic: “Swimming the Pond” so I’m delighted to be back to share an update.

Funny, isn’t it, how life is so much like the rules for writing good fiction. Like the one about when your heroine is stuck in a tight spot— throw in more complications. So, a week after my ecclesiastical thriller A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE, #1, The Monastery Murders, came out in England, my romantic intrigue THE SHADOW OF REALITY, #1, The Elizabeth and Richard mysteries, my tribute to Dorothy L Sayers, launched as an Ebook.

 SHADOW OF REALITY is with a new, young publisher who is “all about embracing technology” so the Epublication is the primary one, to be followed later by a print book after an electronic reader base has been established. It’s all a bit of an experiment, but isn’t everything right now in our volatile market. So far it seems to be working rather well. For one glorious moment, THE SHADOW OF REALITY was listed as #9 for British mysteries in the Kindle store. But that, too is a volatile market, so I had to look quick.

My summer included doing an Ebook push on Amazon (trying to get all my friends to buy on one day to get the ratings up). I think I made it to #28 in my category that day. And my husband continued to fill out more forms for Her Majesty’s Inland Revenue to convince them that I am an American taxpayer so they don’t need to withhold tax for A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE. Last week I received a glorious cheque in Pounds Sterling for which I had to open a new bank account to handle international exchange. It wasn’t all that much money, you understand, but I loved the idea of participating in international banking.

And now, A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE has had its official North American launch, so I have the full blessing of my American publisher for a full steam ahead virtual tour (schedule listed on my website:, doing what I can to help push the Sam’s Club promotion and scheduling booksigning parties. Appropriately enough for a book that comes from both England and America, my first launch party will be in Calgary, Canada, at The Owl’s Nest on October 9. Then I’ll participate in a Book Extravaganza here in the Boise Valley when I get back.

Beyond that, publishers for both series have said they are ready to go ahead with the second book. That means A DARKLY HIDDEN TRUTH, #2, for Monastery Murders, and A MIDSUMMER EVE’S NIGHTMARE, #2 for Elizabeth and Richard, my fling with the Bard. Which, yes, I should be working on right now.

If this all sounds somewhat confusing to you, let me assure you, you’re in good company. The best example was yesterday when a reader said on Facebook that she had downloaded A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE to her Kindle. Well, I had understood that my very traditional English publisher wasn’t doing Ebooks, so you can imagine the excited post I put on Facebook with lots of exclamation marks. Then I realized, no, my reader was confused. She has THE SHADOW OF REALITY on her Kindle and is waiting for Amazon to fill her pre-order for A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE. I just hope Amazon isn’t confused, too.

Well, I said in June that I’d come back and tell you how it’s all working out. The bottom line answer is that I don’t really know, but I’m having a lot of fun. Why have just one personality when you can have two or three?

I often think of the greeting card I saw years ago when, at that time I was overwhelmed with four young children, “Lord, give me strength to endure my blessings.”

Thank you Donna!

If you’d like to see the book video, to order A Very Private Grave, or to see pictures from Donna’s research trips, go to

And if you’d like to say hi or ask questions, head to the Comments section.


  1. Congratulations Donna! Sound like you've embraced the technology and multiple outlets. Good on you!

    My Darcy Mutates

  2. I've come to accept technology, but when I stopped to ponder the changes, it is amazing. You're rolling with the wave, Donna.

  3. Donna, it sounds like you're having fun, and your books sound very interesting. I'll be keeping an eye out on my next Amazon shopping spree.

  4. Best of luck with your book tour. Modern technology is a wonderful thing, but at times it doesn't seem to like me very much. LOL Wishing you much success.

    Thoughts in Progress

  5. Congratulations on using different formats (and even different countries!) successfully! Hope your book tour goes well.

  6. Glad she's having success, confusing though it may be!

  7. It all makes me long for the good ol' days before technology took over. Then I remember how much better it is now and I perk up.

  8. 35 books, that's really impressive.

    And now you're getting experience with international banking. That's a hell of a dirty business some places. Might be a good setting for a thriller >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  9. Good morning from Canada! Thank you so much for hosting me again, Helen. It's lovely to be with you because you have so many responsive readers.

    Interesting that so many of you commented on technology because I came to visit our daughter in Calgary in the middle of my blog tour and their computer went kaputt. Still in warranty, but it must spend 2 weeks in hospital. So I'm finishing my tour on the computer of a lovely friend and neighbor whose tekky teenage son is very accommodating. I hope this is the last time I have to set out for foreign parts without my own laptop.

    And, Helen, when I told my friend about the name of your blog she informed me that hell in German means "bright." So there you are--our bright and shinging hostess.

    Blessings all,

  10. You seem to be extremely busy but enjoying it all, confusion and otherwise!
    Thanks for this post, Helen!

  11. Sounds like you are having lots of fun, Donna. That is the best attitude to have when in comes to the chaos of promoting, especially two books at once. I've done that before and it is really a challenge. I felt like one of those old variety show jugglers who tried to keep plates spinning on a row of dowels.

  12. Great post - interesting for me, since I'm doing an e-book push on both sides of the Atlantic before my print version. It's good to read about another author's experiences.

  13. I'm so impressed that you can try all these different avenues concurrently. Congratulations.

  14. Yes, Laura, even as a child my worst fear was of being bored. No chance of that now.

    I love your juggler image, Maryann. Of course, I also felt that way as a mother when I had 4 children at home, so I guess it's just life.

    Talli, best of luyck with your ebook push! Write to me through my website and let me know when it's on. I'm always looking for new ebooks.

    Thank you, Lisa.


  15. Ooh, thank you Donna and thank your friend. I'm bright, everyone!

  16. Okay, another book to put on my list. I plan on getting my son and daughter ereaders for Christmas and talk my husband into getting me one.

  17. Donna, you are doing so much on so many fronts! I look forward to the print release of SHADOW OF REALITY (not embracing e devices myself) but I celebrate your many successes along with you! International banking indeed :)

  18. Do you know which one you're going to ask for, Susan?

    Jenny, I'm probably ready to embrace an eReader, but not the price.

  19. Wow! What a load of work you've done. It's a wonder there weren't tsunami across the Atlantic. I like the story line for VPG. I'll have to check it out.

    Meant to get here sooner but was gone until 8 this evening. Put up my blog and noticed a calendar note announcement that Helen was having you again. Well. I got here, barely in the nick of time.

    Congratulations! Wishing you the very best with your endeavors. :-)

  20. Thank you, susan. I learned just recently that A Very Private Grave will be out in Ebook format in December--my publisher just decided to take the plunge.

    Jenny, the print version of Shadow of Reality is planned for next spring to coincide with A Midsummer Eve's Nightmare, # 2 in the series.

    Sia, I'm so glad you made it by. Great to hear from you.


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