Tuesday, January 30, 2024

PUYB Author Talks: ⭐A Bookish Conversation with 'Going There: Tales from the Riviera and Beyond' Donna Fletcher Crow⭐ #GoingThere #interview


Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, is an award-winning author who has published some 50 books in a career spanning more than 40 years. Her best-known work is Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England, a grail search epic depicting 1500 years of British history. The Celtic Cross is a 10-book series covering the history of Scotland and England from the 6th to the 20th century. 

Crow writes 3 mystery series: The Monastery Murders, contemporary clerical mysteries with clues hidden deep in the past; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime stories within a fictional setting; and The Elizabeth and Richard literary suspense series, featuring various literary figures. Where There is Love is a 6-book biographical novel series of leaders of the early Evangelical Anglican movement. The Daughters of Courage is a semi-autobiographical trilogy family saga of Idaho pioneers.

Reviewers routinely praise the quality of her writing and the depth of her research. Crow says she tries never to write about a place she hasn’t visited and one of her goals in writing is to give her readers a you-are-there experience.

Donna and her husband of 60 years live in Boise, Idaho. They have 4 children and 15 grandchildren, and she is an avid gardener.

Author Links  

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself? 

Oddly, I didn’t do any. After 40+ years of writing, this was a totally new experience. Because almost all my books are set in the United Kingdom, and I live in Idaho, I always write a solid outline, then research each place and historic event and person as thoroughly as I possibly can from home. Then I undertake an extensive research trip to the setting of each scene.

Not this time—this trip was purely for pleasure. When I was several days into it the concept of a book began to form. If only I had got my head together earlier there are several places I would have asked Kelly, my daughter-in-law who planned it all, to include in our itinerary. Such as the Escoffier Museum in Villeneuve-Loubet and the site of Somerset Maugham’s villa on Cap Ferrat. 

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub? 

After almost 40 years of working with established publishers large and small in the US and England, I decided to form my own small company Verity Press. I have an editor, cover designer and formatter, and a publicist. I’m loving the independence, but I could never have done it without all the wonderful education I gained working with professional publishers and editors

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

I keep the prices low—mostly 2.99 for the ebooks and only a little above the minimum price Amazon sets for print. I love my stories, I love my readers, and at this stage in my career, my goal is for them to meet.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

I normally release my books as soon as they are finished, but for Going There, I chose a December release because I wanted to promote it as a gift item. I have included a special hardback, full-color, gift edition as an option alongside a full-color e-book and a black and white paperback.

How did you choose your cover?

I knew I wanted a cover reminiscent of the arte deco travel posters of the 1920s during the golden age of the Riviera. Ken Raney, my cover artist, loved the idea and sent me a mock-up. It was lovely, but all in blue tones, which seemed too cool—I wanted my readers to feel the Mediterranean sun on their heads. I was delighted with his second version. I hope my readers will be, too.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

Rough drafting is by far the hardest part of the process for me, so I just grit my teeth and power through it. Then the fun—I go back through it as many times as I need to until I feel it’s the best I can make it on my own. Then off to my editor Sheila Deeth, who is amazing. An English woman living in America (which is important for my normal UK settings). For this book it was important that she is fluent in French and German—abilities I didn’t even know she had, although she had used her Latin to polish my books before.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

I love giving books away! As I said earlier, my goal is have my stories read. Every month I run a free book promotion through My Book Cave which I announce in my newsletter.

Subscribers also receive a free book from my Lord Danvers Investigates Victorian True-crime Series.

What are some of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

Be sure you have done the absolute best you can possibly do. Then have it edited by a professional editor. 

What are some of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

The most important thing for reaching readers today is getting lots of reviews. This is essentially the old-fashioned word-of-mouth approach, although now it’s all done virtually. I always start out with a free book promotion and announcements through my newsletter and social media. The best booster, however, is a professional virtual book tour—like the one I’m currently enjoying through Pump Up Your Book.

Then get on to your next project. New books help sell old books.

Do you have a long-term plan with your book?

I look forward to continuing to use this book for my own gift-giving and I will continue to encourage my readers to do so as well through occasional promotions. This however, is a stand-alone, so I don’t plan to do a series as I do with most of my novels. But then, on second thought, I really did enjoy working in the travel memoir format. In the writing business you never know… 

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

Please enjoy it and share it. One of the primary purposes of literature is to take us to new places and give us new experiences—I hope Going There will do that for you. 


Inside the Book

Title: Going There: Tales from the Riviera and Beyond

Author: Donna Fletcher Crow

Publication Date: December 3, 2023

Pages: 152

Genre: Travel Memoir / Short Story Collection

goodreads add to

In the summer of 2021 my daughter-in-law and I slipped through a brief window of sanity in a world driven mad by the Covid pandemic. Our purpose was to see my granddaughter Jane to a summer program in Monaco, then back to her ballet school in Switzerland. In spite of restrictions, protests, and nail-biting worries, the result was a marvelous experience.

I invited characters from my mystery series to join me in my imagination and have their own adventures in each setting. Their encounters are: Nice: “The Crime of Passion”; St Tropez: “The Mother Decrees”; Villefrance-sur-de-mer: “The Ghost Boy”; Monaco: “Fracas in Monaco”; The Loire Valley: “The Old Winemaker”;  Saint Gallen: “Whispers of Legend”.

The final coda is “Home Another Way” As 2 years later I return from quite a different trip aboard the Queen Mary 2 and my characters join in the celebrations as worlds coincide.

More information on the book GOING THERE: TALES FROM THE RIVIERA AND BEYOND can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Going-There-Tales-Riviera-Beyond-ebook/dp/B0CPHBRVJH?ref_=ast_author_mpb.



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