The Over 50 Writer

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 by Patti Shene

At the time my friends— all sensible people— were retiring I started a whole new career. I didn't plan it that way, so let me explain:

By the time the turn of the Millennium came around I had been writing professionally for twenty years and had published thirty books. I didn't see why that couldn't just keep on for another twenty years and thirty books. But life is full of surprises.

And life happened. In a nutshell, in the first decade of the 21st century, our family experienced 5 deaths and 10 births, 2 troubled marriages and 4 weddings, numerous graduations, baptisms and ordinations, and my husband and I helped plant a new church. Along with all of that the publishing industry was changing, but even more, I was changing.

All of which meant that, although I continued to write, I didn't publish anything for 10 years. And in that time, the electronic revolution happened.

 

 

 

Which meant that in 2010 when I found a new agent who sold my Monastery Murders series to a wonderful English publisher, reentering the publishing world was like starting a whole new career: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, ebooks, trailers. . . The list was endless and the learning curve incredibly steep.

Fortunately, my husband, whose office is at home, is very tekky, so when I got hopelessly lost in the euniverse I could sit at my computer and yell, "Stan!" He would come untangle me. Well, he still does.

 

 

So, here I am now with my website, sporting book trailers and telling about all my forty-some, variously available in print, ebook and audiobook on my web site, my Deeds of Darkness; Deeds of Light blog where I talk about mystery writers around the globe, a Facebook page which I would love to have you follow, and a Twitter account which I'm not very good at.

Now, in my 21st century career, I have a mystery series for which I try to publish a new title each year. My latest is A Tincture of Murder  in my Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series. Set in mid-Victorian York, it explores the case of William Dove "The Leeds Poisoner" whose trial set legal principles still debated in courts of law today. And as a bonus, I found a second true crime that is more bizarre than anything Charles Dickens dreamed up. It's so true— fact is often stranger than fiction.

The Lord Danvers books also feature a fictional crime wrapped around the true ones. And in this case I got to explore the work of the 19th century slum priests through the work of Danvers' younger brother Frederick who has taken Holy Orders and shocked the family by starting a refuge for fallen women and destitute children in the worst slum in York. When the poor women begin dying unexpectedly at The Magdalen House Frederick pleads with Lord and Lady Danvers to look into the circumstances. Freddie fears that the Asylum will not survive when news of these deaths spreads throughout the city.

But is death closer to home than anyone suspects? Was a servant girl's untimely death at elegant Wandseley Hall an accident as first believed? And was the fire that nearly destroyed Danvers' ancestral home linked to the deaths in some way? Is Lady Antonia's own life threatened?

This series is ebook only, available in all formats, including: Kindle and Nook.

In my Monastery Murders series An Unholy Communion will be available in North America in April. This is a contemporary exploration of the power of Good over the reality of evil. Felicity, my contemporary American heroine, is helping her priest fiancé lead a group of young people on a pilgrimage across Wales when terrifying things begin to happen. Preorder here.

Next up in the Elizabeth & Richard romantic suspense series will be A Jane Austen Encounter with English professors Elizabeth and Richard on sabbatical in England walking in Jane Austen's footsteps on a blissful second honeymoon— until murder happens.

And one book that has been a constant in my career since its first publication in 1992 is my Arthurian epic Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. It is now in its 4th edition with 3 publishers. (Glastonbury, A Novel of The Holy Grail, is available in ebook format. This, my best-known work, covers 1500 years of British history from the birth of Christ to the Reformation.

All that and grandchildren, too. Stan and I just celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary. We have 4 adult children and 11 grandchildren. Since they live in Los Angeles, Boston, Calgary and Kentucky we don't get to see them often enough, but another new trick I've learned in this age of miracles is how to Skype. I can only wonder what the next decade will bring.

 

 

 

Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 43 books, mostly novels dealing with British history. The award-winning Glastonbury, 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 three mystery series. Her newest titles are: An Unholy Communion, The Monastery Murders, A Tincture of Murder, The Lord Danvers Victorian true-crime novels, and A Jane Austen Encounter in 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/


Comments

Patti shene From Colorado At 2/1/2013 11:26:21 AM

So glad you don't remember any murders, Dolores! LOL! Sheila, I highly recommend The Fields of Bannockburn to keep you entertained in front of the fire on long winter nights! That you both for stopping by!

Donna Fletcher Crow From Boise, Idaho At 2/1/2013 11:23:07 AM

Yes, Sheila, I think you would enjoy GLASTONBURY. The ebook edition is readily available. There are copies of the earlier print editions still out there, but next month an all-new print version will be out from Angelico Press.

Donna Fletcher Crow From Boise, Idaho At 2/1/2013 11:20:37 AM

Dolores, thank you so much for stopping by! Dolores, you of all people know what goes on in a writer's mind. Didn't we have a wonderful time!

SC Skillman From Warwick, UK At 2/1/2013 5:56:05 AM

Donna, this is a wonderful account of all the books you've written! I've read 2 of your monastery murder mysteries & loved them. But all your novels sound like my sort of thing. Where shall I go next? Probably get hold of ""Glastonbury"" & read that! Your story of a new career is inspirational, too.

Dolores Gordon-Smith From Manchester UK At 1/31/2013 7:16:32 PM

An Unholy Communion, eh? Donna, my dear, I have such fond memories of being your driver during your Welsh research trip - but I don't remember any murders! I'm so looking forward to reading the book! Love D

Donna Fletcher Crow From Boise, Idaho At 1/31/2013 1:12:40 PM

Thank you Patti and Sheila! Not all my books are epic length, Patti. GLASTONBURY, BANNOCKBURN and THE BANKS OF THE BOYNE are hefty reads. Some of the mysteries you could get through in less than 2 days. I like to offer a variety. Keeps me from getting bored--hope it helps my readers, too.

Patti shene From Colorado At 1/31/2013 1:07:06 PM

Isn't she amazing, Sheila? Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sheila Deeth From England and Oregon At 1/31/2013 12:37:33 PM

Wow! I'm definitely looking forward to those new books and in awe of how many you're written that I haven't yet read.

Patti shene From Colorado At 1/31/2013 11:53:52 AM

Donna, I gasped in amazement as I read and posted this! Your books are no 2-day read. The one I read, The Fields of Bannockburn, logged in at a hefty 700 pages. It astounds me to think of all the words you have written and published in your life. Thank you for a great post.

Donna Fletcher Crow From Boise, Idaho At 1/31/2013 11:32:26 AM

Pat, thank you so much for this lovely guest spot. I love getting acquainted with new readers. I felt my life flashing before my eyes as I reread this.

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REVIEW OF HANNAH'S CHOICE BY JAN DREXLER
Patti Shene
2/27/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR WADE WEBSTER
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2/17/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR PAT JEANNE DAVIS
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2/3/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR DEBRA E. MARVIN
Patti Shene
1/20/2016

HAPPY 2016 FROM WRITER SANDY KIRBY QUANDT
Patti Shene
1/7/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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12/18/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JUNE FOSTER
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12/3/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA IVES LILLY
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11/19/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR NIKE CHILLEMI
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10/14/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR KELLY IRVIN
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10/1/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR PATTY SMITH HALL
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9/17/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR HOLLY MICHAEL
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9/4/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE MILLER PEASE
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8/19/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JOHNNIE ALEXANDER
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8/5/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA POLLARD
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7/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL SATTLER
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7/9/2015

WEIGHT LOSS DEVOTIONAL FREE ON KNDLE
Patti Shene
6/20/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR YVONNE ADERSON
Patti Shene
6/5/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SHERRI STONE
Patti Shene
5/21/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MARIANNE JONES
Patti Shene
5/6/2015

REVIEW OF INDEBTED BY BRAXTON DeGARMO
Patti Shene
4/29/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DEANNA K. KLINGEL
Patti Shene
4/17/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA IVES LILLY
Patti Shene
4/2/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR PEG PHIFER
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3/19/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DARLENE FRANKLIN
Patti Shene
3/4/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MICHELLE GRIEP
Patti Shene
2/20/2015

NEGOTIATING THE LEARNING CURVE
Patti Shene
2/6/2015

WHEN ENCOURAGEMENT COMES YOUR WAY
Patti Shene
1/30/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SANDY NADEAU
Patti Shene
1/14/2015

I AM A WRITER--OR AM I REALLY?
Patti Shene
1/1/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GEORGE DUNCAN
Patti Shene
12/3/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR MARTHA ROGERS
Patti Shene
11/21/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR EDITH EDWARDS
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WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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10/16/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAMILLE EIDE
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10/2/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR FRANCES SUSANNE BROWN
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9/18/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
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WELCOME AUTHOR LILLIAN DUNCAN
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8/21/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CYNTHIA TONEY
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8/6/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CARRIE STUART PARKS
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7/16/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR & PUBLISHER TRACY RUCKMAN
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7/3/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JANET SKETCHLEY
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6/18/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
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6/4/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA CAREY LYLES
Patti Shene
5/15/2014

DARK BIOLOGY BY BONNIE DORAN
Patti Shene
5/1/2014

BY THE WATERS OF KADESH BY CAROLE TOWRISS
P
4/17/2014

WHERE HOPE STARTS BY ANGELA D. MEYER
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THE CHARM BRACELET BY SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
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3/20/2014

Love Redeemed by Kelly Irvin
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3/5/2014

Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley
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2/20/2014

WELCOME WRITER DELORES LIESNER
Patti Shene
2/5/2014

The Heartbeat of the Novel by James R. Callan
Patti Shene
1/15/2014

Don't Let Bible Contradictions Rob Your Faith
Patti Shene
1/2/2014

Welcome Author Lilliann Duncan
Patti Shene
5/30/2013

Confessions of a Reluctant Reader
Patti Shene
5/9/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR LENA NELSON DOOLEY
Patti Shene
5/2/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR KATHI MACIAS
Patti Shene
4/24/2013

Review of Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle
Patti Shene
4/18/2013

I'm back
Patti Shene
4/11/2013

Welcome Author JoAnn Durgin
Patti Shene
2/14/2013

Welcome Award-Winning Author Susan Page Davis
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2/7/2013

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks
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1/30/2013

Introducing Jeanette Windle and Congo Dawn
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1/23/2013

Author Carole Johnson on Perseverance
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1/17/2013

The Value of Social Media
Patti Shene
1/9/2013

A Glimpse Into the Future
Patti Shene
1/2/2013

Welcome Author Jo Huddleston
Patti Shene
12/20/2012

Give Some Holiday Hope for Just $3.99
Patti Shene
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Great Christmas books from Lena Nelson Dooley
Patti Shene
12/7/2012

Welcome to Author Jude Urbanski
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

A Writers Journey Part IV
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Interview with Author Kelly Irvin
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Whose prophecy do you believe?
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Author Michal J. Webb
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Meet Author Sharon Shrock and the Women of Valley
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Author Lillian Duncan
Patti Shene
11/13/2012