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Monday, September 17, 2012

"Glastonbury: A Novel of the Holy Grail" by Donna Fletcher Crow ~ Historical Treat!


A Novel of The Holy Grail
New Release, Ebook Format

The Holy Grail lies somewhere in Glastonbury!
When Joseph of Arimathea and his little band of pilgrims sought asylum from Roman persecution they fled to Glastonbury—and carried with them the most sacred relic in all of Christendom.
This tiny, sheltered corner of Britannia—this holy "Isle of Avalon"—was also a place of refuge when King Arthur and his knights fought off the invading barbarian hoard. And it became Arthur's final resting place.
Centuries later, the discovery of Arthur's bones in Glastonbury sparked a great flowering of the faith and magnificent building—after a devastating fire nearly obliterated the work and worship of centuries.
Then, after the last abbot of Glastonbury was dragged to his death atop the Tor, the Abbey's splendid arches were left to crumble. Yet they stand today—as beacons of hope for the future.
Two millennia of history and legend intertwine around Glastonbury's broken arches. And through it all—through ages ancient and modern—the faithful have sought to answer the same question that Arthur asked: Where is the Holy Grail?

Genre:  Fiction/Historical Fiction
Author:  Donna Fletcher Crow
Find her:  Donna

Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 36 books, mostly novels dealing with British history. The award-winning Glastonbury, an Arthurian grail search epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work. A Very Private Grave, Book 1 in the Monastery Murders series, is her reentry into publishing after a 10-year hiatus. Book 2, A Darkly Hidden Truth, will be out this fall, and she is at work on Book 3, An Unholy Communion, scheduled for 2012.
The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries is a romantic intrigue series using literary figures as background: Dorothy L Sayers in The Shadow of Reality and Shakespeare in A Midsummer Eve's Nightmare.
Her newest release in the ebook field is Lord Danvers, a Victorian true crime series: A Most Inconvenient Death, Grave Matters, and To Dust You Shall Return.
The Daughters of Courage, Kathryn, Elizabeth and Stephanie is a pioneer family saga based on the stories of Donna's own family and other Idaho pioneers in the Kuna, Nampa and Boise area.
Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho. They have 4 adult children and 10 grandchildren. Donna is remembered by Idahoans with long memories as a former Queen of the Snake River Stampede, Miss Rodeo Idaho and runner-up for Miss Rodeo America. She is an enthusiastic gardener.


Hello, again, Donna!  I'm so happy to have you visit "A Bookish Libraria" again with another of your exciting books.  Every time you come out with a new book I'm first in line to read it.  Thrilled to be interviewing you!  Let's get started~

Thank you so much, Deb. I’m delighted to be back with you. I absolutely loved my earlier visit to A Bookish Libraria! (http://ning.it/Kkl2kN)

1) First of all, please tell us a special something about what makes you "tick."  When you aren't writing, what are you doing? (Aside from being a mom)


Well, yes, being a wife, mom and grandmother is a huge part of the picture, but I suppose my passion for England has always been a major driving force of my life. My love for English history, literature and landscape certainly played a major part in my writing GLASTONBURY, A Novel of the Holy Grail.


2) You chose a specific genre, a place and time to write about, what made you choose it?


I can’t really say I chose to write an epic, that more just happened. I first envisioned a six-book series, then I read Edward Rutherfurd’s SARUM and saw how my story would work perfectly in that format.


As to place, so many things came together to make me focus on Glastonbury: my lifelong love of the Arthurian legends, my fascination with William Blake’s poem Jerusalem:

                        And did those feet in ancient times,

                        Walk on England's mountains green…

                        Till we have built Jerusalem

                        In England's green and pleasant land.


3) Bronte or Austen?  Hemingway or Hawthorne?  Why?


Austen, Austen, Austen! First last and always. Since I was a teenager. The delight of her humorous understatement, her wry observations of human nature, the wonderful people she creates, the peace and beauty of her world. . .


Actually, I’ve just returned from doing an extensive research trip to the places where Jane lived. It will serve as background for my next Elizabeth & Richard Mystery.


4) In your opinion, what makes a book a great one?


I choose my books first of all for their background. I want a well-developed setting so that I can feel that I am there— living the story with the characters. I need the author’s style to have a flow to it that doesn’t pull me out of the fictive dream. That is the experience I strive to deliver for my readers as well.


5) Which author(s) most influenced your love of books from childhood? 


I was an only child growing up on a farm so I simply read everything I got my hands on, starting with HEIDI, BAMBI, THE BOBBSEY TWINS. . . It was really discovering the English classics, though that fired my passion. Starting, oddly, with WUTHERING HEIGHTS (which I still don’t understand), then Dickens, George Eliot, and the sublime Jane.


6) Read any good books in the past 6 months?


A JANE AUSTEN EDUCATION by William Deresiewicz was the best nonfiction I read. I enjoyed returning to an old favorite Barbara Pym with EXCELLENT WOMEN, I’m currently reading an excellent historical crime novel HANGMAN BLIND by Cassandra Clark.


7) Choose 4 guests from any era for dinner.  Who would they be and what would you choose for a topic of conversation?


Well, no surprise here, they would all be English authors: Jane Austen, Barbara Pym, G. K. Chesterton, and C. S. Lewis. I would sit back and let them talk about their lives and their writing. And if I could ask one more just to drop by for dessert I would love to have it all punctuated by Oscar Wilde’s ascerbic wit.


8) Which of your characters is most like you?


Well, since GLASTONBURY covers 1500 years of English history, there’s quite a range to choose from. Perhaps I could claim some small kinship with Marie de France since she chose to live in England and wrote about some of the same subjects I cover in GLASTONBURY, such as Arthurian legends and Saint Patrick.


9) If you could cast your book for a movie, who would you choose?


Derek Jacobi would be wonderful as Austin Ringwode, whom history tells us was the last monk of Glastonbury. It is his searching for the Holy Grail that gives my story its structure.

Hmmm— Kenneth Branaugh or Jude Law for King Arthur? Definitely Kiera Knightly  for Guenivere. If this were to be filmed it would truly be “a cast of thousands.”


10) Worst habit you have?


Hoarding. My mother was a child of the depression and always believed in keeping something “because we might need it.” Of course, it often turns out that I do need it— but can I find it??


11) How much research did you do before and during writing?


In a sense GLASTONBURY is the product of a lifetime of research and reading because I literally grew up on the tales of King Arthur. Before the actual writing I took an extensive research trip to all the places I write about, especially Glastonbury, Tintagel, Dozmary Pool, Hadrian’s Wall, Caerleon. . .


The writing itself took three years and I was continuing my research for each section: Celtic, Roman, Arthurian, Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Tudor through all that time.


12) Psychologists tell us the thing we think we'd most like to grow up to be when we're ten years old is our avocation.  What did you want to be?


It’s true that I always loved to read and write, but mostly I wanted to be a rodeo queen— which I was: Miss Rodeo Idaho and runner-up to Miss Rodeo America.
Thank you, Donna.  I always love your answers to interview questions.  You're the most fun!  Good luck with your new book...I just know you have another one brewing.  I'm anxiously awaiting it.
5 stars for all of Donna Fletcher Crow's books
You can find them on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


Donna Fletcher Crow

What a delight to be back with you! Thank you so much for this super interview and for sharing GLASTONBURY withyour readers.

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