Tuesday, May 14, 2013

No Story Before Its Time

Some wine company used to advertise, "We will sell no wine before its time." Sometime stories are like that— one can tell no story before its time.

I had wanted to tell the story of Christianity in Wales for at least 20 years. After all, I told the story of Christian England in GLASTONBURY, of Scotland in THE FIELDS OF BANNOCKBURN, and of Northern Ireland in THE BANKS OF THE BOYNE. Wales had to come next, didn’t it? But publishers change, markets change, writers change. . .

In 2001 I researched the story of St. David spreading Christianity throughout his beloved land and the phenomenal accounts of the 1904 Welsh Revival that swept the coal mining villages of the Rhonda Valley for a nonfiction book I hoped to publish. But the time was not yet.

Then came The Monastery Murders and I had a whole new avenue to tell so many stories I had been longing to tell. And with AN UNHOLY COMMUNION, book 3 in the series, it was time to explore mystical Wales.

First, I revisited the scenes of the stories I would be telling— or rather, Father Antony, my resident church historian, would be telling. Then, because Felicity and Antony were in Wales to lead a youthwalk, I needed to experience a walking pilgrimage. So I joined a group walking the ancient pilgrimage way from London to Walsingham— fortunately, a considerably less mountainous route than that hiked by my fictional characters.
Wales, however, wasn’t the only new territory for Felicity to explore. Because one of the themes of this series is to explore the reality of good and evil and much of Felicity’s spiritual development comes from her exploration of new-to-her aspects of Christianity, AN UNHOLY COMMUNION deals with the reality of evil.

Wales is a land where there are many "thin places," as the Dean of St. David’s Cathedral said to me. It is a place where one can feel very close to God, indeed. And sometimes this same thinness can make way for forces from the other side.

This was part of the story I needed to tell— all based on careful research into experiences of deliverance ministers and those who deal with evil as part of their Christian ministry. Just as I don’t make up any of the history I recount in my novels, I wasn’t about to make up any encounters with evil. Rather, I transfered actual deliverance stories to my characters.

It’s a rather different story from others in my series, a very different story from one I would have told before. But AN UNHOLY COMMUNION was the story I needed to tell this time.

You can read more here: http://ning.it/11tcd4m

Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 43 books, mostly novels of British history. The award-winning Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail, an epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work. She is also the author of The Monastery Murders: A Very Private Grave, A Darkly Hidden Truth and An Unholy Communion as well as the Lord Danvers series of Victorian true-crime novels and the literary 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/ You can follow her on Facebook at:


  1. I love Wales, Donna-- setting of my WIP. I look forward to reading this. Your writing is always so rich in history.

  2. Thank you, LeAnne! What fun that we're sharing a setting again--as we did with Glastonbury! What part of Wales is your book set in?

  3. I always wondered why Wales had never had it's own story, and now I know. I'll look forward to reading this.

  4. Sounds wonderful. Those "thin places" are precisely the reason we need to be firmly grounded in scripture. The counterfeits can be so convincing if we are not. I'll have to find the book, now.

  5. Thank you so much, Iola and Judith. Oh, yes, the grounding is exactly what Felicity needs to learn--but she's getting there.

  6. Hi Donna, your book sounds fascinating and I'm looking forward to reading it :)

  7. Sounds another great read, Donna. At the moment I am reading Glastonbury and enjoying it very much.