Allow me to travel down memory lane. When I was a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), the first book giveaway I entered and won was for A Very Private Grave, the first of the Monastery Murders series by Donna Fletcher Crow.
Later, I started posting writer interviews for the Indiana ACFW Chapter's blog Hoosier Ink and later Sleuths and Suspects blog, and the first novelist I interviewed was Donna Fletcher Crow, who had just released the second installment of the same series.
Since then, I served as an influencer for four books of this series (including the newly released one, Against All Fierce Hostility) and a couple of her other mysteries, and am interviewing her for the fourth time.
Thus, it's fitting that the first interview I'm doing for this blog is with Donna Fletcher Crow.
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JR: The latest installment of one of my favorite series, The Monastery Murders, is out. Can you tell us what Father Anhony and Felicity are up to these days?
DC: Thank you, Jeff. I’m so glad you enjoy Father Antony and Felicity’s adventures. Against All Fierce Hostility is rather a departure for me because Felicity and Antony are off to monasteries in Canada, rather than their usual galavanting around England. It was great fun for me to work in a new environment, and I hope my readers will enjoy it as well.
JR: One focus I have for this blog is to focus on how we can defend the faith in novels and the arts. Could you ask Father Antony if he has any thoughts on the subject? (I'd like to hear yours as well.)
DC: Oddly enough, Father Antony and I seem to agree on that subject. My goal is to show characters living consistent, faithful Christian lives—especially my clerical characters. Of course, Felicity had to come to appreciate that in Antony because her original view of Christianity was quite different from his. I also like to emphasize the similarities in the various expressions of Christianity. Although Father Antony is very high church in his worship practices, he is evangelical in his attitudes—therefore, his work on the ecumenical council and his including stories of faith from various branches of the church. It is my goal to show Christian readers from across the spectrum that believers with different ideas can work together. I want non-Christian readers to see a winsome, loving faith that works in my characters’ lives and has stood the test of time throughout the ages.
JR: At present, I've started the novel, and I hope I'm not spoiling anything to mention that Father Antony speaks at an ecumenical conference about the persecution of Scottish Covenanters in England. Is there a balance of being tolerant of other forms of worshipping and theology and maintain other groups to hold
to their convictions and non-negotiables?
DC: Scripture and the creeds are basic. Of course, even that is sticky because interpretations vary so much among sincere Christians. I truly believe, however, that somehow it will all come together in heaven. God’s Truth is so enormous that no human mind can really encompass it all—therefore we need various expressions of it. No one can have more than a shard of the whole picture. On the other hand, it is all so simple that little children can grasp the essentials of love and trust.
JR: Besides the Monastery Murders, you also have a pair of other mystery series still continuing as well as other books. What's on the horizon with them? Any chance of Father Antony and Felicity aiding Richard and Elizabeth discover what happened to Lord Danvers? (For all your heroes to get together would require crossing over into sci-fi, wouldn't it?)
DC: Ha! What a great idea, Jeff! It would take quite an event to bring Danvers’ Victorian true-crime and Elizabeth and Richard’s literary suspense together in one of the Monastery Murder’s church history stories. Still, you never know what that great stew in a writer’s mind might produce.
JR: Thank you for your time, and I'll be looking forward to your next mystery.
DC: Thank you so much, Jeff, it’s been great fun visiting with you. If any of your readers want more information they can find all my books, photos from my research trips and my blog on my website. And I would be delighted to have them follow me on my Facebook page.
Back to you, readers. Have you had the privilege of reading any of Donna Fletcher Crow's books? And have you had experience of working with other spectrums of the Christian faith?