Saturday’s Pick: Author Crystal Walton
It’s Saturday again, and that makes it time to introduce you to another Indie author: Crystal Walton.
I will be featuring some of the best fiction from Indie Authors on Saturdays and today’s pick is author Crystal Walton. My goal is to provide safe recommendations for those ages 12+ who want to read books containing minimal bad language and no sexually explicit scenes. There may be some scenes that include warfare and death, but none will contain offensive gore or graphic violence. These authors are all members of Clean Indie Reads under the leadership of one of my favorite authors: Lia London.
Amidst multiple moves up and down the east coast, Crystal received her bachelor of arts from Messiah College in PA, married her exact opposite in upstate NY, and earned her master of arts from Regent University in VA, where she currently resides with her husband.
She writes clean romances with humor, depth, broken characters, and emotional plots full of grace and hope.
When not working her accounting day job, she’s delving into the wonder of words, supporting her Starbucks habit, or laughing over movie quotes & singing eighties songs with her husband.
Crystal Walton, welcome to my website! I noticed you graduated from the beautiful campus of Messiah College in Mechanicsville. Did you pull any of your inspiration in the books from the charming and romantic wooded creek that runs through it or any of the other experiences on campus there?
Most definitely. While writing my Unveiled Series, I drew from many college memories. I adored Messiah’s campus while there. Took many walks along its trails, enjoying the tranquility. The Unveiled Series takes place at Reed College in Oregon, but I often pictured Messiah memories while writing the scenes.
I’m also an Indie Author, and I have to tell you, this career path is not for those with a weak heart. What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
How much time do you have? I could write an entire book on this, truly. I’ve found gaining the exposure you need to build an audience is one of the greater challenges of being an author without access to pivotal connections in the industry. I think helping readers understand the monumental importance and value of leaving reviews has been the most surprising challenge I’ve encountered. But perhaps the greatest challenge comes down to overcoming doubts and discouragement along what is sometimes an excruciatingly painful journey.
Blog hops are a popular way for Indie Authors to find new eyes for their efforts. Have you participated in any blog hops with other authors and did the experience provide more visibility for you?
I tend to think blog hops and tours aren’t as effective as other means of marketing, regarding exposure and sales. When I released my first book, I paid for two online book tours, neither of which translated into a lasting impact. The main problem is inundation. Those blogs feature a new book every single day. Unless the author is offering a free book or a giveaway incentive, most readers tend to move onto the next one. Even if the book sounds of interest, it’s usually added to an enormous TBR list on top of the hundreds of others they see each day. I’d recommend promoting a sale through an effective site such as ENT, Robin Reads, or BookBub instead of using blog tours.
You received a brilliant review for “Write Me Home” – Tell us a little bit about the book.
“Crystal Walton’s WRITE ME HOME is masterfully written. Both tender and gripping, the story pulled me in and wouldn’t let go. A romance that will leave you breathless, and characters that come alive, this book is a must read.” – NYT’s Best Selling Author Victorine E. Lieske
I absolutely loved every minute of writing Write Me Home. The connections, the banter, the romance, the message. All of it. So much fun. I’m always excited to introduce readers to an outspoken fireman, a spitfire redhead, and her eclectic best friend, an adorable Calico named Jax, plus two hilarious dogs who know how to win your heart. It’s probably my favorite story so far.
Here is a short blurb about the book:
Returning home isn’t in firefighter Ethan DeLuca’s plans. Especially when his boss ends up being one fire he can’t tame. Cassidy McAdams is on a mission. Sell her grandpa’s camp and hightail it back to NYC. Neither needs distractions. But with unexpected complications mounting, running away is no longer an option.
Tell us a little bit about your Unveiled series. How are the books connected?
The Unveiled books follow a young girl’s coming-of-age journey through her junior and senior years of college over the course of three novels, so you need to read them sequentially. Eyes Unveiled tells her rocky story of uncovering the faith to see who she really is and trust in the good things in store for her life. Light Unshaken throws her down a tumultuous road of fighting for courage when everything she learned is tested. And Hope Unbroken takes her through an obstacle-ridden path of learning some things are worth hoping for.
Please share a little about your Fire Starter Team for your newest book, “Arms of Promise”.
These groups go by all kinds of names. Street Team and Scream Team are a couple of common ones. When I first started studying publishing and marketing, I remember hearing someone compare word of mouth marketing with starting wildfires. I liked the imagery, so I’ve stuck with Fire Starter Team since. It’s simply a group of enthusiastic readers who get a free advanced reader copy of the book in exchange for agreeing to read it before the release date, post a supportive review to Amazon and Goodreads, and help promote the release by sharing through social media and by word of mouth.
What do you and your husband like to do on the weekends?
Since I work full-time, I usually use weekends to write. If we do anything, it’s typically in the evenings. We may watch a movie, have an outdoor fire in our backyard, take a motorcycle ride, go out to eat or to a baseball game. As long as the weather’s nice, we’d prefer to be doing something outside.
Is there anything else we should know about you?
Just as there are all kinds of subgenres of romance in general, there are also varying types of clean romance. I write character-driven, emotionally charged contemporary romance. The heart of every story focuses on a character’s journey from a lie to truth, brokenness to redemption, doubt to hope. Instead of painting romance as a fairy tale, my books dive into more of the raw and relatable aspects of love—from the awkward, exciting beginnings to the messy, heartbreaking middles to the grounded, rewarding endings.
Here are Crystal’s Links:
We thank Crystal Walton for joining us on Peggy’s Hope 4U today. The beauty of her clean romance books is that you can leave them on the table without being embarrassed to have your teenagers see them there. Don’t forget Crystal when you finish reading her books. Author’s depend on honest reviews so they can continue to delight you with their stories.