Monday 26 March 2012

Author In The Limelight: Dusty Crabtree

Shadow EyesI want to thank and welcome author, Dusty Crabtree for sharing her personal writing journey with us on my blog today. Her book, Shadow Eyes, can be purchased from Musa Publishing, Amazon, and other on-line bookstores.

How long have you been writing, Dusty?
Since May 2010, so almost 2 years now. Shadow Eyes was really the first thing I wrote.  I must have had the writer gene lurking around inside me for a while, though, because it didn’t take long for me to realize my passion for writing.

Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write Shadow Eyes?

The inspiration actually came from a screenplay idea I had a few years prior. The movie would have been about a cast of intertwined characters going about their lives and making mistakes with dark, creepy shadows (demons)hovering around them, whispering to them and influencing them to do evil things.  Only the audience would see the shadows, though.  The characters would be completely oblivious.  It would have been like a Christian horror movie, if there ever was such a genre!  However, my friend was really the one who inspired me to write the book as it was her suggestion and encouragement that made me even consider the mammoth task.
What sets Shadow Eyes apart from other books in the same genre?

There are several young adult paranormal/urban fantasies out there about fallen angels, demons, vampires, etc.  Without giving too much away, mine isn’t…  Okay, that hardly gave anything away.  Mine is about angels and demons, but the way that concept is portrayed with the main character seeing the shadows (demons) and light figures (angels) hovering around in the world unbeknownst to everyone else is unlike any other plot I’ve seen.  It’s something that is not all that far-fetched, so it hits readers more personally I think.  Not only that, but Shadow Eyes is also more about promoting morals and teaching life-lessons than most others in this genre…even though it has quite a few PG-13 scenes…
As an author, Dusty, what is your writing process?

You mean besides sitting on my couch with my laptop and getting lost in my writing until my throat is parched, I have nothing left to drink, and I have to pee so bad I’m seeing yellow?  Well, other than that little tidbit that probably fell under the category of TMI, I write extremely detailed outlines beforehand – for example, the outline for my 2nd book is 38 pages!  I then let the writing flow, and each time I pick it back up I revise what I just wrote before continuing.  Any given section gets revised SEVERAL times before I finish the book and then really revise.  Can you tell I’m a bit of a perfectionist? 
Yes, and that’s a GOOD thing! How long did it take for you to start and finish Shadow Eyes?

I started writing it in May of 2010 and finished (pre-revision/editing) in January 2011, so it took about 8 months.
Do you have any advice for other writers, Dusty?

Find something you are extremely passionate about, formulate a plot for the idea with things you love (whether that be romance, mystery, action, etc.), and start writing.  If it’s something you truly love and you have a great ending planned, you won’t want to stop until you reach it.

What’s next for Dusty Crabtree the author?
I’m actually working on a sequel for Shadow Eyes right now.  I don’t have a name for it yet, but I’m only in the second chapter.  Of course, I already have a detailed outline done, so, since I know what all will be included and how it’s going to end, I’m pretty excited about it. Sadly, though, I can’t tell you much about it because it would ruin the first book for you!

Sounds exciting, Dusty! Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series – If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?
That sounds like it would be so much fun! Lots of research, but a lot of fun, too! Hmmm…as far as actually time traveling, so many ideas come to mind.  One of my favorite time periods, though, is the 1920s because that era just sounds like a blast!  Late nights, dancing, going to parties at fancy, elaborate mansions (assuming I would be cool and rich enough to be invited), snazzy, fringy outfits with feathers in my hair, carefree attitude…the only thing is my husband would have to deal with me having shorthair.

Book Blurb:

Iris Kohl lives in a world populated by murky shadows that surround, harass, and entice unsuspecting individuals toward evil.  But she is the only one who can see them.  She’s had this ability to see the shadows, as well as brilliantly glowing light figures, ever since an obscure, tragic incident on her fourteenth birthday three years earlier. 

Although she’s learned to cope, the view of her world begins to shift upon the arrival of three mysterious characters.  First, a handsome new teacher whose presences cares away shadows; second, a new friend with an awe-inspiring aura; and third, a mysterious and alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend.
As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, she must ultimately revisit the most horrific event of her life in order to learn her true identity and become the hero she was meant to be.


  1. Sounds like an interesting read. I'm intrigued.

  2. It's refreshing to see that you aren't shying away from negative social pressures in your book. Rather than pretending that high school kids don't get put in those types of situations, or assuming that all teenagers are weak and will give in, you figure out how to promote morality in the face of the "demons". I love it!

  3. Dusty, you must be a natural writer to have the very first book you wrote published. I've terribly impressed and wish you much luck Shadow Eyes and all your future projects.
    Sharon, your interviews are awesome!!

  4. Thanks Amaleen! I was also very persistent and determined!

    Tracina, that is totally what I was going for! Promoting morals while still being very intriguing and appealing to everyone, both young and old. Thanks! :)

  5. Looks like Dusty Crabtree knows her audience! Best wishes in your writing career, Dusty. And thank you, Amaleen, all I do is offer the "podium" to other wonderful YA authors like yourself! Cheers!

  6. Dusty, I like that the stories offers all of the temptations of teendom, without the dumbing down. They are much more savvy than people give them credit for, so I think your book will truly appeal to the YA audience.