Excellence in Indie Publishing GIVEAWAY Guest Post: Crystal Walton

May 19, 2017 contemporary, Crystal Walton, giveaway, romance 23

Today, as part of the Excellence in Indie Publishing Giveaway going on this week, we get the privilege of hearing from Crystal Walton about making it on your own… or maybe not 🙂

Have you ever experienced complete darkness?

No, I don’t mean that figuratively. I’m talking about not seeing your hand dead in front of your face kind of darkness. The kind that induces a panic attack for those of us who are addicted to—er, I mean, struggle with—needing some sense of control.

During my freshman year of college, my residence hall ventured on a team building exercise spelunking in a local PA cavern. One by one, we crawled into the small opening in the ground, watching the girl in front of us ebb into complete darkness.

Inside, I immediately jolted on my flashlight, which I may or may not have been clinging to like an oxygen tank. But hey, I was doing it. I was traversing tunneled passageways, pretending I was in The Goonies. It was even sort of fun. Until it was time for the lesson.

Halfway into the cavern, the guide instructed everyone to pass up our flashlights to the front of the line. The lights went out. As in, utter blackness.

It’s difficult to describe the immediate fear that surged through my body in that moment. My control—gone. Any sense of self-reliance—toast.

Stripped of our ability to see the path before us, we were forced to rely on the person directly in front of us to provide instruction passed from the leader down the single file line: “You’ll have to lie on your stomach to pass through this section.” “Watch out for the drop five feet ahead.” “Get ready to climb over a barrier in just a couple of steps.”

As anticipated, the experience left a lasting impression on each of us. Along with a nagging question: What would my journey look like if I tried to make it on my own?

One, I’d be lost. No question. Two, I’d be battered and bruised, constantly running into jagged edges I don’t have the vision or foreknowledge to avoid. Three, I’d likely give in to despair before ever reaching my destination. Not to mention forfeiting the joy of sharing in the journey with fellow sojourners.

If I could sum up trying to navigate the publishing world, it’d look pretty darn similar. At least, if you’re trying to do it on your own. But that’s what I love about the indie circle. You don’t walk alone. Truly, I’ve never met more generous and supportive people willing to come alongside each other through what would otherwise be a very dark and potentially aimless route.

Just like with my old college dormmates in that cave, I’ve watched indie authors openly pass down guidance from one to the next to the next. I’ve grasped hands with friends while taking tentative steps forward and pressed into hugs after slamming straight into a wall.

Navigating the indie world has brought me back to that nagging question left from my one—and only, mind you—adventure in spelunking. And the best part, by far, has been finding the answer. What would my journey look like if I tried to make it on my own? As an indie author, I never have to find out.

Crystal writes relevant, inspirational romances with humor, 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.

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As part of the Contemporary fiction Excellence in Indie Publishing giveaway, you can win a prize pack of books, including Begin Again by Crystal Walton!

What happens when a free-spirited artist from big-city New York collides with an uptight business owner from small-town Ocracoke? Fireworks. The kind neither saw coming.

A single call is all it takes to drive artist Ti Russo into what she does best. Run. But hey, lying low in a beach town for a while isn’t so bad. Thanks to the distraction of playing consultant to a guy she’s determined to crack, she can almost forget about the past stalking her back home. But she never counted on the real danger being a picket-fenced life she has no business falling for.

Focus and self-preservation have gotten single dad Drew Anderson through the last nine years. With the threat of his shop’s foreclosure jeopardizing his daughter’s health care, the last thing he needs is a distracting hippie chick swooping in to shake up what he’s fought to protect. Including himself. The bank’s deadline adds enough pressure without re-risking feelings better left buried.

But as sparks flare and secrets escalate, the race against time propels Ti and Drew into a choice neither’s ready to make: Find the faith to surrender their past or forfeit their only chance to begin again.

If you’re a Luke Danes and Lorelai Gilmore fan, you’ll love Drew and Ti’s sparring relationship, along with Begin Again’s small-town setting, quirky characters, and family bonds.

Head over HERE to enter the giveaway & while you’re there, enter these other giveaways as well!

And for more on indie publishing, check out these guest posts from:

Sondra Kraak

Serena Chase

Heather Day Gilbert


23 Responses to “Excellence in Indie Publishing GIVEAWAY Guest Post: Crystal Walton”

    • Crystal Walton

      It was the first thing that came to mind. And thanks for being among the friends walking alongside me. 🙂

  1. Crystal Walton

    I still feel like this is a totally random post. LOL But thank you for hosting me and all these great indie authors. You’re definitely among the list of comrades helping each of us navigate the caverns of this industry. We so appreciate you. Love & Hugs!

    • Carrie

      awww thanks, sweet friend!! Love & HUGS right back! (and it’s NOT a random post! I love it!)

  2. Heather Day Gilbert

    I love this post! We were in a cave once when the power went out (not in purpose) because the state fair had drained the electricity! Extremely scary when standing near a ledge!!!

    Such truth here. Like you said, it is amazing how indies share info with one another to help each other get ahead. How they band together for boxed sets and more. And how they are such a support system on those days when you feel like giving up! Great post.

    • Carrie

      oh dear, Heather!! That would have been the last time i ever went into a cave lol.

    • Crystal Walton

      It really is remarkable to see how people bond together to support each other. So encouraging. And eek! on the cave thing. Yeah…never again. lol

  3. Winnie Thomas

    Crystal, I loved this! I, too, think it is amazing to see the support that indie authors give each other–especially in Christian fiction. I see so many authors actively promoting each other’s books and cheerleading for them–so awesome! We all need each other in this journey called life.

    • Crystal Walton

      Hey, Winnie. Yes, it’s awesome to see authors cheerleading each other on. Readers too! We can’t do it without you all. 🙂 Every nudge of encouragement and support is such a blessing.

  4. Sondra Kraak

    What a great post! The indie world is amazingly supportive. By the way, I’m nearing the end of Write Me Home, and I love your humor and voice. 🙂

    • Crystal Walton

      Thanks so much, Sondra. Write Me Home is one of my favorites. A lot of fun in that one! Between Nonna and Ti, I laughed a lot. 😉

  5. Kim

    Great post! I would not have made it through that as I am claustrophobic and complete darkness is a bit scary. I have not had a chance to read your books but a few are waiting patiently on my kindle!

    • Crystal Walton

      I hear ya, Kim. I won’t attempt how many attempts it took me to actually crawl inside to begin with. *cringe* Never again. lol

    • Carrie

      My kindle has a store of books waiting patiently for me too, Kim. Haha!!

  6. Connie Almony

    Ack! The idea of going spelunking, only the idea, makes my lungs hurt! Fortunately, there is more space with indie publishing. Yes, it is a very generous community!

    • Crystal Walton

      Right? LOL It makes my lungs hurt too, Connie. *shiver* I’m glad I did it….once. I’m good for life now. 😉 It’s a joy to partner with you along the journey.

  7. Janet Estridge

    I also have experienced complete darkness. My husband and I were in Carlsbad Caverns when, all of a sudden, the lights went out.
    We were so glad when they came back on.