Hi! My name is Erin Hawley Cronin and I am a wife, mom, sister, daughter and friend–and an aspiring young adult/new adult author. At this point, I have one completed manuscript that I have edited six times (I think) and I have written just over 40,000 words in its sequel. I know there will be a third book, and there just might be a fourth book in the back corners of my mind, but I’m not sure.
I have always loved books and reading. When I was little, I would close myself off in my bedroom and read and when I finally came out for dinner, I would be speaking in whatever jargon, dialect or syntax the characters in my books had been speaking. I had a habit of memorizing passages and poems I discovered in books, and books could even give me bad dreams. As I got older, learning about books took the place of reading books, and I got so busy with research and teaching that it didn’t really occur to me I should write stories. However, I do remember attending my 10-year high school reunion and writing my goal for the next 10 years was to write a book with my husband. At the time, our first child was 3 months old, and as any parent can tell you, writing a book in between diapering, feeding, and burping your first baby would be pretty tough. I’m sure people have done it, but I couldn’t.
It wasn’t until my oldest reached junior high that I started wondering if I should try writing a book. She had outgrown the kids’ section at our library, but the teen books made her stressed. She never knew whether the endings would be happy or whether she’d get half-way through the books and read something that made her uncomfortable. She kept bringing books to me to read first, and let her know if she would like them. Around the same time, I read a couple of young adult books that I didn’t like, and I started to wonder if I could write something my daughter and I would like better.
It took the indirect challenge of a Bible study leader’s words, some scenes flashing in my head and a couple late nights up with nothing to do to get me to finally sit down and write, but in February of 2013, I wrote a scene. A few days later, I wrote another, and so on, until I found myself needing to sit down and write so I could see what would happen to Helen, the main character in my story. Those scenes turned into Heart of Stone, which I now am calling Amber in the Mountains. My hope is to follow Helen through her college years, through Mica in the Wilderness, my current work-in-progress, and through Crystal in the Storm, which only has a setting and a few scenes at this point. As I said, there might be a fourth book about Helen, or by then I might be ready to embark on something new. I’d love to have you join me on this journey!