Low Water Crossing: Interview and Giveaway

Book Two of the Sulfur Gap Series

Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Saga 
Independently published
Date of Publication: July 19, 2020
Number of Pages: 476

  Scroll down for the giveaway!

Low Water Crossing is a tribute to those who endure heartache and nevertheless celebrate, to those who wait—and live full lives while waiting.

A backhoe unearths a human skeleton buried on Wayne Cheadham’s West Texas ranch. The investigation points a grisly finger at Wayne’s first wife. And so begins the wild ride through twenty-five years of love and heartbreak. 

Wayne’s a highly eligible bachelor who runs into trouble, first because he’s naïve, and next because, well, life is unpredictable. He’s a loveable guy with a peaceful outlook. Just about anyone wants the best for him, dang it. To cope with sadness, he arranges for an old steel-girded bridge to be placed in the dry pasture in front of his house. Says it helps him adjust his perspective. Others say it’s the world’s largest yard ornament. He takes in stray emus and abandoned horses and becomes a mentor to a loveable little boy without much family. He sits and ponders his plight at a low-water crossing over the creek.

A cast of characters from the fictional small West Texas town of Sulfur Gap
the staff of a high school burger shop hangout on the Interstate, coffee groups at the Navaho Café, hair stylists from the Wild Hare, a local sheriff and his deputies, and the band at the local honky-tonkknits together the community surrounding Wayne, and all bring their own quirks. People you’d find anywhere, some with thicker Texas twangs than others. 

The town, the ranch, and familiar Texas cities such as San Angelo, Abilene, and Austin provide a backdrop for universal themes of love, grief, and loyalty.


Interview with Dana Glossbrenner, author of Low Water Crossing


How has being a Texan influenced your writing?

Living in Texas all my life has made me acutely aware of speech patterns of Texas—the small-town accent versus the urban accent, the regional variations from the soft “r” of East Texas to the harder, flatter “r” of West Texas. I’ve known many people that stereotypes are based on: ranchers, oil-field workers, cowboys, bartenders. When I use these expected “stereotypes” as characters, I present them as unique individuals with their own souls, aspirations, and quirks.


How does your book relate to your faith?

Low Water Crossing brings faith to the table, but not blatantly. Faith, for me, is fluid and adaptable, not a rigid set of beliefs. Cynthia exemplifies the struggle with rigidity and moving beyond. Lucy is without faith, because of her upbringing, but develops a faith in herself, relying totally on herself (a former version of myself). Lou is a person of faith in that she prays, forgives, loves, and practices mindfulness (the way I try to). From a spiritual point of view, one can see the central character, Wayne, as having cultivated an accepting, noncombative attitude toward others and the events of life. He loves more deeply as he matures, and he grapples with the low points with a knowing that he’ll move on—a spiritual approach.


What made you decide to write a sequel?

Low Water Crossing is what I call a “spin-off” to The Lark. LWC is set in Sulfur Gap, Texas, with many of the same characters appearing as in Lark. Main character Wayne, Charley’s mentor from Lark, is the focal point. Readers expressed a desire to see more of Wayne—and Lou—so I decided to tell their story. It was already outlined for me! One scene in Lark had a mention of Wayne having two previous marriages—with one wife deserting, and the other being killed in a traffic mishap. Because of those few words, I had a broad outline but also a hurdle—I had to kill the second wife! I liked Cynthia, the Bible-thumping Southern belle. I tried to think of a way out, but there’s no way to say someone died in one book and have them escape that death in the next, unless you’re writing fantasy! The advantage of my liking Cynthia—admiring her parenting skills and commitment to family—was that I didn’t have to use a lot of imagination in describing the feelings of loss that came with her death.


Why did you decide to self-publish?

On my first novel, I had experienced working with a small publisher, but they closed down. In searching for another publisher, I didn’t find one that seemed to fit. I wrote queries to maybe thirty literary agents, which I know is not an exhaustive search. Learned a lot. Did lots of research. The first queries were so lame compared to later ones, which benefitted from reading online blogs and taking a class.

I know that the next thing I’m saying here could come back to bite, but it’s true for me. I learned, in looking at literary agents’ profiles and gauging their responses, that they, of course, wanted some or all of the following: a famous name, a massive social-media presence, trendy subject matter, and an author who has the potential to crank out ten books in the next five years. It was daunting as someone getting started and not getting a second book out for four years (because I was learning). Also, I was not the youngest of potential clients.

I felt moved to self-publish because I wanted to try it and see what happens (it’s a learning experience for sure!). I don’t rely on book sales as a livelihood, so self-publishing can be looked at as a luxury (even though I’d love to have the partnership of a bona fide publisher or agent).


What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Balance. There’s a lot of pain in Low Water Crossing. And yet, someone told me it was a feel-good book. (I immediately went into my Amazon Sponsored Ad campaign and added that as a keyword: “feel-good.”) It nails what was hard in writing: Keeping away from the maudlin in tragic life events. Allowing humor into the story without insensitivity. Describing recovery from hard life events without being sappy.


Okay, the wedding at the end might be a little sappy, but I still think it’s realistic. I tried to humanize Wayne with his long-term animosity toward the sheriff, his running away from Lucy and returning three days later with red eyes and beard stubble, wanting a divorce, and so on. In short, the hard part was balance. What goes down, comes up, as reflected in the title.


What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed playing with first-person POV. There are four narrators: Wayne, Lucy, Cynthia, and Lou. I enjoyed getting immersed in the mind and voice of each one.


Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured if your book?

Yes. A victim of child abuse whose cry for help wasn’t answered. A person with a serious mental illness left to her own devices. A ten-year-old boy who’s beginning to figure out he might be gay. A nerdy West Texas sheriff who tries to pull off a studly image and fails but is still a really good law officer. A Hispanic game warden married to a Minnesota beauty queen who looks like Michelle Pfeiffer (that reference fits with the time frame).


Who are some of the authors you feel were influential in your work?

Paulette Jiles’s lyrical writing; Elmer Kelton, in describing the lives of Texans and physical reality of the land; Larry McMurtry with his sense of humor.

I’ve always read, from classics to best-sellers, so it’s hard to say what had the most influence. Certainly, the great Texas writers. James Michener inspired me to strive for a leaner style (he never left a detail out, it seems).

Dana Glossbrenner has lived in West Texas all her life. She is the author of Women Behind Stained Glass: West Texas Pioneers (non-fiction) and The Lark: Book 1 of the Sulfur Gap Series.

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TWO WINNERS: 1st winner gets signed copies of both books in the Sulfur Gap Series; 2nd winner gets a signed copy of Low Water Crossing. 
 October 6-16 , 2020
(U.S. Only)
Or, visit the blogs directly:



Reading by Moonlight



Texas Book Lover



Hall Ways Blog



The Adventures of a Travelers Wife





Deleted Scene

All the Ups and Downs


Author Interview

The Page Unbound



Chapter Break Book Blog


Scrapbook Page

Max Knight



StoreyBook Reviews



The Clueless Gent

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