..a mom, a wife, an animal lover, and a closet comedian at home. She's passionate about cooking (...and eating), reading, movies and teaching, inspiring, challenging and encouraging dreamers! She doesn’t like watching sports on TV but is a huge fan of athletes under five feet tall who call her Mom. Donna also loves to write books. As a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, her 14 titles include The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing - both of which were adapted into movies starring Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Neil Patrick Harris. Both movies garnered stellar ratings for CBS. The Christmas Hope starring Madeline Stowe was adapted by Lifetime Television, and her movies The Christmas Secret and The Christmas Note were among the highest rated movies in the history of the Hallmark Movies and Mystery channel. Donna's non-seasonal novel's, The Good Dream, Angels of Morgan Hill and non-fiction works like Finding Grace and High Calling - the biography of Space Shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband - capture the same warmth and poignancy as her Christmas books.
Donna has won a Retailer's Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award, two Audie Awards for best inspirational fiction, has been a nominee for a Gold Medallion Book of the Year and is an inductee in the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence joining such luminaries as Coretta Scott King, Hugh Downs, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Senator John Glenn. She also serves on the board of directors for National House of Hope, a residency program that is offered in several states for abused and at-risk teens. (By the way, if you’re looking for a place to give or to serve, look no further than here… www.NationalHouseofHope.org)
Donna's mini-van is staring down 200,000 miles as she runs her kids to school, softball and baseball practices, Tae Kwon Do, church, and the grocery store all while promising her editor to meet her book deadlines (...which occasionally does happen). She loves to spend her summers with her family around the swimming pool or doing lots of camping.
One of Donna’s great loves is teaching and speaking. She has appeared at countless events around the country including keynote addresses at the prestigious Patricia Adams Lecture Series at Heidelberg University, Women of Faith, Among Friends Conferences and Extraordinary Women.
Donna has two new manuscripts to be released soon. Birthed through Donna's love and support of the Nashville Rescue Mission, Leaving Paradise is a story based on a real life couple whose lives are transformed through the work of a local Rescue Mission; and, The Christmas Town her latest much anticipated Christmas novel which will be in stores October 2016.
Donna lives in Franklin, TN, with her husband, Troy, their children, Grace, Kate and David, two dogs, two cats, and and a host of geese and ducks that use their pond as a pit stop on their way to prettier waters.
Donna grew up in the idyllic small town of Medina, OH. She likes to read, cook and especially loves to spend time with her family around the pool and camping in the summers.
Brand new Christmas novel, The Christmas Town coming October 2016!
Brand new non-seasonal novel, Leaving Paradise coming soon.
In Her Own Words
I was born and raised in Northeastern Ohio. The winters were snowy and cold, much more so than where we now live in middle Tennessee. I would wait inside our garage, bouncing and pacing to keep warm, and when I saw the school bus stop three houses down the street, I'd run down our driveway just in time to step on board. School children would pray for snow days but those are rare in the North; school buses pick shivering children up regardless of rain, sleet, ice, or snow. I remember writing my first story in those early years; I was in the second-grade, I believe. It was about a bear and his family but I abandoned it soon after the first page when a kid named Mike looked over my shoulder and asked why in the world I was writing a stupid story about a bear. I wish I had kept it, better yet, I wish I had finished it; after all, I had gotten through the hardest part of writing... beginning something.
After my husband and I married, we moved to Nashville. I was constantly writing "on the side" but wasn't aware that I could make my living at it. Theater, commercial, voiceover, and radio work helped pay the bills but wasn't fulfilling work. Since I earned degrees in those areas, I thought I should be faithful to the years I logged studying them and follow through with as much work as possible. But odd writing jobs continued to come my way. One day I sat down to write a book and was stunned to hear that a publisher had picked it up. That book turned into another and then my friend Eddie Carswell told me the premise of a Christmas song he was writing. He asked if I thought it would make a good Christmas song and I told him I thought it would make a great book. As I was writing the book, NewSong released The Christmas Shoes single to radio in the winter of 2000. In three weeks, it shot to the top of the Billboard radio charts, tying the record for the fastest charting number one song. The Christmas Shoes novel released it at the end of October of 2001 and CBS brought it to the small screen on December 1, 2002. It is a beautiful, touching film about family and the power of the human spirit. The screen version differs from the novel but the film stayed true to the theme and heart of the book. CBS aired The Christmas Blessing (Neil Patrick Harris) in December 05 and it became one of the most watched programs the week it aired. Lifetime aired The Christmas Hope in winter 2009 where it garnered big ratings for that network. The Hallmark Channel will air The Christmas Secret, starring Bethany Joy Lenz (One Tree Hill) in fall/winter ’14.
As blessed as I am to make my living doing what I love, my writing pales in comparison to my title of "mom". After years and tears of trying to conceive a child, God answered our prayers in March of 2002 when my husband and I traveled to China to bring home our ten-month-old daughter. In July of 2004 we traveled across the sea again to bring home another China doll. In July of 2007 we brought home a little guy from Guatemala! David was smiling the moment he was put in my arms and continues to smile today. Our children are by far the most exciting part of our lives. These days, I write when they’re in school and spend the rest of my time taxiing them around and watching them grow.