Weaving History and Faith Into Tales of Intrigue and Redemption
Growing up as an only child in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, I learned early on that God, books, and my imagination were my three best companions when friends couldn't be found. By the time I could read and write, I wrote poems and stories for the elementary school newspaper, and as I moved into junior high, my love for reading and writing grew stronger as I also developed a great fascination for history.
Never in my wildest imagination could I have guessed at the age of fifteen, entering high school, that a year later, my intrigue in history and writing would take me across the Atlantic Ocean to experience my own fairytale dream to live in a real castle. Indeed, I was accepted into the United World College of the Atlantic (aka Atlantic College), an international college outside Llantwit Major, Wales on the Bristol Channel, where I completed my last two years of high school and received the International Baccalaureate degree.
While most of the students lived in dormitories on the hill, I lived in a two-room, ten-girl dorm housed inside the thirteenth-century St. Donat's Castle donated to the school by William Randolf Hearst. Though it was nothing like Hogwart's of Harry Potter fame, rumors circulated that a historical figure by the name of Lady Ann actually haunted the castle looking for her lost love. I'm still in touch with many of the students and attend periodic reunions.
Weaving history and faith into stories of intrigue and redemption grew out of my love of history and literature while attending Atlantic College. There, my true passion came to light as I focused on English literature and discovered a love for the classics, reading books by Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, and many others. These authors awakened a desire to write books that spoke to the condition of the human spirit.
One of the greatest adventures in Britain occurred while doing research on Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and visiting the Brontë parsonage in Haworth, England. While walking the moors on a drizzly day, I happened upon an old man with a cap and a cane whose ancestors knew the Brontës. He delighted me with his stories and charmed me with his words. A copy of Emily's poem No Coward Soul is Mine sits framed on my desk.
Old Man in a Cap and Cane Walking Down the Lane in Yorkshire: Donna's Gallery 1976
I still love to explore peoples and cultures of the world and enjoy developing plots that show how God's love abounds even in the profoundly difficult circumstances of our lives. I want my stories to reflect the hunger in all of us for love, forgiveness, and belonging in a world that often withholds second chances.
Before turning to full-time writing, I graduated from San Jose State University with a master's degree in Mass Communication and worked as a communications professional in the non-profit and corporate worlds. My short stories, essays, and articles have appeared in various inspirational and secular publications, including Focus on the Family Magazine, Standard Publishing for Adult Sunday School papers, and LIVE Magazine. Two of my devotionals appeared in A Cup of Comfort Devotionals for Mothers and Daughters.
In 2015, I indie-published Light Out of Darkness, a contemporary Christian suspense novel that revolves around the unique story of faith and valor found in the pre-reformation Christians of the French and Italian Alps known as the Waldensians. The sequel, Undaunted Valor, once again weaves Waldensian history around a contemporary story of intrigue and suspense. The Waldensian Series is available on Amazon.com.
I am currently marketing my Gilded Age historical romance, A Song of Deliverance, to agents, but I've also become captivated by time-slip novels and am working on another project with a dual timeline.
My husband of thirty-nine years and I have lived in Colorado for more than thirty-five years, and one of our greatest joys is to spend time with our grandchildren. We also do ministry at our local church, where I am involved in an outreach to low-income families as well as women's ministry. We have also traveled, hiked, and kayaked in many parts of the United States and around the world.