Favorite Food? Anything with chocolate on it
Greatest Fear? Drinking milk from a glass someone else has drunk from
Book I Wish I'd Written? To Kill a Mockingbird
Favorite Movie? See above
Favorite Artist? Ella Fitzgerald
Voted in High School? Most Likely to End up on Saturday Night Live
Favorite Quote? "Well played, Garkle."
Favorite TV Show? I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show (the b&w ones), The Mary Tyler Moore Show, currently The Middle (many times we ARE the Heck's)
Best Vacation Ever? Hawaii, Alaska and camping anywhere with my kids
Advice for Aspiring Authors? Stop asking so many questions and start writing
If you could live in any home on a television series, what would it be? The Ricardo's Connecticut home
Who's your favorite Muppet? Miss Piggy because she has so many sides
What's your favorite school supply? The eraser. Couldn't live without it.
What's the best bargain you've ever found at a garage sale or thrift store? I found a long, black vintage coat at a thrift store and paid $3.00 for it.
Where were you on September 11, 2001? In my living room
What's the most interesting biography you've read? C.S. Lewis
What's the best costume you've ever worn? One time I pretended to be an architect
What's your least favorite word? Egg
Describe something that's happened to you for which you have no explanation? November 4, 1989
If you could travel anywhere, where would it be? The Big Dipper
Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus? Thesaurus
What's your favorite form of exercise? This is sarcasm, right?
Are you afraid of heights? People with vertigo generally hate heights, yes
What's your favorite Broadway musical? Wicked
If you could go to Disney World with any celebrity alive today, who would it be? Tom Hanks (our spouses would have to come too or else it'd look too tabloidy)
Do you prefer baths or showers? Baths
What's your favorite breakfast food? Scones
If you could have a super power, what would it be? No doubt...flying
Donna VanLiere is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author and gifted conference speaker. She has published ten titles including The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing, both of which were adapted into movies (starring Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Perry and Neil Patrick Harris) and garnered big ratings for CBS television. LifetimeTelevision adapted The Christmas Hope (starring Madeline Stowe) and premiered it December 2009 to stellar ratings as well. Donna's non-seasonal novel, The Angels of Morgan Hill, has captured the same warmth as her Christmas books and continues to please loyal and new fans alike.
Donna is the recipient of a Retailer's Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award, an Audie Award for best inspirational fiction, a nominee for a Gold Medallion Book of the Year and was recently inducted into 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. Donna is an in-demand conference speaker having appeared at countless women's and family events, including select Women of Faith and Extraordinary Women conferences.
Donna's latest book, The Christmas Journey (October 2010) is a retelling of the story of the Nativity told through Donna's signature voice and accompanied by moving and beautifully rendered watercolor illustrations throughout. The eighty-mile journey of a common carpenter and a simple peasant girl is one of the most powerful stories in history. As books go out of print and stories fade from memory, the journey of Joseph and Mary and her delivery inside a common barn continues to bless and inspire hope in people around the world.
Donna lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband, Troy, and their children, Grace, Kate and David.
> back to top
In Her Own Words
I was born and raised in Northeastern Ohio. The winters were snowy and cold, much more there 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 I went to see my friends NewSong in concert one hot July day. 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. I began to work on an outline so I could flesh out the story and characters. In the meantime, 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. Because the screen version differs from the novel, I do encourage readers to read the book first before watching the movie--but the film will stay with you long after you turn off the television. 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 will air The Christmas Hope in winter 09.
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 04 we traveled across the sea again to bring home another China doll. In July of 07 we brought home a little guy from Guatemala! David is a smiling, happy toddler and our children are by far the most exciting part of our lives. These days, I write during naps and spend the rest of my time watching them grow.
> back to top
B.A., Theater and Broadcasting Cedarville University
They Walked With Him (Howard Publishing, 2001)
Sheltering Trees: The Power, Promise, and Refuge of Friendship (Howard Publishing, 2001)
The Christmas Shoes (St. Martin's Press, 2001)
The Christmas Blessing (St. Martin's Press, 2003)
High Calling: The Courageous Life and Faith of Space Shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband, by Evelyn Husband & Donna VanLiere (Thomas Nelson, 2004)
The Christmas Hope (St. Martin's Press, 2005)
The Angels of Morgan Hill (St. Martin's Press, 2006)
The Christmas Promise (St. Martin's Press, 2007)
The Angels of Morgan Hill, paperback (St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2007)
Finding Grace (St. Martin's Press, March 2009)
The Christmas Secret (St. Martin's Press, October 2009)
The Christmas Journey (St. Martin's Press, October 2010)
The Christmas Note (St. Martin's Press, October 2011)
The Good Dream (St. Martin's Press, July 2012)
The Christmas Shoes (CBS, 2002)
The Christmas Blessing (CBS, 2005)
The Christmas Hope (LifeTime, 2009)
The Christmas Secret (Fall 2013 - Tentative)
New York Times™ Bestselling Author, Fiction
USA Today™ Bestselling Author, Fiction
Retailer's Choice Award for Fiction
Dove Award™ (and multiple nominations)
Silver Angel Award for Inspirational Book
Gold Medallion Book of the Year Fiction nominee
Audie Award for Inspirational Fiction (and multiple nominations)
Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence
Medina High School Hall of Fame
Inspirational Conference Speaker
Featured Speaker for select Extraordinary Women and Women of Faith Conferences
Books translated into Japanese, Italian, French, German, Indonesian and many others.
Fund Board Member
> back to top