Whether writing poetry and short stories in elementary school, letters to herself in adolescence or journals in adulthood, Dana hasn’t stopped writing since she learned how.
Many aspects of her writing today can be found in the pieces of her life.
Dana grew up in Lancaster, a suburb of Dallas in Texas. (Middle Grade Novel: Double Teamed: the long shot kid) She and her sister cared for many pets: a chubby dachshund, two cats, a goldfish, a white rabbit, two love birds, and a shetland pony with a nasty attitude. Dana’s black cat, named Charcoal, was a surprise from Santa Claus. Charcoal was a special friend and lived 17 years.
When Dana was fifteen, her family moved to Dallas where she graduated in the top five percent of her high school class.
Dana earned a bachelor of arts in political science from Texas Christian University. Several years after graduating from college, she met her husband at a pizza restaurant. They have two children.
Dana later became an elementary school teacher for children with emotional and behavioral difficulties. She has traveled to 33 states and lived in five of them. She’s been to many countries around the world: Mexico, Costa Rica, France, Belgium, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the former Soviet Union. Dana has also traveled through what is now Ukraine and Georgia.
Her children inspire much of her writing (Middle Grade Novel: Freaked Out in Fifth Grade) and are generous with their criticism of it. (Middle Grade Novel: You've Gotta Read This 'Cause Somebody's Gotta Know My Side of Things) Dana lives in Georgia where she volunteers in her children’s schools, watches her son play soccer, her daughter at pole vaulting, and enjoys manuscript critiques. Occasionally, Dana and her husband vacation in New York (Short Stories: Destiny and A Date with Destiny) on extended weekend getaways.
Growing up, Dana and her sister spent hours exploring the creek behind their house. (Hi-Lo Book: Raging Waters)
Dana helping her Grandpa haul bales of hay.
The highlight of every summer was spending a week on her grandparent’s farm.