a winding path


When Dana was in third grade, she once looked up from reading a book to discover the rest of the students had begun taking a spelling test. She quickly got out her pencil and paper and, after finishing the test with the rest of the class, figured out which two words she had missed and filled them in at the top, hoping she had gotten them in the correct order. Missing a spelling word was not an option in her world.

She was a member of the spelling and grammar police from an early age, but instead of pursuing a higher education focus in English or journalism, she chose a degree in elementary education from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. While student teaching, she realized being a classroom teacher just wasn’t for her.

After a few years of working in her family’s grocery business, Dana opted to pursue a Master of Divinity in Christian Education, with the intention of becoming a Minister of Education in a church. But again, after working in a church and finishing her degree program, she decided that wasn’t in her future either.

What she had realized, however, was that she really enjoyed writing and editing, and she subsequently landed a job as a children’s Sunday school curriculum editor at Group Publishing in Loveland, CO. She had finally found a way to use both degrees and put her journalistic skills to good use. She soon discovered she wanted to branch out into other areas of writing and editing, and she left her job to become a freelance writer and editor.

For more than a decade, Dana has worked full-time as an independent writer and editor. She edited a magazine for seven years. She has written and edited thousands of activities for children. She has contributed to or edited dozens of fiction and non-fiction trade books. And she has collaboratively written four books, two of which hit the New York Times Bestseller List. The Vow: The True Events That Inspired the Movie (Kim & Krickitt Carpenter; B&H, 2012) was #1 on the list for several weeks following its release, and Balancing It All (Candace Cameron Bure; B&H, 2014) reached #2 on the list.

In 2017, Dana started  A Novel Companion  and published two companion novels for women and children. She also created a blog that she hopes will inspire readers to live well and serve others: livewellserveothers.com.