For this week’s Ten Questions we welcome New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Donna VanLiere *applause* Ms. VanLiere is the author of over a dozen wonderful novels sure to warm your heart, make you cry, or perhaps both. Several of her novels have been adapted into movies, my personal favorites of which are The Christmas Shoes and it’s sequel, The Christmas Blessing (good Christmas cries plus Neil Patrick Harris. Talk about a win!). The newest movie, The Christmas Note, is currently airing as part of the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel’s Christmas line up. But this is about the books (but watch the movies too, they’re wonderful) and for that I turn to Jennifer, our resident expert. ~Jess
My friend, Teri, introduced me to Donna VanLiere. Since then I’ve read a couple of her books (and have a lot more on my TBR) but so far The Good Dream remains my favorite. When I read The Good Dream in early 2014, I listened to the audio book. It remains one of my favorite audio books EVER! Ms. VanLiere narrates the book herself and does a fantastic job. Here’s the very brief review I wrote at the time … Lawd have mercy (said in my best southern voice)! What a book! Very, very touching and heartwarming! Two years later and I still remember this book and each time I do, I smile. The Good Dream is one of those rare books that renews my faith in humanity and encourages me to be kind to everyone I meet. ~Jennifer
Ten Questions vol. 1 #5 Donna VanLiere
Bookish Devices: What is your favorite word?
Donna VanLiere: Grace. My husband and I love it so much that we named our oldest daughter Grace!
BD: What is your least favorite word?
DVL: Any name calling. Social media has made it far too easy for people to spew hatred. Recently a man on my feed posted a news article and called the subject a bleeping idiot (you can fill in the curse word). He wouldn’t have said that to the man’s face but there’s a wall that people hide behind when on social media and name calling somehow seems “appropriate.” Name calling is toxic and a waste of energy.
BD: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
DVL: I love meeting or talking with someone who loves what they do. It could be a teacher, a woodworker, the guy who comes and cuts down our dead trees or diagnoses the diseased ones, the bank manager or Little League baseball coach. There’s something extremely motivating when talking with someone who loves what they do!
BD: What turns you off?
DVL: Cynicism, complacency and laziness. I have little patience with any of them.
BD: What sound or noise do you love?
DVL: My kids playing. Our home was awfully quiet before they arrived.
BD: What sound or noise do you hate?
DVL: Bickering and arguing. Needless to say, I don’t watch The View. My mom once said they sounded like a bunch of hens clucking. LOL.
BD: If you could have drinks with any author or literary figure, who would you invite?
DVL: C.S. Lewis because his life journey was so interesting: from Atheist to believer in Christ as an adult, The Narnia series, professorship at Oxford, marriage to an American in his later years and her subsequent death from cancer. There would be so much to discuss!
BD: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
DVL: I have a degree in theater and would love to act again–if only there was time!
BD: What profession would you not like to do?
DVL: Every time I see roofers on a hot roof in the middle of summer I cringe.
BD: If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and could only bring one book, which would you bring?
DVL: I’d bring a Bible to a desert island because unlike one book, which is one story, the Bible is filled with historical accounts, guidance, hope, love, joy, wisdom, and grace (there’s that favorite word again). A book could be read in a day or two but the Bible would offer more over the length of time.
Bookish Devices is thrilled that Donna decided to participate in our Ten Questions series!
For more information about the movies mentioned in this post including channels and showtimes check out the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas section.