The first stories Dana invented were never recorded, but these tales took Barbie, Skipper and Ken on amazing adventures that almost always involved a secret baby plot. Cornelius and Zira dolls from Planet of the Apes were usually included in the tangled web as well, while Dana acted out her stories for hours alone in her room.
For this Kokomo, Indiana, native, writing came as a smooth transition from her love of reading and storytelling. Dana began with poetry in third grade, continuing through playwriting and journaling, all before junior high. In high school she discovered an outlet in journalism, reporting for the high school newspaper. She enjoyed telling other people's stories so much that she earned a journalism degree from Ball State University while working for four years on the college newspaper staff.
After college she became a newspaper reporter and, later, features editor for The Republic newspaper in Columbus, Indiana, where she found fulfillment and recognition. "The stories always drove me," she says. "I used to love finding a human-interest story inside a murder or fatality accident or discovering the stories behind the familiar faces in downtown Columbus."
While she was at the newspaper, she met the love of her life, Randy, and chased him down and married him before he got away. In 1992, when their first daughter was born, Dana became a stay-at-home mom. Still, the need to write followed her, so she became a columnist for the newspaper and freelanced for regional and national magazines.
In early 1995, a few months after their second daughter's birth, Dana had a dream, which resulted in her first novel. This tome, even after nine revisions, is still hidden in her office drawer, where it belongs. But from this first--for a long time, anyway--foray into writing fiction, she was hooked.
"At first it was scary inventing the story, especially when my career had been so focussed on truth, but then I discovered that writing lies is a blast."
In the years since, which included the birth of daughter No. 3 and two relocations for her husband's job, Dana has found a vocation and an avocation in writing romances. These days she makes her home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, balancing time for the tales of her heart with her equally exciting life as wife, carpool coordinator for three active children and food provider for two disinterested felines, a Maine coon named Samson and girth-challenged tabby named Bogart.
Among her favorite activities are family outings, bicycling, baking luscious desserts, volunteering at church and school and watching romantic movies. She tries to stay active in an on-again-off-again exercise routine, but she'd much rather be slouched in a chair, reading or writing another great story.
Dana loves to hear from readers and may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by regular mail at P.O. Box 120044, Grand Rapids, MI, 49512.