Donna was born at Fort Bragg, N.C. and grew up as an “army brat.” Her father’s military career took her to interesting places, where she learned to respect different cultures and beliefs. She graduated from one of the two military high schools in the United States, Fort Knox High School, where she was first published in the high school magazine. In the past, Donna used her writing skills in poetry and music lyrics, but in 2005, God gave her a gift, a fictional character by the name of Charlie Smith. She has since penned four novels of the Mysterious Ways series, in which Charlie is the main character. Mysterious Ways is a frontier fiction series set in 19th-Century Colorado Territory.
Since the Mysterious Ways series was published, Donna has married Don Shaw, and now her name is Donna Shaw. Beloved fans who have known her as Donna Westover Gallup will still recognize Donna Westover as a favorite and trusted brand of Christian Frontier Fiction.
Donna and Don live in Colorado, where they enjoy golfing, boating, and exploring their colorful state.
Donna’s desire is to convey God’s love through her novels.
by Donna Westover:
A Conversation with Donna
When did you decide to become a writer?
Donna: I dabbled in creative writing in high school where I wrote several short stories that were published in our high school magazine. I also played the guitar and wrote several songs, mostly ballads and country gospel. Then when I married and started raising my family, I put the guitar and the pen down and dedicated myself to my family. Years later, when the girls were grown and on their own, a little story popped into my head. I heard loud and clear the simple message from the Lord: ‘Write!’
Your characters are so believable, and the plots flow so naturally, that the writing must come easily to you. Is that true?
Donna: Some of it was easy, and often therapeutic for me; but some of it was a real struggle. I don’t write from an outline; I write from my heart. If the words flow well, if they clearly reveal the emotions of the characters, if they touch anyone’s heart at all, it is because God was touching me.
What year or time period in history would you have liked to live? Why?
Donna: I often say I was born 150 years too late. I love the Old West—cowboys, horses, ranches, log cabins—and did I say horses? As a small child, I only wanted to play with the plastic cowboys and Indians. I had a bouncy horse that I rode so hard it would come inches off the ground (scared my mother to death). I was most comfortable in jeans and a cowboy hat.
White As Snow, the first story in the Mysterious Ways series, is set at Christmas time. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Donna: Caroling! I especially love caroling in the snow. I love being in a large group of singers, holding candles, bundled to the Nth degree, and harmonizing together … then topping it off with hot chocolate!
What writing ideas are you working on now?
Donna: I have a couple of stories running through my head. Both are fictitious—with historical/biblical truths.
I know you like to interact with your readers. Where on the Internet can they find you?
Donna: On my website: http://www.NorthStarStories.com
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