THE CHRISTMAS SECRET
BY DONNA VANLIERE
Welcome, Donna VanLiere, NY TIMES and USA Today bestselling author of FINDING GRACE, THE CHRISTMAS HOPE Series, and THE ANGELS OF MORGAN HILL. I was privileged to have worked with you before during the interview for my review of FINDING GRACE, and I am so pleased that you agreed to once again visit my blog, BOOKIN’ WITH BINGO. THE CHRISTMAS SECRET is a different kind of story than when you were here last.
In your powerful memoir FINDING GRACE, you seemed to pour your heart and soul into telling about your own life. How is writing about yourself different, or alike, from writing fictional stories about other characters you?
I love writing stories so when I wrote Finding Grace it was important to me that it read like a story. Writing about myself was different in the sense that the people I wrote about in the book are real, not fictitious so I couldn’t just “make up” the scenarios and dialogue but make them honest and real.
With all of your wonderful Christmas books, is there a reason you chose to go with that theme?
The Christmas books chose me! After I wrote The Christmas Shoes I thought I was done and would move onto a non-seasonal novel I was writing (The Angels of Morgan Hill). My editor called and asked if I had thought of writing another book after Christmas Shoes and I told her I hadn’t. She called several weeks later and asked me the same thing. Finally, after a third call I said, “Do you want me to write another book?” She said that due to reader response she thought that would be a good idea and that’s how The Christmas Blessing was written. I turned again to the non-seasonal novel I was writing and she called again and asked if I’d write another Christmas book first and that’s how The Christmas Hope was written. So, I feel the series kind of chose me and I’m grateful because I’ve loved writing every book in the series. The Christmas Promise was the fourth book and a couple of those characters show up in The Christmas Secret. That’s been one of my favorite things about this series…making each book a stand alone novel but bringing in some of the previous characters from the earlier novels for all the faithful readers of the series.
I love The Christmas Hope because it revolves around the theme of adoption and we have three adopted children!
What favorite holiday book by another author do you like?
A Christmas Carol!
On Dec. 12, several of your holiday novels that were made into movies will be showing on television. Can you tell us a little about that and how much you were involved in the making of those movies?
I’m technically not involved in the making of the movies. I act as a consultant and am able to talk with the producers about something I may not like or agree with but ultimately they and the network have final say. In The Christmas Blessing script it was written that God was taking someone to Heaven (a sick character) and I spoke with producers and said, “You know, God doesn’t take people. Life takes people. God receives them. There’s a big difference between the two.” They changed that line in the movie to reflect that God was receiving this dying person, not taking him and I was grateful for that little change. For each movie I’ve been able to travel to the set and watch and that’s always fun because it’s surreal to see the characters come to life on screen.
My husband and I have gotten to that point in our lives when we don’t need anything and each year we talk to our kids and explain (not sure it’s sinking in yet) that Christmas isn’t all about presents. We take them Christmas afternoon to the Rescue Mission and help feed the homeless because we want them to know that it’s not all about us. God gave us the greatest gift and in turn we need to give, not just take. If I could ask for a gift I’d ask for my children to be grace-filled and understand that we’re all here to help one another.
Thank you, once again, Donna, for being so gracious about this and participating in the interview. May your holidays be filled with peace and good times!
Don’t forget that Lifetime television will premier THE CHRISTMAS HOPE, starring Madeline Stowe on Saturday Dec 12 at 8 EST. The two previous movies will air prior to that at 4 EST (The Christmas Shoes starring Rob Lowe) and 6 EST (The Christmas Blessing starring Neil Patrick Harris). I will post those reminders the day before to nobody will miss the chance to see Donna’s work come to life on the screen!
THANKS TO ANNA FROM THE
BOOK REPORT NETWORK AND, OF
COURSE, DONNA, I HAVE TWO
COPIES TO GIVE AWAY OF
THE CHRISTMAS SECRET
--U. S. AND CANADIAN RESIDENTS,ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--EMAIL ADDRESS MUST BE INCLUDED
IN YOUR ENTRIES
--EACH COMMENT MUST BE NEW AND
SEPARATE OR THEY WILL ONLY COUNT
AS ONE ENTRY
HOW TO ENTER:
+1 MORE ENTRY:WHAT IS DONNA'S FAVORITE OF HER OWN HOLIDAY STORIES? WHICH IS YOURS, OR IF YOU HAVEN'T READ ANY, WHICH DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD ENJOY BESIDES THE CHRISTMAS SECRET?
+1 MORE ENTRY: WHAT ARE CHRISTINE'S CHILDREN'S NAMES IN THE CHRISTMAS SECRET? AGAIN, YOU CAN CHECK IN THE INITIAL POST.
+1 MORE ENTRY:ON DECEMBER 12, THE LMN WILL AIR MOVIES OF DONNA'S BOOKS. THEY WILL HAVE TWO ENCORE SHOWINGS NOT LISTED HERE. CAN YOU FIND AND NAME THE MOVIE AND TIME OF SHOWING FOR ONE OF THOSE ENCORE SHOWINGS? (AGAIN THE INITIAL POST WILL HELP)
+5 MORE ENTRIES:IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY, CLICK THE GREAT KINDLE II GIVEAWAY KITTY IN MY RIGHT SIDEBAR AND ENTER TO WIN THE KINDLE AND COME BACK AND TELL ME ABOUT IT. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ENTER ALL THE WAYS BUT EVEN ONE WILL QUALIFY FOR THESE 5 ENTRIES (I CAN CHECK WITH BIBLIOFREAK SO PLEASE, WELL, YOU KNOW)
6 PM, EST, DECEMBER 11
GOOD LUCK! AND REMEMBER...
THE CHRISTMAS WISH IS
A BINGLE BELLS BOOK CHOICE
A GREAT GIFT FOR THE
BOOK LOVER ON YOUR LIST!