lunedì, maggio 25, 2015

Donna VanLiere: " Christmas is showing someone that hope is alive!"

At first it was The Good Dream

Many years ago I joined one of that community where they ask you what you would want to receive from other people in the world and vice versa. With postcards, mails, tea, I added I love reading and so I would have been happy to receive used books. I met a lady from Oregon, Jennifer. She started to send me various books, and one of them attracted my attention. It was called: "The Good Dream" a beautiful title with a stunning cover.
The author Donna VanLiere

Fascinating story. A little boy abused will find joy and a new family thanks to the protagonist, Ivory, still a Miss although in her early 30s. An intense story of love and hope.

Later I would have read also The Angels of Morgan Hill.


Donna is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author.

She started to be famous for her Christmas' books. Two movies  created with two of her novels: The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing
as protagonists Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Perry and Neil Patrick Harris.

Lifetime Television adapted later also The Christmas Hope
starring Madeleine Stowe.

Donna won many awards with the time because of these works plenty of hope, faith and trust. A Retailer's Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award, an Audie Award for best inspirational fiction, a nominee for a Gold Medallion Book of the Year and recently she joined the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence with people like Coretta Scott King, Hugh Downs, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and senator John Glenn. Donna loves to organizes conferences for women and family as well.

Married with Troy she lives in Franklin, Tennessee and she has three children, Grace, Kate and David.

I requested to Donna after a while and various messages we exchanged in the while, an interview and she accomplished my desire with joy. I thank her a lot.

Can you tell me something about your Christmas when you were a child and how you celebrated it?

Christmas was simple in our home. My parents grew up on farms in East Tennessee in the United States. They were born in the 1930's and Christmas was simple for them. As a child it was not about a lot of presents but about celebrating the birth of Christ and because of His love for us we gave presents to each other.

What does Christmas mean for you and in what way you preserve it for your children?

Christmas is their favorite time of the year because our home is filled with the smells of homemade candy and baked goods and the sense that peace and hope are still alive in the world! We celebrate the birth of Christ and give presents to children through Operation Christmas Child, which sends presents to children around the world who need help. We sponsor children throughout the year with child relief organizations and each year send them extra assistance so they can purchase school supplies, clothes, a bed or chest of drawers, etc. They are able to get what they need for their own homes and they each send such beautiful letters of appreciation. Christmas is showing someone that hope is alive!

What means believing in angels to you? And..Who are angels? 

Angels are created beings. God created angels to serve those who would receive salvation (Hebrews 1:14). Many times we refer to someone as being "an angel" or "like an angel" and we are really saying that that person was so helpful, so kind, so compassionate that they seemed as if they were sent from Heaven.

Why according to you, your books have a huge impact in this society and what your readers search for when they pick up your books for reading them? 

I think readers are looking for hope. Even though the storyline may be difficult (as is life) the reader wants to see that people are good and that they do rush in to help their fellow man. I think they want to sense hope and grace and mercy among the characters and hopefully will even want to be like some of the characters!

When did you discover the gift for writing and who encouraged you?

I had always been writing but never recognized it as a gift. After college I thought I'd try writing a novel I'd been thinking of and my husband said: "Do it!" He never doubted!

In the Good Dream, what impressed me the most is the good southerner food, the relationship between the protagonist with the poor abandoned boy, and her decision to keep him with her. 
How much important is compassion in our society? 

Our world would cease to exist without compassion. If we all just lived for ourselves our societies would implode. Each of us are here to help one another.  When one stumbles and falls someone else helps her up. Sometimes we may be down and out of the race for a long time but thankfully, there are those people who come alongside of us and help us back up onto our feet so we can get into the race again. We couldn't do that without compassion.

The angels of Morgan Hill interrupted the series of the Christmas book you wrote at some point. Why this choice and the message you wanted to spread?

I wanted to spread the message I wrote about in the previous answer. We are here to help one another and to touch each others lives with compassion and hope. Even in the darkest circumstances we need people to remind us that hope is alive!

How much important is the integration between black and white, still a big problem in the USA and why it is no possible to reach a compromise with these two etnicities. Have you got a recipe for stopping all this hate? 

Love and respect for one another. No one is any better than someone else. We are all the same in God's eyes. If we have love and respect for one another then hatred wouldn't be in the equation.

What kind of idea have you got of life Donna? Is it an irrational chaos or we were sent here from Someone for a purpose?

Each of us are here for a purpose. I believe in God. I believe in intelligent design. Man has never been able to create something as intricate as the eye; we can't create anything like the human brain and have failed to create a heart that will last. For me, only Supreme Intelligence could create the human body. If life was irrational chaos then why even bother? Life with purpose and meaning from a Creator gives vision and hope to our days.

How can we re-discover the light after a long period of darkness? Have you got any advices?

Christ is the light in our darkness (John 1:1-4). Christ is referred to as the Word. The Word was with God, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (verse 14). He is the light in our darkness; the light of all mankind. Jesus Christ came to love. He still loves today. He loves everyone. He shines as light in the darkness. He is referred to as our Hope in the Bible. Without hope we are hopeless and that's no way to live. Many live hopeless lives and it doesn't matter if someone is rich or poor, on television or working in a factory. Hopelessness crosses all countries and all lifestyles. The Word became flesh to show us that great hope, that great love and that amazing grace. Augustine said that God gives where he finds empty hands. We can open our hands to God and ask him to take the mess and to give us his love and his hope and to fill our hearts with the Light of the world.

Your favorite books?

I loved To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith!

Anna Maria Polidori