Donna Janell Bowman’s favorite childhood writing space was an outstretched limb of an old oak tree in a far corner of her family’s central Texas ranch. There, she spilled her deepest thoughts, stories, and poetry into a Big Chief notebook while her horse grazed nearby. She knew she wanted to be a writer, because it was the only job she could think of that could be done while sitting in a tree.
Alas, a corporate career lured her away from her writing for too many years, until she owned her very own tree, and the arrival of her two sons re-introduced children’s books into her world. Years of creative writing classes, workshops, self-study, and involvement in her local SCBWI followed. Then, hooray!, she signed with Erin Murphy of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Her debut EMLA book, tentatively titled Step Right Up: The Story of Beautiful Jim Key, will be released in 2016, followed by King of the Tightrope: When The Great Blondin Ruled Niagara (Peachtree, 2019), and En Garde! Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words (Peachtree, 2018).
Today, Donna no longer writes from the limb of a tree, choosing instead to write nonfiction, picture books, and middle grade novels from her cozy home office in central Texas. Her husband, youngest son, diva dog, and persnickety cat are usually grazing nearby.