Interview with Donna J. Farris

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Believe it or not, the first story I remember reading was titled, "Good News to Tell." To this day, I have a picture on the wall in my hallway of me at age five sitting on our small, green couch reading this book. It was a simple book, probably published by The Billy Graham Association, which shares the good news of God's love with children. That image is a constant inspiration for me to create stories for children sharing the same truths.
How do you approach cover design?
Truth be known, covers are challenging for me. I spend alot of time in prayer for divine inspiration. Not being particularly artistic I usually search stock images that give an emotional sense of the main themes of the book. I think I found a good mix for the covers of my "Hope for the hurting" series. Without a doubt the covers for the two "Gripped for Glory" books could use a fresh approach, but that's a project that will have to wait. With the release of additional books, I will probably seek a professional.

When it comes to the "Divine Commissions" series, I use a decidedly different approach. Even though these books often include vivid scenes of supernatural struggles between angels and demons, I didn't want images of ominous, grotesque creatures creating the impression they were primarily horror stories. They are not. Without a doubt I want my young readers to get excited about what's coming. But the desired emphasis is not the bloody battles, but God's redemptive love. These stories depict very real, every-day people with real, every day problems. The stories pull back the thin veil separating the physical world from the supernatural helping readers catch a glimpse of celestial encounters, battle strategies, free-will, and divine decrees. That's a long-winded way of saying the Divine Commission covers are designed to generate and satisfy curiosity for both worlds.
Describe your desk
My desk is my kitchen table. It's spacious enough for sundry tools-of-the-trade, and it's close to the "facilities," the refrigerator, and the front door. Enough said.
When did you first start writing?
The first summer my young children left home to spend with their father. As a single parent, I suddenly had three months of time all to myself. After publicly sharing how I came to faith in Christ, friends suggested I write a book. So I did. When it was finished, I gave it to a retired English teacher from my church to proof. I'll never forget the look of horror on his face when he returned the stack of typed pages the following week. To put it kindly, his conclusion was a ten year old knew more about the English language than I and I should probably throw the book away and never look back. So I abandoned writing for more practical endeavors. That was, well, decades ago. Then gradually God began to rekindle the desire and opened up a window of opportunity. To my surprise, I found readers eager to hear what I had to say, and I was off and running.
Published 2015-01-14.
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Books by This Author

Stone of Truth
Series: Divine Commissions, Volume II. Price: Free! Words: 48,760. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
When the Simpson family moves to Plymouth, Teacher Trinity finds herself drawn into the center of a raging national storm. “Do the Ten Commandments have a place in public education? Do they represent absolute truth or are they merely the delusions of religious fanatics?” Sinister forces rage as Miss Trin is forced to not only defend absolute truth, but must try and save her job in the process.
Messiah's Message
Series: Divine Commissions, Volume IV. Price: Free! Words: 23,340. Language: English. Published: September 6, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
(5.00 from 1 review)
In Vol. IV of the Christian fantasy series, Micah Collins heads to Jerusalem to oversee the construction of a new children’s hospital. Upon arrival he soon discovers God has plans to use his prophetic gifts to not only save lives, but redeem the soul of a Jewish contractor. Unseen battles rage through the city as one man is forced to choose between bitterness and faith, between greed and family.
The Power of a Legacy
Series: Divine Commissions, Volume III. Price: Free! Words: 17,330. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
After inheriting a large horse ranch, Isabella is not only introduced to the love of her life, but finds herself in the midst of a generational war. Forced to battle the long-range effects of greed, she must decide where her true strength comes from. But Bella is not alone. Heaven comes near as struggles for the souls of men erupt throughout Spokane County.
How to Help a Friend in an Abusive Relationship: What You Need to Know About Domestic Violence
Series: Hope for the Hurting, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 9,420. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Dysfunctional relationships, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christianity
Domestic violence kills more than four and a half million women every year. Written for those who care, this book contains more than factual information on domestic violence. Readers will not only find biblical insights into this complex, destructive problem, but will also discover more than forty practical steps to save lives. Will you be a friend to an abused woman? If so, this book is for you.
Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships
Series: Hope for the Hurting, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 5,040. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Dysfunctional relationships, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christianity
One of the most frequently asked questions when discussing domestic violence is, "Why doesn't she just leave?" The question seems simply enough to outsiders, but for those living with day-to-day relational abuse, it is anything but simple. This booklet examines reasons why women find it so difficult to "just leave," and offers scriptural hope to help.
Consider Divine Love
Series: Hope for the Hurting, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 5,900. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Religion & self-improvement, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christianity
Written for those who have experienced the pain of abusive relationships, this book is an intensely intimate look at some of the barriers survivors face when learning to again trust in love - even God's love. By examining several misconceptions about the person and work of the biblical Jesus Christ, readers are led through their own journey to discover the wonders of divine love.
Freed to Testify - A Biblical Biography of Mary Magdalene
Series: Gripped For Glory, Volume II. Price: Free! Words: 18,360. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Religious biography, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christianity
Mary Magdalene walked the earth more than two thousand years ago, yet her story remains a timeless legacy. Mary emerges from the pages of scripture as one of the most beautiful and faithful characters of the entire Bible. She exemplifies unwavering devotion and demonstrates how one faithful disciple can impact their world with the gospel message. Hers is indeed a life worth exploring.
Exceptional Devotion - Exceptional Honor
Series: Gripped For Glory, Volume I. Price: Free! Words: 4,840. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Religious biography, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Protestantism
(5.00 from 1 review)
In many ways, Anna was a simple, first-century Jewish widow. But unlike many of her contemporaries, a single master-passion consumed her life. She loved the LORD her God with all her heart, mind, soul and strength. And in the Gospel of Luke we discover how God used one woman's exceptional devotion to testify to an entire nation, "Messiah has come!"