Donna Mulvenna


Donna Mulvenna is a horticulturalist and nature writer living in the Amazon rainforest in French Guiana and the author of Wild Roots - Coming Alive in the French Amazon.

Her writing offers readers a close-up glimpse into the fascinating world within the rainforest, reveals the profound effect it has on each of us and encourages people to form a personal connection with the natural world.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to people who are not her kind of wild, but Donna left behind decades of corporate writing to write solely about nature, sport, health, and living simply and sustainably — in essence, her code for living a good life. Today she refuses to own a mobile phone, rarely wears shoes, and is passionate about living on a plant-based diet.

When she isn’t writing from her treetop office, swinging in a hammock or reading from a sea kayak somewhere off the coast, she is hurtling along the wild, untamed rivers of the Amazon rainforest in a sprint canoe.

“Happiness does find us,” she says. “We just need to slow down and be a bit easier on ourselves. Only then can we discover a world of wonder, excitement, and adventure, and gain a true sense of where we are heading and why.”

Smashwords Interview

Please tell us a little about yourself, including interests and hobbies.
I was born in Australia during the 60s hippie revolution; grew up on the Gold Coast, an imitation of Miami, alongside surfing, bodybuilding and bikini contests; kicked off my working career during the ‘me’ decade of economic greed and consumption; and set off to travel the world well before my 25th birthday. Perhaps that explains why I’m a person always on the move, whether that is time or place, or at least I was until life slowed down in the Amazon.

I’ve lived in a gypsy caravan on the Isle of Skye, a renovated farmhouse in Yorkshire, a fairy tale castle in the Loire Valley and now a bush carbet in French Guiana.

My career path has changed 8 times and includes legal administration, communications, equestrian show jumping, naturopathy, cheese making and horticultural science. I’ve also started two businesses - an organic health food store and a farm sitting business.

Interests include English bull terriers, seed saving, and star gazing but my hobbies tend to morph into obsessions like sprint canoe paddling, camping in the wild, living on a plant-based diet and writing.

Today my life is planned to maximize the amount of time I spend on the water and in nature, and that never gets tired or boring.
French Guiana is such an unusual and 'off the beaten track' location - who or what inspired the move?
It is so far off the beaten track that neither I nor any of my friends had ever heard of it. Even the staff at the International medical centre where I had my yellow fever vaccination had to look it up and the nurse told me, “I’m sorry but French Guiana is not a place.”

Temporary insanity, the type driven by hormones, inspired the move. I fell head-over-heels in love with my new boyfriend, Franck, a former Olympian sprint canoeist who was on a personal mission to “give something back by putting kids in canoes.” He chose French Guiana (Guyane), as the place to do it. I simply tagged along with his sprint canoe.
Read more of this interview.


This member has not published any books.