Our Founder: Dana Wilkerson

New York Times Best Selling Author

A Novel Companion Founder: Dana Wilkerson

When Dana was in third grade, she once looked up from reading a book to discover the rest of the students had begun taking a spelling test. She quickly got out her pencil and paper and, after finishing the test with the rest of the class, figured out which two words she had missed and filled them in at the top, hoping she had gotten them in the correct order. Missing a spelling word was not an option in her world.

She was a member of the spelling and grammar police from an early age, but instead of pursuing a higher education focus in English or journalism, she chose a degree in elementary education from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. While student teaching, she realized being a classroom teacher just wasn't for her.

After a few years of working in her family's grocery business, Dana opted to pursue a Master of Divinity in Christian Education, with the intention of becoming a Minister of Education in a church. But again, after working in a church and finishing her degree program, she decided that wasn't in her future either.

What she had realized, however, was that she really enjoyed writing and editing, and she subsequently landed a job as a children's Sunday school curriculum editor at Group Publishing in Loveland, CO. She had finally found a way to use both degrees and put her journalistic skills to good use. She soon discovered she wanted to branch out into other areas of writing and editing, and she left her job to become a freelance writer and editor.

For more than a decade, Dana has written and/or edited thousands of Sunday school lessons and magazine articles. She has contributed to or edited dozens of fiction and non-fiction trade books. And she has collaboratively written four books, two of which hit the New York Times Bestseller List. The Vow: The True Events That Inspired the Movie (Kim & Krickitt Carpenter; B&H, 2012) was #1 on the list for several weeks following its release, and Balancing It All (Candace Cameron Bure; B&H, 2014) reached #2 on the list.

Dana started A Novel Companion in the summer of 2017 (read the full story here), and she hopes that millions will be inspired to live well and serve others as a result of reading her books.

Q&A with Dana

Q: Where do you live?

A: I currently live in the St. Louis area. I grew up in the small town of Montgomery City, MO. As an adult I have also lived in the Kansas City area, Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri, Colorado, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Q: Why have you lived so many places?

A: Because I can! I know my family and friends are tired of helping me move, but I like to experience new places and things. And when you're a freelancer, you can live anywhere there's an Internet connection.

Q: What do you do for fun?

A: I like to read, be outside, eat good food with interesting people, volunteer, and travel. I've been to forty-nine US states, sixteen countries, and six continents, and I plan to visit many more in my lifetime.

Q: Do you have a family?

A: Of course. I have two amazing parents, an older brother who is married to one of my lifelong best friends, three book- and music-loving nieces (ages fifteen, twelve, and four), and a seven-year-old nephew who knows more baseball trivia than your grandpa does.

Q: What was your favorite book or series as a kid?

A: The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery was—and still is—my absolute favorite. Some of you readers will be surprised to learn that there are eight Anne books. My favorites within the series are Anne of the Island (book three) and Rilla of Ingleside (book eight). I still re-read the entire series every few years.