Posted by: nancyisanders | October 8, 2010

Author Interview: Donna Clark Goodrich

Meet Author Donna Clark Goodrich!
Website: The Writer’s Friend

Donna Clark Goodrich is a free-lance writer, editor, and proofreader. A native of Jackson, Michigan, she moved to Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 20 to work as secretary to the book editor at the Nazarene Publishing House. Typing a term paper for a seminary student led to her meeting Gary Goodrich, whom she married in 1960. Now residents of Mesa, Arizona, they have three children and two granddaughters.

Donna began the annual Arizona Christian Writers Seminar in 1982 which she led for seven years. She has also been instrumental in helping to form Christian writers clubs in many cities. The author of 22 books and over 700 articles and short stories, she is a frequent instructor at Christian writers conferences across the United States. Her greatest love is working with beginning writers and helping them to spread the gospel through the printed page.

Donna’s newest books are: Healing in God’s Time, the story of gospel songwriter Dave Clark who has had 25 songs reach number 1 on the charts (including “Crucified with Christ” and “Mercy Said No”) and A Step in the Write Direction: The Complete How-to Book for Christian Writers.

She also writes devotional and self-help books to encourage Christians in their daily walk with God; how-to books to train writers; biographies to tell other people’s stories; short stories and poetry for readers’ enjoyment; and personal experience articles to share how God has helped her through life situations.

Featured Book: A Step in the Write Direction
Author: Donna Clark Goodrich

You have the desire to write, but don’t know where to begin? Where do you get ideas? What field of writing are you best suited for? How do you sell what you write? You’ve written and published, but now you wonder if you need an agent? How do you show your income and expenses on your tax forms? A Step in the Write Direction answers all these questions, and more. This indispensable 365-page guide to writing and marketing your work will help you build the skills you need to launch and build a successful writing career.

Q: Describe the journey you’ve taken to write this book.
Beginning in 1982, I’ve taught workshops on various phases of writing both here in Arizona and in conferences across the United States. Almost weekly I received telephone calls saying, “I want to be a writer. How do I get started?” (in 10 minutes or less, of course!). I put together six booklets on writing devotionals, poetry, personal experiences, books, editing, and starting a writers’ club which sold very well, but this didn’t answer everyone’s questions. I knew I needed ONE book that would do this. A year ago my proofreading and editing work slowed down immensely and I thought, “This is the time!” I took one chapter a week to my critique group, made the suggested changes, and took it back the second week for a re-read. The next week I took another chapter. When it was finished, I began looking for a publisher. WinePress Publishing Group agreed to handle it on a royalty basis, and the first box of published books arrived at my house in January 2010…truly a dream come true!

Q: What inspires you most as a writer?
Besides the goodness of God in allowing me to express my feelings through writing, I think just being around other writers…rejoicing with them when they sell a manuscript and encouraging them when they receive a rejection (or as we call them, “pre-acceptances”). I love to hear them share their ideas and how God is helping them.

Q: Describe a highlight of your writing career.
I think there would have to be two. In 1972 I sent 30 Bible puzzles to Standard Publishing in Cincinnati for their Sunday school take-home papers. The editor wrote back saying Standard would like to put these into book form…my first book sale! I received the whole sum of $125 for an outright purchase. The second highlight would have to be the publication of the writing book. (I have a couple of awards that have touched me too!)

Q: Share one tip you would like to give a writer trying to break into the Christian market.
There has to be two:
1) Meet with another Christian writer on a regular basis, a Christian writers’ group in your area if possible. Members not only encourage one another, but share news on markets and conferences.
2) Go to your knees before you go to your keyboard. Sally Stuart says “You can’t write from an empty cup. Keep your relationship with Christ uppermost.”


  1. Would have loved this to be a longer interview, as I am sure this woman has much more to share that could bless Christian writers. I guess if I want to learn more, I’ll have to pick up her books.

    It’s interesting that this article mentions Standard publishing and their take home papers as I am currently looking into this publication as a possible fit for my writing.

    I am currently reading Nancy’s book, Yes! You can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published and Build a Successful Writing Career. I am blogging my reaction and results. If you would like to hear about the results in action, here is where you can read more…

    • Oh yes, Chris! Definitely grab Donna’s book. I just got it and it’s chock-full of great info. -Nancy

  2. Donna, did I hear somewhere that you’re coming out with a companion workbook, too, for this book? If so, do you have any details yet about it and its release? -Nancy

    • I’ve completed a student workbook for this book which includes assignments throughout. When they finish, they will have completed a short story, an article, a query, several leads, some puzzles, a book review, an interview with someone, a personal experience story, and approximately 40 editing exercises. I’m hoping it’ll be out by next summer when we have our home school convention in Phoenix. Note: Our critique group likes it even better than the first one because of the exercises.

  3. Thanks, Nancy! And I’m really looking forward to reading your book on writing foir children. I’ve done some short stories and puzzles, but have a number of picture books I’ve completed that so far haven’t found a publisher. Am sure your book will help!

  4. HI Donna and Nancy! Im SO excited about your idea to add writing exercises in your book! After Nancy told us about your book, A Step In The Write Direction,I read your book and reviewed it at our last writer’s group meeting and couldn’t say enough good things about it. Both yours and Nancy’s writing books have helped me turn all my question marks into happy faces! Thank you so much. Adding writing exercises would be a valuable asset to it, Donna.

  5. For any writing groups wanting to use this book, I offer a quantity discount–5 or more, 30% off, plus s&h.

    • Thanks for letting us know, Donna. This is a great deal! -Nancy

  6. This book sounds great and I hope to get one soon. There’s nothing more exciting than to hear advice that really works, like both Nancy’s and Donna’s, and books like those are invaluable to every writer, published or not.

    God has blessed us with such scribes!

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