About Joan

At age six, I wrote my first poem and in fourth grade, I bound my first collection of stories, plays and poems. I consider any conflict, large or small, as a potential story. Because most of my books are based on true incidents, my characters such as in On Viney’s Mountain are gathered from historical records. Other times, family stories inspire a book, like in The Secret of the Red Shoes. I also love to name characters after my friends, as a way to honor them. While I try and write an hour almost every day, working on our organic blueberry farm with my husband, John, tending and preserving a large garden, making goat cheese and other homestead duties absorb much of my time. In the evenings, I play Scottish fiddle tunes on my folk harp, work on quilts and read, preferably with a cat on my lap. For many years, I have tutored or served as a mentor for students in our local elementary school. Read More >

Latest News

Eileen Spinelli just wrote a lovely blurb for my new picture book, Song of Hope, to be released by Tandem Light Press

There are many ways to judge a story. For me,
the most important is this: Does it touch my
heart? After reading Song of Hope, the answer
is emphatically Yes!
Joan Donaldson compels us to consider a world
of orphans through a single one of them. Sahana's
is a story that is all too particular, all too real and
human. We cry with Sahana. We rejoice with her.
Our hearts are touched.
PJ Lyons' artwork sings with color and
... See MoreSee Less

18 hours ago  ·  

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Joan’s podcasts have been featured on WMUK and Michigan Public Radio.