(The Juicy Version)
Dana C Carver was born in 1972 in Columbus, Ohio. She wrote her first book at five years old and won the school's "super writer" award. As a child she spent her summers acting out her stories with the neighborhood children, and she began her first novel at thirteen, on a cherished Smith-Corona typewriter. Since then, her life has not gone to plan and has been that much better for it.
At university, Dana majored in psychology with a minor in creative writing. Convinced she’d never make money writing, she became determined to get her PhD in clinical psychology, but failed to get into a PhD program because she had not attended an Ivy League school (no one had told her this would matter). So, regardless of four years of avoiding drinking games (which resulted in excellent, but useless, grades), she moved to the White Mountains of New Hampshire in an attempt to live the life she'd missed out on. She became a ski instructor, and discovered the joys of late night camp fires, sleeping in, and garage bands.
Fascinated by the immediate effect of nature, rest and exercise on her health, Dana moved to Oregon and enrolled in post-graduate studies in physiology. Here she had the opportunity to work on two contrasting cadavers; a weight lifter in his forties who had died of an aneurysm, and a woman of the same age who had lived a sedentary life and died of a heart attack. What she found, after carefully removing their skin, was life changing. And so began her passion for health and fitness (and a loathing for roast beef).
After a four-month stint in South America, she moved to Lake Tahoe and became a snowboard instructor and worked at a gym. It was during this time she completed her first novel, Meeting Eve, inspired by her experiences in South America and the close friendships she developed with a group of gypsy lesbians.
After several futile attempts at publishing the novel, Dana switched her focus to running, and trained for a marathon, which she completed but was passed by participants in their eighties. Accepting that running was not for her, she tried motherhood, in which case she lost both her sons to a rare genetic condition. This tragedy sent Dana back to her original passion of writing, and the grief and learnings from this time would later shape her third novel, Quatro. But it was Two Truths she began first, writing it while studying to become a personal trainer and wellbeing coach.
In 2005 she opened her own business, Aspire Coaching and Training, which she eventually expanded into a personal development studio. The studio operated until 2015, serving over 400 clients, both individuals and organizations, and during this time Dana became a sought-after speaker.
Currently Dana works as a program manager and coach, helping organisations to implement and evaluate change initiatives, and is the Chair of the Good Programmes Trust, home of the award winning GoodYarn program, which has seen nearly 7000 people educated in mental health and wellness.
She lives on a dairy farm in the South Island of New Zealand with her husband, Tony, where she has developed an unexpected love for ducks, and is currently completing Quatro and working on her fourth novel, The Barber and the Buller, inspired by the Pike River Mine tragedy.
In addition to her five ducks, four chickens, three cats and dog, Dana is blessed with three fabulous step-children, an amazing foster-daughter (who has taught her more than a PhD ever could) and two beloved grand-daughters.
Not surprisingly, Dana’s novels are rich and adventurous. They question the status quo and inspire new possibilities. “One thing I’ve learned,” Dana says, "is that the unfolding process of our lives is so much more beautiful than the ones we had planned.”