Donna Beserra was inspired to write books because of a hobby she shared with her children. When they were very young, the children loved to act out their favorite fairy tales. In order to encourage their creativity, Donna began making costumes and allowing her kids to perform the stories on home video. Donna decided to invent her own fairy tale and Twirly Shirley was born. The main character is a little girl whose braids spin when she is nervous or excited. Donna’s first story was titled, Twirly Shirley in My Sister the Twister.
Donna later decided to publish her story as a book so she could share it with others. This evolved into a series. Donna went on to publish “Twirly Shirley in Hurricane Shirley”, “Twirly Shirley and the Brother like No Other” and “Twirly Shirley and the Tsunami Mommy”. The series helps kids learn to deal with their emotions. Donna began visiting schools and children’s organizations to discuss the importance of reading and writing.
Donna went on to add Creative Creatures to her collection of published work. These books were interactive and designed to inspire children to discover their talents. Each book features a different child and creature, therefore emphasizing that each person is unique, with his or her own special set of talents. Titles include: Buffy the Butterfly’s Apple Orchard, Barton the Bat’s Pumpkin Patch, Maurice the Mouse’s Cornfield, Pirate the Parrot’s Tropical Treasure and Sabrina Ballerina and Kitty Catarina.
Donna has taught a variety of classes at Black Hawk College and Midwest Writing Center based on her books. Children’s classes include; “Jump Write In” (How to write and illustrate a book), “Movie Making Fun”, and “Discover Your Talent”. Donna has taught Self-Publishing for adults as well.
Besides teaching, Donna has organized and directed performances throughout the community based on her books. She has worked with children at Midwest Writing Center and Mississippi Valley Boys and Girls Club. Donna also produces her own “Discover Your Talent” television show, and works as a “College for Kids” instructor at Black Hawk College.