The Power of the Pen: Meet Writer and Laurel Springs School Alumna Danica Davidson

10/21/22

Laurel Springs alumni Danica Davidson dove headfirst into a writing career.

Words have the power to change the world, a truth Danica Davidson holds near and dear to her heart. The writer and 2005 Laurel Springs School graduate has made a name for herself in the publishing world producing journalistic articles, children’s novels manga how-to-draw guides and graphic novels, and most recently, a gripping tale about a Holocaust survivor.

Danica’s childhood ambitions take root

Before she was a prolific writer, Danica was a little girl with a voracious appetite for all things related to the written word. She recalls dictating stories to her parents as young as three years old. In other words, she was smitten, and fortunately, her future academic life supported her goals.

“I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a writer,” she says. “I've always been writing one thing or another. I finished high school with Laurel Springs, so I had a really great opportunity there to do as much reading and writing as I wanted for school. Before Laurel Springs, I would sometimes get in trouble for writing or reading when I was supposed to be working on something else.”

After attending a traditional high school for a year, she transferred to Laurel Springs’ online program. The move proved to be a blessing to her craft. Danica’s passion did not wane as she grew, and Laurel Springs supported her goals.

“I found that Laurel Springs was a really good fit for me to finish high school,” she says. “It gave me more flexibility and gave me more time to read and write. And I spent a lot of time doing that.”

From the classroom to the workplace

While many high school students learn life skills through part-time retail or food service jobs, Danica dove headfirst into a writing career. Even before graduating, she started working as a professional writer for a local newspaper. It was through that opportunity she honed her skills and built a portfolio, helping her to establish credibility in the industry. To date, she estimates she’s published thousands of articles for more than 50 publications.

Armed with confidence and connections—two essential ingredients for success in publishing—she took the next step in her career: authoring books. It was always her dream, but she embraced journalism as a springboard. After all, there are more jobs for journalists than for authors who are just getting started.

“I had to build up my own platform with my journalism to get to the point where publishers, agents, and editors started paying attention to me,” Danica says. “Breaking in as a professional author is very challenging—it’s like getting into Hollywood. It’s full of rejection.”

Danica did manage to get her break and published her first book in 2015. To date, she has released 18 books. She has a penchant for creating content that appeals to children and adolescents and hopes to reach them through positive messages and themes.

History comes alive

That’s exactly what she hopes to accomplish with the release of her book, “I Will Protect You.” It’s a children's Holocaust book co-created with the now-late Holocaust survivor Eva Kor.

Kor lived in Indiana after the war and was a Holocaust educator there. In hindsight, Danica says their meeting was perhaps a case of kismet, given the timing.

“I met her when she gave a speech at Western Michigan University, and she told me she wanted to create a kids' book about how she survived the Holocaust as a child,” Danica recalls. “She says the only way to fight antisemitism is to teach it to kids in an accessible way. I interviewed Eva and wrote the book, sending chapters at a time for her approval. Little, Brown [an American publishing company] made an offer on the completed manuscript fifteen days before Eva unexpectedly passed away during an Auschwitz education trip.”

Now, Danica hopes to share the book's message with the world's children. She's targeting children ages eight through twelve because it's critical to reach them as they develop paradigms and are susceptible to developing bias and prejudice. Learn more about her book here.

Students can watch Danica’s “How to Draw Kawaii Sushi” tutorial (from the book Chalk Art Manga) here.


Danica’s books

I Will Protect You: A True Story of Twins Who Survived Auschwitz [with Eva Kor]

Manga books

Chalk Art Manga [with Rena Saiya]

Manga Art for Beginners [with Melanie Westin]

Manga Art for Everyone [with Rena Saiya]

Minecrafter books

Escape from the Overworld

Attack on the Overworld

The Rise of Herobrine

Down into the Nether

The Armies of Herobrine

Battle with the Wither

Adventure Against the Endermen

Mysteries of the Overworld

Danger in the Jungle Temple

Clash in the Underwater World

Last of the Ender Crystal

Return of the Ender Dragon

Graphic novels

Barbie: Puppy Party

“Picture Perfect” in Tales from the Crypt: The Stalking Dead

Textbook

Everything You Need to Know About Hate Crimes


Stay connected to Danica and others in the Laurel Springs alumni community as a member of LSS Alumni Connect. Join today!