Author: Danielle Coulter
Genre: Nonfiction/ Memoir
Length: 169 Pages
Available for free from Kindle Unlimited or from Amazon in Paperback!
About Danielle (from her Amazon Author Page):
My name is Danielle Coulter and I was born with Cerebral Palsy. At the age of 20, I decided to write my bio so people can hear my story. A lot of my friends have been putting a bug in my ear to write a book for years; one-day things just clicked into place and I started writing. My book is called If Dan Can Shred, You Can Too. I want to share my stories and adventures to inspire you to stand up and follow your dreams whether you have a disability or not.
I have overcome so many obstacles in my life, and now I have overcome the biggest one- typing. As I was growing up it was hard for me to read and write. When I was writing short stories in school I looked at a blank page for a long time because I was scared to misspell words, but I learned that it is okay to misspell words and to just keep typing away. I am happy that I got over that so I could share my story with you and have you hear my real voice. No obstacle is too big a wall; one day, you will break it down.
I am also the first adaptive snowboarder in the world, and I tell you this to say that if you have a dream that you want to make a reality, do it, and let no one stop you!
I really enjoy books written by authors who have disabilities. For ages, people have told stories about people with disabilities. I find it both refreshing and empowering to hear the narratives of people with disabilities told in their own voices from their own perspectives.
Danielle writes in a style that is very easy to read. She also writes with a great deal of heart. Reading Danielle’s book made me feel as if I was sitting down over a cup of hot cocoa to have a conversation with a new friend.
Danielle’s goal is to encourage everyone to chase their dreams. I found it fascinating to hear about her experience becoming the world’s first adaptive snowboarder. I have never been skiing and I have never even set foot on a ski resort, but as I read Danielle’s writing, I felt as I could truly put myself in her position. I could almost feel the icy wind in my hair and the adrenaline rush of going at top speed down a mountain slope.
Danielle’s story also includes many poignant moments with which anyone who has had a disability can identify. My heart particularly went out to her when she wrote about her struggles in college.
Throughout the entire book, Danielle’s indomitable spirit shines through. The reader will find his or herself rooting for Danielle and rejoicing right along with her when she triumphs. Just as there is no one “right way,” to live a life with a limiting condition, Danielle shows that there is also no one “right way,” to chase your dreams.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys memoirs or a good inspirational story. Danielle is not inspiring because she has a disability. She is inspiring because of her strong and determined spirit as well as her big heart. Danielle’s positive attitude and heartfelt story telling will inspire readers of all ages to never give up and to keep dreaming!
Also, be sure to check out Danielle’s website, DanCanShred.com to see videos of her snowboarding! Danielle is best friends with another amazing young woman, Win Kelly Charles. Win’s book inspired Danielle to write her own story. I had the pleasure of getting to know Win and Danielle when I was interviewed on Win’s podcast, Ask Win, about my chapbook Through My Good Eye: A Memoir in Verse.
My Interview with Danielle Coulter
Danielle was kind enough to allow me to interview her about her book, her writing projects, and her current projects.
Rev. Rebecca: I see that you’ve written other books as well as this one. Besides If Dan Can Shred, what is your favorite book that you have written and why?
Danielle Coulter: My favorite book that I have written is Dannidoll in Ragdoll Land. The reason why is that I based it off a magical event that happened in my life. Then I changed it because I want to let everyone know how Dannidoll came to be along with her other clown friends. In real life I work with my friend’s entertainment business as a ragdoll clown named Dannidoll. I have so much fun making kids happy.
RR: I really enjoyed hearing about your time at your acting and music camp. I know that a lot of people are afraid to speak in front of a crowd. What advice would you give to someone who is afraid to speak in public?
DC: For someone who is afraid to speak in public, I’ll tell them that I believe in you and think of the people that are watching you who believe in you too.
RR: I’ve never been snowboarding, but now that I’ve read your book, I really want to try it! What advice would you give to a first time snowboarder with low vision?
DC: I would say to book a ski lesson with Challenge Aspen or another group that helps people ski with disabilities near you.
You can find more information about Challenge Aspen at their website. Challenge Aspen: https://challengeaspen.org
RR: I really empathized with your struggles in college. I also had some professors who were very challenging to work with regarding my disability. I just want to say that I admire your hard work and dedication. Did you finish your acting program? Have you been in any plays lately?
DC: I didn’t finish my acting program because of family stuff, but I am working on my acting and singing every week with my work and music therapy. The last play that I did was the Disney movie Frozen last July. My music teacher, who is the director of the Challenge Aspen play camp now, wanted me to sing one of my songs that I wrote at the end of the play. So I came up with my own character with a little help from my mom and sang, “I am a Dancer,” as Bliss the Winter Fairy.
RR: What project of yours are you most excited about right now? Are you currently working on any new projects?
DC: I am excited to be working on, “A Diary of a Fashionista,” podcast with win every week. For projects, I just finished my 3rd song and want to find time to write more books.
You can find out more about Danielle on her website:
Dan Can Shred: https://www.dancanshred.com
Also, don’t forget to tune in to the podcast she does with Win Kelly Charles, “A Dairy of a Fashionista!” You can find it here: http://aworldcp.libsyn.com/
Do you have a favorite book written by an author with a disability? Please let me know in the comments below!