What's Up with Donna?

New Book on the History of Venice, CA!

Venice, California is unlike anywhere else in the world. Historian Donna Lewis Friess, Ph.D., grew up on the ocean front in Venice in the midst of California’s 1940’s oil boom. Her next door neighbor, a working oil pump-house complete with derrick, was a constant in her life. Determined to bring a lost piece of Los Angeles history to life, and sequestered by the 2020 Worldwide Pandemic and following lock-down, Donna offers this vibrant story of a remarkably idiosyncratic place in America. While honoring the Indigenous People who once lived on its shores, this history begins with her great grandparents’ late 1880’s arrival in Venice Beach, travels through Abbot Kinney’s magical Venice-of-America years, continues across time to its evolution as an artists’ Mecca, and concludes with the newer Venice ethos as Silicon Beach.

What People Are Saying:

Your book looks fabulous! I was able to preview it on Amazon and can’t wait to read it.
My name is India Dupre and I am a board member of the Venice Historical Society.
I have reached out to our president, Jill, to see if I can post about it on our facebook page and will let you know.Thank you for an incredible contribution to Venice’s history!

Inspirational Articles

If you haven't seen Donna's regular emailings, you can check out her blog posts here on her website under "Inspirational Articles."  Here's a sneak peek at her latest blog:

On Growing Happiness

Recently, I have admitted to you how chaotic parts of my life have felt as I have dealt with loss and serious medical conditions with those whom I love. I’ve been struggling to keep balance in my life, to feel happy. The other day my brother, Chuck, emailed a Time Magazine January 5, 2023 article “The Daily Habits of Happiness Experts.” Eager for more answers, I studied the article. [Read More]

Donna on Good Day Orange County

Choosing to Help and Be Happy!

Donna has started up a new network for writers!

Capistrano Trails Hardbound Edition is now available!

Click here for Amazon.com or 

Click here for Barnes & Noble


In the News!

The Capistrano Dispatch

San Juan Capistrano Patch

Shea Center Newsletter



The Latest

Growing Up Venice was featured in the Los Angeles Westside Magazine The Argonaut!

Norway’s Egmont Publishers E-Book/Audio Book Division just signed a 10 year contract to produce Cry The Darkness. The book will have a 40 year publishing life span.


 Now available on Amazon.com in b&w softcover and Kindle editions!