Saturday, October 2, 2010

Welcome Award Winning Author Donna McDine

The Golden Pathway banner

Donna McDine is an award-winning children's author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions. Donna’s stories and features have been published in many print and online publications and her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Her second book, The Hockey Agony is under contract and will be published by Guardian Angel Publishing. She writes, moms and is the Publicist Intern for The National Writing for Children Center and Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Musing Our Children.

Thank you for this interview, Donna. Do you remember writing stories as a child or did the writing bug come later? Do you remember your first published piece?

A: When I was a child, I enjoyed watching the television program, Lou Grant with my dad, and became mesmerized on how a reporter put a story together and I dreamed of becoming a reporter one day. For some reason or another, I did not follow this early dream and worked in administration for several Fortune 500 companies for many years. Not until I came across the Institute of Children’s Literature aptitude test in 2006 did my dream of becoming a writer reawaken.

What do you consider as the most frustrating side of becoming a published author and what has been the most rewarding?

A: The waiting. I am very much hurry up let’s get it done mentality. Over the last several years I’ve learned that patience is truly a virtue. My most rewarding experience was the day my children acknowledged me as a children’s writer to an adult I was having a conversation with.

Are you married or single and how do you combine the writing life with home life? Do you have support?

A: Balance, balance, and some more balance. To find it at times with (as many fellow writers) the responsibilities of wife, mother, daughter, friend and my work as a virtual assistant can be quite daunting at times. Even though summer vacation is in full swing I find it essential to rise at least two hours before my children, so I can get my exercise, shower, and writing in. By the time the girls rise, I’m all set to have breakfast with them and then I’m ready to switch gears to my virtual assistant position with International Business Leaders Forum. This way I can remain much more focused on my VA work when I get my writing session in first. Oh and yes, this isn’t the army, so there are times my schedule gets thrown out of whack depending on what the day throws me (i.e., basketball camp and F.I.T. camp car pools).

Can you tell us about your latest book and why you wrote it?

A: Be transported through time to the Underground Railroad, where high-pitched screams echo each night. David’s cruel Pa always chooses the same victim. Despite the circumstances during slavery, David uncovers the courage to defy his Pa. Raised in a hostile environment where abuse occurs daily, David attempts to break the mold and befriends the slave, Jenkins, owned by his Pa. Fighting against extraordinary times and beliefs, David leads Jenkins to freedom with no regard for his own safety and possible consequences dealt out by his Pa. I have always been fascinated by American History and it was a natural pull for me.

Can you share an excerpt?

A: He crept into the barn. A sweaty odor clung heavily in the air. His first attempts to help Jenkins hadn’t gone well. Jenkins use to cringe when he saw David. Fearful he was there to inflict another beating. But over time, David gained Jenkins’ trust with promises he was not there to harm him, but to help. Tonight, the wounds from the whip were worse than ever. The welts looked like caterpillars lodged under his skin. David dared not touch the wounds with his bare hands, afraid his calluses from farming would make the welts worse.

Where’s your favorite place to write at home?

A: The dining room table away from my computer. This way I am not distracted by email and because the natural light fills the room.

What is one thing about your book that makes it different from other books on the market?

A: Even though there are illustrations, The Golden Pathway is not a picture book, but rather a story book geared towards 8-12 years old.

Tables are turned…what is one thing you’d like to say to your audience who might buy your book one day?

A: The protagonist David shows that we can overcome negative influences with love and perseverance.

Thank you for this interview, Donna. Good luck on your virtual book tour!

Thank you to Cheryl C. Malandrinos of Pump Up Your Book Promotion for this original interview.

VBT – Writers on the Move continue to swirl through cyberspace, visit with Nancy Famolari on October 3rd at as she features Virginia Grenier.

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Nancy Famolari said...

Wonderful interview. I'm with you, Donna, finding time to be everything we ladies have to be is a challenge! Love your new book. As usual, a superb interview, Kathy!

Karen Cioffi said...

Great interview ladies. Donna, I'm sure your book will be a huge success; it's a important topic.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Donna, I hate the waiting, too. I'm sure that's one reason many authors turn to alternative forms of publishing. The trick for me is not to get into a rush even when I'm doing it myself. It's important that those of us who choose alternative methods put out a professional product, too. Though I have to say that even when I've published traditionally, the results have not always been pristine. (-:
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging writers' resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick,

Nicole weaver said...


I learn something new about you each time , Donna. Great interview. Thanks for sharing it Kathy.
Nicole Weaver

Nicole weaver said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing you talent and life.

Nicole Weaver

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Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful book written by a wonderful writer.
J. Aday Kennedy
The Differently-Abled Writer & Speaker

Mayra Calvani said...

Great interview! I can sympathize with you about the waiting, Donna!


Donna M. McDine said...


Thank you for hosting me today. I'll check in throughout the day. It's a pleasure to be here.

Best wishes,

terri.forehand said...

Good interview. Love getting to know Donna better and sharing her talent for writing for children with other writers.

Anonymous said...

Interesting interview. Learned something new about Donna.

Magdalena Ball said...

I enjoyed your interview Donna. I'm a morning worker too, and the notion of balance is something I also struggle with. Your books sounds fascinating.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Very nice interview, Kathy.

Having fun, Donna? :)

Janet Ann Collins said...

The more I hear about this book, the better it sounds.

Martha said...

Your book sounds wonderful. I love books for my children that pull in bits of history.
Good luck.
Martha Swirzinski

kathy stemke said...

Thank you for stopping by everyone. Donna is a very talented writer and a special individual who truly cares about others.

Donna, I wish you the very best for your new book. It is an important topic. It not only addresses the important topic of slavery, but it also addresses standing up against abuse in general. God bless.

Donna M. McDine said...

Thank you one and all for your heartfelt words of support. I appreciate you all!

Best wishes,

Virginia S Grenier said...

Sorry I'm a day late getting over here Donna and Kathy. But I'm glad I did. Donna it has been wonderful following you and your book The Golden Pathway on cyberspace. You're a very talented writer and I think anyone would be a miss not to read your book.

NancyCL said...

This is wonderful! Thank you so much Kathy and Donna!

Donna M. McDine said...

Thank you one and all for your heartfelt visit and comments. I appreciate your support!

George Kyaw Kyaw Naing said...

"The waiting. I am very much hurry up let’s get it done mentality. Over the last several years I’ve learned that patience is truly a virtue."

Wonderful interview!

I learn a lot from here.

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