Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Author Interview with Donna McDine - Award-winning Children's Author

About the Author: 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, Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book fiction, and Preditor & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Book ~The Golden Pathway.

Her stories, articles and book reviews have been published in over 100 print and online publications. Her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Donna’s recent releases of Powder Monkey and Hockey Agony will be joined by two more books to be published by Guardian Angel Publishing, A Sandy Grave, and Dee and Deb, Off They Go. She writes, moms and is a personal assistant from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Children’s Literature Network and Family Reading Partnership.

Tell us about your current books. Give a short summary.
Hockey Agony: Peer Pressure and Honesty many times go hand-in-hand.  What is Larry to do when his teammate asks him to cheat when he is given the responsibility to run the clock during the big hockey game?  Outwardly, it may seem he will follow suit, but his conscious tells him otherwise at the moment of truth.

In today’s day and age it’s more important than ever to teach our children that “honesty is the best policy.” It may sound like a cliché to some, but without honesty and staying to true one’s self we would all self destruct. 

Powder Monkey: Forced into a life at sea by the Royal Navy Press Gangs, 12-year-old Tommy Kitt finds himself in a floating sea of misery. Poor living conditions and beatings occur daily. Despite his runt like size, Tommy must summon the courage and physical ability to prevail in a situation he cannot escape.

With technology pulling our children away from verbally communicating with their peers and adults in their lives, it’s imperative we get our children reading for enjoyment and learning in the process instead of being holed up in front of the computer or TV playing video games and surfing the Internet.

Can you tell us about your publisher and how the process worked in getting published?
I’ve enjoyed my experience with the publishing process with Guardian Angel Publishing for my first children’s book, The Golden Pathway and liked the idea of resubmitting to Lynda Burch again.  

How did you get the idea for your books?
Powder Monkey was an initial manuscript I wrote and submitted to a different publisher that put out a request for manuscripts for this time period. They turned it down, but after several rounds of edits with Guardian Angel Publishing Powder Monkey was awarded an acceptance.

My lifelong interest in sports and watching my children, nieces and nephews compete in one sport or another inspired me to write Hockey Agony.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
No day is the same. I grab my writing time when I get it. Whether 15 minutes or 30 minutes at a time. As many authors we hold full time or part time jobs and we jump on the chance when it comes. I always keep my To Do list with me, a pad of paper and pen. Yep, I’m old fashioned. I don’t like to rely on technology. When a thought or inspiration comes to me I want to write it down immediately and not wait for technology to start up.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Immersing myself in the character and story and not worrying if this correct for the mainstream. I let it flow.

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Knowing when to stop the editing process.

How has publishing a book changed your life?
Quite some time ago when I crossed paths with someone I hadn’t seen in a long time asked me where I was working and when I responded that I’m a personal assistant, my daughter’s jumped in and said no she is a children’s author. Hearing this from them gave me a true sense of pride!

What are your plans now?
I’m concentrating on the current virtual book tour for Powder Monkey and Hockey Agony and working on blogging on a more consistent basis. I haven’t concentrated enough on my blogging in the last year due to some health issues (now resolved) and sending off our oldest to the first year of college. Life is much calmer now.

What is your best tip for aspiring authors?
Hone your writing skills. Attend writing workshops and conferences. Join a critique group. Like any industry, never stop learning.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readership?
For Hockey Agony, even though the story honesty and peer pressure is based around the sport hockey, it’s important to overcome peer pressure in any circumstance that presents itself.

As in The Golden Pathway and now Powder Monkey, my interest in history inspires me to write engaging and entertaining historical fiction stories without making the young reader feel as if they are reading a text book. 

Do you have a website? If so, please give the URL. If not, where can readers go online to learn more about your book(s) and to order?
Thank you for hosting me during my virtual book tour coordinated by World of Ink Network for Hockey Agony and Powder Monkey!

You can find out more about Donna McDine, her books and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at


  1. Great catching up with all that is going on with you, Donna. The new books look wonderful.

    Best of luck.

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      Hope you are well!

      Thank you for visiting with me today. I truly appreciate your support!


  2. Hi Virginia,

    Thank you for coordinating my virtual book tour for Hockey Agony and Powder Monkey. I'm thrilled to be kicking-off the tour.


  3. Just received a check for $500.

    Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much you can earn taking paid surveys online...

    So I took a video of myself getting paid $500 for filling paid surveys.



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