Monday, March 14, 2011

VBT-Guest Author Spotlight Donna McDine


      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. Her stories have been published in many print and online publications and her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Donna has two more books under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing, The Hockey Agony and Powder Monkey. She writes, moms and is the Editor-in-Chief for Guardian Angel Kids and Publicist for the National Writing for Children Center from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI and Musing Our Children. 
      
      What excites you most about your book’s topic? Why did you choose it?

      The Underground Railroad was a pivotal time in American history, one that should never be repeated. It is my hope by keeping history alive for each generation that these huge mistakes will never reoccur.

Q.    How long did the book take you from start to finish?

A.    Even though The Golden Pathway is a story book it took about a year between research, outlining, writing, and editing to finish the manuscript.

Q.    What surprised you the most about the book writing process?

A.    The characters of Jenkins and David completely took over and directed me where they wanted to go. It may sound crazy, but the characters do come to life if you create them in detail. For example, their physical appearance, mannerisms, personality, and how they may react to any given situation is developed through character interviews.

Q.    Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?

A.    My daughter’s acknowledged to a new acquaintance that I’m a children’s author when I responded to the question, “What do you do for a living?” with I’m a virtual assistant. The interjected and said, “No, our mom is a children’s author.”

Q.    What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?

A.    One person can make a huge change for the positive.

Q.    Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?

A.    I am a virtual assistant for International Business Leaders Forum, Editor-in-chief for Guardian Angel Kids Ezine, and Publicist for the National Writing for Children Center Publicist.

Q.    Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?

A.    For The Golden Pathway I conducted research as well as for “Powder Monkey” (which is under contract). For “The Hockey Agony” I used personal experiences from my nieces and nephews.

Q.    How did you come up with your title?

A.    The Underground Railroad was considered the golden path to freedom, hence The Golden Pathway.

Q.     Who was your publisher and why did you choose them?

A.    Guardian Angel Publishing and I chose them because of their publishing philosophy and the broad spectrum of books already published by them.


The Golden Pathway is available through:

Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. - http://guardianangelpublishing.com/pathway.htm
Autograph copies - http://www.donnamcdine.com.
Barnes & Noble - http://barnesandnoble.com

36 comments:

  1. Hi Virginia:

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

    Best wishes,
    Donna

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  2. I like using the "one person can make a huge change for the positivie" element. That's what makes a book fun. Especially if that person is an underdog and has to learn and overcome obstacles along the way.

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  3. Love this interview, Donna! You rock!

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  4. Great interview ladies. I've read The Golden Pathway. It's a wonderful book with a great message. I hope your readers check it out.

    All my best to you Donna.

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  5. Wow, Donna, how do you find time to do it all - your marketing career is really taking off

    Wonderful interview ladies.

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  6. It's great having you here today Donna and thanks everyone for stopping by and leaving a comment. Donna is one talented author and I'm glad to say I've watched her writing career grow over the years I've known her. I only see more wonderful things in her future.

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  7. Well, you know I'm a fan, right? I love fiction that recalls historic events, making it possible for children to understand the past and carry the lessons of previous generations forward.

    Always enjoy interviews and this one was great.

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  8. Great interview ladies. Thanks for sharing. I learned a little bit more from Donna today - great job - see you all in the postings - E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series

    Where will the adventure take you next?

    http://jgdsseries.blogspot.com
    http://jgdsseries.weebly.com

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  9. Awesome interview! Your books sound not just like good reading, but important--which is a win-win for any parent!

    Warmly,
    Jenny:)

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  10. I think the Golden Pathway is a great story. I live in an area where the underground railway was important. I'm glad to have a book like this. Great interview, VS and Donna!!

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  11. Hi Dona,
    It's wonderful that you're writing for children. It's really neat that your daughter has acknowleged you as an author. I know she's proud of you. Congratulations and best wishes for lots of sales.

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  12. Congrats on having your children acknowledge your career - something most parents only dream of! Also, it is not at all strange to have your characters take over the story. It means you've done your job and created believable characters! Well done!

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  13. This is a wonderful and important book. I lived in an underground railway house in Rockford, IL and always felt to be a special and happy house. It was an honor to share its history each day while living there.

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  14. Stephen, Nancy, Cheryl, Karen, Virginia, Lee, J.R., Nancy, Gail, and Kate:

    Thank you for your lovely words of support! Your support mean the world to me. Many of you I've known for quite some time and now I'm pleased to have met J.R., Gail, and Kate.

    Wishing you all a wonderful day,
    Donna

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  15. Donna, great interview. You have a lot of balls in the air -- I'm in awe.

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  16. Great interview! I particularly liked your answer to the last question!

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  17. Great interview, Donna and Virginia! The Golden Pathway is an incredible book. I look forward to your next releases!

    Karin

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  18. I'm a fan of Donna and her book! I can't wait for the next two to be finished. Best wishes for much success in all your endevors.

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  19. Thanks for your insights into your writing process, Donna, wishing you lots of success. Carole.

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  20. Great interview Donna. Now I know you much better. Love the book cover too. It has such appeal.

    Margot's Magic Carpet - All my books on one page.
    http://perfectmagiccarpet.blogspot.com/

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  21. Elysabeth, Maggie, Joe, Karin, Kathy, Carol Anne, and Margot:

    The immense amount of support continues to blow me away on a daily basis. I appreciate your warm words of support!

    Best wishes,
    Donna

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  22. Donna, it's really amazing how sometimes our children know us better than we know ourselves, isn't it. I had exactly the same moment when I introduced my 'career' as my day job and my son overrode me and said, "Actually, she's a writer". It's a good lesson for us! Maggie

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  23. Donna, seems this would be a good entry for my tolerance page on my web site. See what you think and let me know. www.howtodoitfrugally.com/tolerance_and_utah_links.htm.

    Best,
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging resources for writers at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

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  24. I totally agree about the characters taking over, Donna. Yours did a super job of telling you about themselves. Your book is one that everyone, young and old, should read.

    Best of luck with your forthcoming books, too.

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  25. Maggie, glad to hear you had the same reaffirming experience. Isn't it heart warming that our children are as proud of us as we of them!

    Carolyn, cruising on over to your link now...thanks!

    Beverly...wonderful to see you hear. Thanks for your supportive words, much appreciated. Hope you and Jack are well.

    Warmest regards,
    Donna

    P.S. Virgina, it's been a blast being hosted by you today and I will be sure to check back in later. Thanks!

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  26. Wonderful interview, Donna! I had no idea you lived in NY. I thought you lived in STL at the headquarters for GAP.

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  27. Your girls should definitely be proud that their mom's a children's author. She's an excellent one at that! :)

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  28. Donna - the book sounds fantastic! Enjoyed the interview! My favorite tip was about developing your characters through interviews. It really is amazing to watch them take over the story.

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  29. Great interview. I love Donna's reason for writing historical books. Very inspiring!

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  30. Sharon...I'm sneaky like that. With working for GAK and NWFCC (which are both based on MO) most people think I'm from there. I've been a New Yorker all my life.

    Lori...awww..you are so supportive. Thanks for always being there.

    Jennifer...I first got the idea of interviewing my characters through a teleclass at the Children's Writers' Coaching Club.

    Mari...Thrilled you like the interview!

    Best wishes to you all,
    Donna

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  31. Great interview. I really like the title. I did not know that bit of history.

    Best of luck
    Martha

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  32. Hi Martha:

    Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the interview. I find with writing I always learn something new, it's fun!

    Best wishes,
    Donna

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  33. What a delightful interview. Donna, your energy is contagious!!

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  34. Hi Dallas:

    Thanks for stopping by! I'm looking forward to hosting you on Saturday, March 19 at http://www.thegoldenpathway.blogspot.com.

    Best wishes,
    Donna

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  35. I can relate to characters taking over the writing. One of my main characters, a female assassin, was originally held a very minor role, appearing basically just to kill people. To do the dirty work of the protagonist, But as I wrote her role grew in scope so much so that she is a major character. SOmetimes it just happens this way.

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  36. Stephen

    Very interesting. Thank you for visiting. I appreciate and enjoy seeing you in cyberspace.

    Regards,
    Donna

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