Friday, October 4, 2013

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

Please share your bio with us and anything else you would like readers to know.

I’m a multiple award-winning children’s author, I write, moms and I’m a personal assistant for Thomas John, Inc., from my home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. I’m a member of the SCBWI, Children’s Literature Network, and Family Reading Partnership. Visit

What are some of the things that have influenced/inspired your writing?

My husband and daughter’s are my inspiration. Their unconditional love and support brightens my day and they say I’m happiest when I’m writing.

Can you share some writing experiences with us?

Once I have my research, brief character outlines, and story plot completed I get down to the business of writing my first draft in free hand with my favorite Graf von Faber-Castell pen. The first one given to me by my hubby and daughter’s broke recently and I was crushed. I know, I know it’s only a pen. The sentimental gift was near and dear to my heart. After wrestling with the idea of replacing the pen because of expense, my husband said to me purchase a new already. It doesn’t matter the expense as long as it makes you stop talking about the broken one…LOL J!

Tell us briefly about your recently published books and what you feel is the most important topic/sub-message you share.

About 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.

As parents it’s imperative we guide our children during the formative years and beyond so that they are comfortable in their own skin and know the difference between wrong and right.

About 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.

It’s important to teach our children learning about history does not necessarily have to come from the stand history textbooks.

Like all authors, you have had your fair share of rejection letters. You obviously did not let the letters deter you. How did you keep your determination without getting discouraged?

I approached rejections letters much like the college application accept/decline process. It’s one opinion and often times their decision reflects their current needs or mood. I do my best to discard the rejections letter after reviewing any personal feedback.

Please describe to us your relationship between you and your editor. What makes an author/editor relationship a success?

It is definitely a give and take relationship mixed with respect with both opinions as to what will make the manuscript the strongest it can be. In my experience this makes a positive working relationship.

When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your books and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?

Award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine possessed the talent of immersing her readers from the onset making them easily forget about any chaos in their lives. Even though McDine’s writing was an essential part of her life, she put her family and friends first and foremost in her daily life no matter the circumstance. She was the type of person that would come to your aide any time of the day and night, no questions asked.

Is there any particular book when you read it, you thought, "I wish I had written that!"?

Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines by Beverly Stowe McClure. Incredible historical fiction middle grade book!

How do you see the future of book publishing, both traditional, electronic and print on demand?

I believe the industry will continue to evolve with a mixture of major and small publishing houses both electronic and print.

What happens before sitting down to write? (Explain your creative process.)

I make sure my writing space is all set with an extra pad of paper, post-it notes  and index cards, extra pen refills, a hot cup of tea in my large The Golden Pathway mug, a couple of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies. This way I’m not constantly getting up and down from my writing getting one supply or another.

Have you received any awards?

·          Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions (The Golden Pathway, Images of the Past, and Hockey Agony)

·         Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader  ~ The Golden Pathway

·         Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention ~ The Golden Pathway

·         Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction ~ The Golden Pathway

·         Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books ~ The Golden Pathway

What advice would you give to a new writer?

Do not give up. Participate in critique groups, attend writer’s workshops, and conferences.

Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where?

At this time I do not have any in-person events scheduled.
Use this space to tell us more about your book’s characters. Anything you want your readers to know. Include information on where to find your book(s), any blogs you may have, or how a reader can learn more about you and/or your book(s).

Please visit me at:

Write What Inspires You! blog – here I interview and post book reviews pertaining to the children’s book industry.

Website: – here you will find FREE educator’s guides and book marketing articles.

I thank you for taking the time to share with my readers about being an author.

Thank you for hosting me during my virtual book tour coordinated by Stories for Children Publishing for Hockey Agony and Powder Monkey

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

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Virginia,

    It's been a delight traveling through cyberspace on my virtual book tour. It's a pleasure to have you host and interview me.


    Warm regards,