Multi award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine’s creative side laid dormant for many years until her desire to write sparked in 2007. Her latest release Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters joins the four early reader children’s picture books, A Sandy Grave (January 2014), Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010) all with Guardian Angel Publishing. Join McDine as her adventures continue as she ignites the curiosity of children through reading. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI. Visit McDine at www.donnamcdine.com / www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com / https://www.facebook.com/DonnaMcDineAuthor / https://twitter.com/dmcdine
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author? I was a book junkie growing up and still am. While raising my daughters I often thought hey maybe I can do this and one day I took the plunge when I was accepted into the Institute of Children’s Writing course.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands? The roller-coaster ride of acceptance between rejections is daunting and it’s difficult to not want to just throw the towel in.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like? I am fortunate to have found a home with the smaller publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing. My experience has been positive and from what I’ve heard even if you are with a big book publisher the bulk of book promotion is the responsibility of the author. I definitely appreciate the concept at Guardian Angel Publishing in providing input as to what illustrator you’d like to see your book created by.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you? At first my family couldn’t wrap their heads around the long process it all takes, but once they saw my first book in print they became more supportive. And five books later, it’s a pure delight when my family refers to me as a children’s author.
Are they actually still alive? Yep, my plants are still alive. The more I ignore them the better they seem to flourish, except of course the usual drink of water for them. They tend to grow better on the plant stands at my sliding glass door that gets Northern sun.
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late? Since I’ve worked from home for one client or another as a virtual/personal assistant since my children were very young, I’ve learned how to manage the distractions easily. Not to say it wasn’t a constant juggle, but it was a way of life for myself and family way before it became mainstream to have a home office.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process? Hmmm, this is a tough question. Nothing bizarre sticks out. I’ve been fortunate thus far.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid? Ugh, social networking my pet peeve. I know it’s a necessary marketing tool, but I find it quite draining. I have to be very careful not to get sucked up into the world of social media and not truly getting out there in the world for face-to-face interaction. For me, Goodreads and Facebook have been instrumental with Twitter and Pinterest following it up.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you? Sometimes book sales feels like a four letter word! So far, my best avenues have been teacher conferences where they invite authors to present and/or participate in author signing events, book festivals and local libraries.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about? I’m an award-winning children’s author and I’m proud of it!
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way? I am one of five children (now adults, obviously) and it seemed they all found their niche early on in their adult lives and within myself felt interior to their accomplishments. It’s a pure pleasure to be able to say I’m an award-winning children’s author. Looking back I now know I needed to have my own experiences to be able to let me creativity flow for my stories and I’m certainly glad I didn’t pique in high school shortly thereafter. Not that my siblings have become stagnant in their careers and lives, it that my timeline was different then theirs.
Title: Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters
Author: Donna McDine
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
About the Book: The anxiety of finding one’s own place and friends in kindergarten without the comfort of having her fraternal twin sister nearby at first overwhelms Dee until she realizes even without her fraternal twin sister, Dee and her classmates for the most part are in the same boat.