Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of 'A Sandy Grave' Donna M. 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, 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 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books ~ 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 2013 releases of Powder Monkey and Hockey Agony and the 2014 release of A Sandy Grave will be joined by an additional book to be published by Guardian Angel Publishing, 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.

Visit Donna online at or her blog at

Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always loved books. My fondest childhood memories surround books. Often times curled up in the living room with my family or under the shade of a tree I always enjoyed immersing myself in a book, especially the Nancy Drew Mystery Series. After many years of working in Fortune 500 companies, I was longing for something more fulfilling and I ventured into writing. I haven’t looked back since.

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?

At times, it’s not at all. The image of a writer spending their days writing with the warm rays of the sun gleaming through their window without another care in world is truly a far cry from reality. Staying focused at the task at hand can become daunting with so many other aspects of the writer’s life screaming for them. Such as, marketing, networking, research, and critique groups. I know for me I need to get my writing done before anything else or before I know it the day is gone. The perks are wonderful! The connection with fellow writers is essential. Writing is solitary so concerted efforts to connect with others helps the creative juices flow.

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 went with a traditional publisher. Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc., is a small publisher, and the guidance and one on one attention is spectacular!

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?

My family is extremely supportive. I’ve worked from home for over 16 years as a personal assistant, so my writing career worked seamlessly into the family routine. When my office door is closed, they know it’s not time to interrupt.

Out of all the people involved in getting your book published, which one would you say did the most for you? many people have helped me to the road of publication that it is difficult to name just one. So to be on the safe side I’m going to give a shout out to one and all who I have met along the roller coaster ride of publication and thank you for your never ending support!

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?

I tend to be an early riser, making it easier to write before the rest of the world gets moving and grooving.

How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

Don’t get me started. I long for the days of no technology. When someone called you and your line was busy they had to keep calling back till they caught you. Now if someone calls, we have call waiting, cell phones, texting, and email so I find if someone doesn’t get you the first time they start bombarding you several different ways. I find it way too exhausting at times. I know I’ve jumped on my soapbox and I will hop down now. As for social networks, I find yahoo group chats on specific subject matters and Facebook to be the most beneficial for me.

Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?

Author visits to school and libraries have been instrumental in my book sales.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

I’m an award-winning children’s author!

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 enjoy the interaction with children during author visits and engaging in lively discussions as to what they think an author’s life is like. I’m a firm believer in we are all where we are suppose to be and our experiences shape who we are today.

1 comment:

Donna McDine said...

Hi Cheryl,

Thanks for hosting and interviewing me today. I enjoyed your unique questions and humor.

Warm regards,
Award-winning Children’s Author
Write What Inspires You Blog
Donna M. McDine’s Website