Monday, November 15, 2010

Interview with Award-Winning Children's Author Donna McDine

Donna McDine writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including Writers' Journal, Parenting Universe, and Diet Trends Review. She is also the author of a children's book, The Golden Pathway, released by Guardian Angel Publishing this past August. She was kind enough to stop by today to answer a few questions about her new book and her writing life!

To begin, share a little with us about us about your book, The Golden Pathway

Be transported through time to the Underground Railroad, where high-pitched screams echo each night. David’s cruel Pa always chooses the same victim. Despite the circumstances during slavery, David uncovers the courage to defy his Pa.

Raised in a hostile environment where abuse occurs daily, David attempts to break the mold and befriends the slave, Jenkins, owned by his Pa. Fighting against extraordinary times and beliefs, David leads Jenkins to freedom with no regard for his own safety and possible consequences dealt out by his Pa.

How did you come to write about the Underground Railroad?

History has always fascinated me, even as a young child. And when I found myself taking up residence (as an adult) in the historical hamlet of Tappan, NY (Rockland County) I became even more enthralled. Coupled with my father’s involvement with the Rockland County Historical Society in creating artist replicas of the numerous historical locations throughout the county I found myself further drawn into the past. Then as a student at the Institute of Children’s Literature I jumped at the chance to develop a historical fiction story about a young southern boy against slavery.

Is there a lesson you want to impart to today's kids from the Underground Railroad?

Overcoming adversity against immeasurable odds and that with determination success in achieving your dreams is possible.

That is beautiful. How did you go about doing your research?

Initially online, then visiting the Tappan Library and thoroughly researching the Underground Railroad.

What are you working on now?

As to no surprise another historical fiction manuscript based around the USS Constitution and how boys (as young as 11) were kidnapped by the Press Gangs and forced into hard labor on ships.

Wow, that sounds fascinating! Do you have advice for aspiring writers?

Get involved in a writer’s critique group, whether at your local library, community center, or online. Several resources online:

Who is your favorite author?

This has changed dramatically since I began writing in 2007. My past favorite authors were always the big names, Danielle Steele, James Paterson, Stephen King…you get my drift. Now I tend to gravitate to the lesser known authors who have as much talent and to be fair for those of you who’ve I enjoyed over the last several years I’m not going to name names in fear of missing someone. Especially since my list is ever growing.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I want to take the opportunity to thank all who have helped me along the way in achieving my dream as an author. Of course beginning with my loving and supportive husband, Tom and daughter’s Nicole and Hayley, my parents, in-laws, extended family and friends, and the dear writing communities I’m involved with both online and in person. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a nurturing personal and writing community to birth an author. Thank you!

Contact Donna:

Tomorrow, November 16, my writing friend Maggie Ball is featuring an interview with Dianne Sagan on her wonderful blog. Check it out!


Nancy Famolari said...

Great interview, Dallas. I enjoyed learning more about Donna. Her new book about the USS Constitution sounds particularly interesting. Good luck with it, Donna

Janet Ann Collins said...

The Golden Pathway sounds wonderful and I'll bet her new book will be, too.

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Dallas and Donna. Great interview.

This is so important: "Overcoming adversity against immeasurable odds and that with determination success in achieving your dreams is possible."

Keep up the great work,

Donna M. McDine said...

Hi Dallas:

Thank you for hosting me today! It's an honor to be here.

Nancy and Janet, thanks for stopping by and for your lovely words of support.

Best wishes,

Donna M. McDine said...


We must have been submitting our comments at the same time. Thanks for stopping by today and reading my interview! I appreciate your kind words of support.

Best wishes,

Dallas said...

Thank you for the comments, everyone! Donna, it is wonderful to have you here today! Thank you again so much for the delightful interview.

cleemckenzie said...

Another great interview with a wonderful author. Thanks.

Magdalena Ball said...

Interesting interview Donna. Your books sound like fascinating, well researched historical fiction with important morals.

Martha said...

Great interview, Dallas. The Golden Pathway sounds fantastic.
Good luck

Donna M. McDine said...

Lee, Magdalena, and Martha:

Thank you for taking the time out to visit with me. I appreciate your kind words and support.

Best wishes,

kathy stemke said...

Better late than never. Great post ladies. I love "The Golden Pathway," and I'm excited about your work in progress. In fact, I was unaware that 11 year old kids were enslaved! Way to go!

Karen Cioffi said...

Wonderful interview. Donna, your new book about the USS Constitution sounds fantastic.

I love history and I think it's great that writers like you bring it to children in an engaging format.

Mari said...

What a wonderful message and lesson Donna!