Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Donna’s stories and features have been published in many print and online publications, and her first book, The Golden Pathway, will be published through Guardian Angel Publishing. Ms. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Musing Our Children, and The National Writing for Children Center. Learn more about Donna at http://www.donnamcdine.com. If you sign the guestbook, you’ll receive a FREE e-Book Write What Inspires You: Author Interviews, and http://www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com and http://www.thegoldenpathway.blogspot.com.
Be transported through time to the Underground Railroad. David befriends a 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.
Q: Describe a highlight for you personally while you were writing this book.
A: Terrific question! In the early stages I shared one of my latest drafts with my dear friend Dawn (of over 20 years) and her two boys. The oldest being an avid reader enjoyed it, but felt “it needed more meat.” Her youngest, a reluctant reader, said “David is so brave, I can’t wait to read more.” These two distinct feedbacks provided me the personal affirmation to keep writing and write well to keep the interest of both sides of the reading spectrum.
Q: Share the journey from book idea to published book while working with this particular publisher.
A: The Golden Pathway started out as a writing assignment for the Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club and after several critiques with director, Suzanne Lieurance, I took the plunge and submitted my manuscript to the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition and placed 12th in 1,17 entries. While not first place it is an honor I am quite proud of. From there I attended the Muse Online Writers Conference and met publisher, Lynda Burch of Guardian Angel Publishing. Lynda encouraged attendees of her workshop to submit and I found myself taking yet another plunge. Isn’t that what it is all about for writer’s, taking the chance and submitting?
While Lynda liked the story her professional opinion was to expand the story with specific points since I was no longer under a strict word count from the contest. I took all her suggestions into serious consideration and hired professional editor, Lea Schizas for further development. Once Lea and I were satisfied the manuscript was at its best, I resubmitted to Lynda Burch for reconsideration, resulting in an acceptance. Working with Lynda and K.C. Snider (illustrator) has been a rewarding and exhilarating experience and I am anxiously awaiting to announce the release date.
Q: What is one goal you have as a children’s writer and what are the steps you are taking to achieve it?
A: I have come to realize as writers we have numerous goals we want to reach. My main goal at this time is to finish the edits to my historical fiction manuscript and submit to the publishing houses I have researched. Three to be exact, but will submit in order of preference since none accept simultaneous submissions. My work outside my writing career has been busier than ever so I tackle these edits before anything else on my agenda for the day.
Q: Share one tip you would like to give someone who is just starting out as a writer for children.
A: Don’t spread yourself too thin, especially in Social Media Networking. Keeping social media profiles up to date and interesting is a full time job in itself even with pinging. Write first, then everything else. You’ll feel much better by the end of the day if you get your writing session in first.
Nancy, thank you for interviewing me, it has been a pleasure!