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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New GAP Author, Donna McDine - Interview



Joining us today is one of Guardian Angel Publishing's newest authors, Donna McDine. Donna is going to tell us about her writing and her upcoming book with GAP.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

DMc: I embarked on my writing career with my completion of the Institute of Children’s Literature Writing for Children and Teenagers Magazine Course in 2007. It has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least. Filtered between the many rejection letters I have had success publishing over 25 short stories and articles in both print and online publications. Thank goodness, for without those successes I would have thrown in the towel. I’m also proud to say I have been bestowed the honor of Honorable Mention in the 77th Writer’s Digest Writing Competition and twice in the 78th Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. The first resulting in my award-winning historical fiction manuscript The Golden Pathway, being accepted by Guardian Angel Publishing as a story book.

Q: Have you always been a writer?

DMc: No, I haven’t always been a writer. However, I have always dreamed of being one. When I was an adolescent a popular television show, Lou Grant, starring Ed Asner was my initial inspiration. One of the main characters, Joe Rossi, portrayed by Robert Walden always held my attention. I think at first I was drawn to him because we shared the same last name, but then I became intrigued by his determination of “scooping” the latest story. For some reason or another I didn’t follow my dream and went into office administration, then as a web designer, and finally a children’s author. However, I do supplement my income as a virtual assistant.

Q: Tell us about your upcoming book.

DMc: The Golden Pathway is with the illustrator now and I’m crossing my fingers for an early-Summer release. In the meantime, I’d like to share with your readers the synopsis:

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.


Q: How was the publishing process for you?

The story of David started out as writing assignment with the Children’s Writers Coaching Club (CWCC) and after several revisions I submitted it to the 77th Writer’s Digest Writing Competition and it placed 12th with over 1,400 entries in the Children/Young Adult category. I’ve been told if you don’t place 1st it doesn’t really count. But I don’t feel that way. To me this accomplishment is a major feather in my cap.

Then after meeting Lynda Burch of Guardian Angel Publishing at the Muse Online Writer’s Conference I took the plunge (so to speak) and submitted my manuscript for consideration. Lynda responded back with suggestions for edits and instead of taking the chance and doing it on my own I hired professional editor, Lea Schizas. Together we went through several revisions and without the constraint of the word count from the contest the manuscript became more dynamic, resulting in an acceptance from Lynda. The book cover is complete with the expert illustration by K.C. Snider and the story illustrations will be completed in the coming months. I can hardly wait!

Q: What other things do you like to do?

DMc: I enjoy reading of course. As a writer you must read in the genre you write in. I cherish the moments of spending time with my husband and two daughters, extended family, and friends. So it’s not uncommon to have people at my home almost every weekend. I also enjoy walking (especially along the Hudson River), swimming, and playing basketball. I don’t play as much basketball anymore since my 12-year-old can wipe me up off the court with her abilities.

Q: Any advice for struggling authors?

DMc: Hmmm. Don’t get discouraged. I know, I know…not so easy. Rejection is all part of the game. Makes the acceptances all that much sweeter.

Practice, practice, practice. Write every day, even it’s for only 15 minutes a day. Do you think the best musicians and athletes got where they are today with not practicing. It’s a craft, it's hard work and oh so worth it when you receive the wonderful ACCEPTANCE!

Don’t edit as you write. There’s time for editing after you have written your first draft.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

DMc: Network, network, network! Even if you don’t have any publishing credits to your name, you’ll be surprised how quickly that can change once you get involved with a critique group and writers discussions. Online groups are available in every genre and check out your local library and find out if there are any local groups. I’m involved with a combination of online and in-person and both continue to be beneficial for my writing career.

You can find Donna online at:

Donna’s Website: www.donnamcdine.com
Write What Inspires You Blog: www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com
The Golden Pathway Story book Blog: www.thegoldenpathway.blogspot.com

Don't forget to keep your eye out for The Golden Pathway by Donna McDine, coming from Guardian Angel Publishing in Summer 2010!


Note: This interview was performed by Sandie Lee

19 comments:

Donna M. McDine said...

Good morning Cheryl:

Thanks for hosting me today. I look forward to checking back in throughout the day.

Warm regards,
Donna

Susanne Drazic said...

Interesting interview. I like interviews about authors because you get a chance to learn new things about them that you might not find at their blogs or websites.

Kristi Bernard said...

This is a great interview Donna. Good luck on your book.

Katie L. Carroll (KT) said...

Hi Donna. Nice interview. I'm looking forward to reading The Golden Pathway! You mention how important social networking is. I was wondering what type of networking has benefited you the most?

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Hi Donna,

Your success is an inspiration to all writers. Can't wait to read your book.

Bev

Donna M. McDine said...

Kristi, Katie and Bev...thanks for stopping by. Your ongoing support means the world to me.

Katie...In the traditional sense blogging is not always at the top of the list for social networking (as is Facebook, Twitter, JacketFlap, etc.), but I have found it the most crucial part of staying connected with others.

Whenever someone leaves me a comment on my blog I'm sure to visit their blog and comment on their latest post. Also, my blog posts are linked up to my Facebook and Twitter accounts so my latest post shows up there too. It saves alot of time.

Hope this helps. Any additional questions, feel free to ask away.

Warm regards,
Donna

terri.forehand said...

Great information for writers young or old. Children will benefit from knowing first hand what it takes to be the author of such a great book. Thanks for sharing.

Donna M. McDine said...

Hi Terri:

Thank you for your heartwarming message. Best wishes for your continued success!

Warm regards,
Donna

kathleen said...

Donna, you were my first contact in networking! I can't wait to purchase your book. Even though we have not met, having the book will be special.

Kathy

Katie Hines said...

Good morning, all! First of all, I'm not sure whose site this is, but I love the artwork at the top.

I do have to say that I rarely read interviews all the way as they tend to be boring and too long.

However, this interview grabbed my attention, and I was excited about Donna's book, "The Golden Pathway." And to end up so high in the contest - wow!

Karen Cioffi said...

Great interview. I used to love basketball.

I agree with your advice to new writers--making time to actually write is essential.

Donna M. McDine said...

Kathy...your comment has touched me profoundly, thank you!

Katie...your ongoing support and watching your writing career flourish is an inspiration.

Karen...thanks for stopping by. Having you along for our writing adventures together is a pure comfort and joy.

Warm regards,
Donna

Donna M. McDine said...

Kathleen...I clicked on your link. I don't see you that you have started a blog. If not, please do. If yes, where is it?

Warm regards,
Donna

Nicole weaver said...

Wonderful interview! Very inspiring for new authors like me.
Nicole

Karin Larson said...

Great interview, Donna! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of The Golden Pathway. I'm going to send it to you to autograph:-) As always, your words are very inspiring!

Karin
http://www.karin-larson.blogspot.com

Cheryl said...

It's great to learn more about you Donna. I can't wait until we embark on a virtual book tour for The Golden Pathway.

You know, the Muse Online Writers Conference has brought together so many people. Lea deserves a huge award.

Wishing you the best,

Cheryl

NancyCL said...

Great interview and a wonderful chance to get to know you better, Donna!!! Wishing you every success.

Donna M. McDine said...

Nancy, thanks for stopping by and for your lovely note.

Nicole and Karin...we've known each other for several years now and you both continue to be a positive influence in my life...thanks.

Cheryl...I'm looking forward to my book tour too. Can't wait to announce an official release date!

Warm regards,
Donna

Mayra Calvani said...

Wonderful interview and great advice, Donna!

It's nice learning more about my fellow GAP authors.

I look forward to reading and reviewing your book when it comes out.

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A BLESSED BETHLEHEM BIRTH: as told by Abraham and Anna Mousenstern
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A HORSE OF COURSE
A NECKLACE FOR JIGGSY
A POCKETFUL OF MANNERS
A SHORT TALE ABOUT A LONG TAIL
A MIDSUMMER'S DANCE
A STAR IN THE NIGHT
A TALENT FOR QUIET
A TODDLER'S ABC OF BLESSINGS
ABIGAIL PLATT'S CUSPIDS
ABC's OF HEALTH and SAFETY
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MAMA GRIZZLY BEAR
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MAGICAL MATTHEW
MAYBE WE ARE FLAMINGOS
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MUSCLES MAKE US MOVE: : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
MY COPAN ADVENTURE
MY GRANDMA'S KITCHEN RULES!
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MY TOOTH IS LOOSE : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
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NO BONES ABOUT IT! : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
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NOTHING STOPS NOAH
O CHRISTMAS TREE
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ON THE GO WITH ROOTER & SNUFFLE
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SHAPING UP THE YEAR
SIGNS OF TROUBLE
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TACONI & CLAUDE: DOUBLE TROUBLE
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TERESA'S SHADOW
THAT'S A LOT OF LOVE
THE ADVENTURES OF CHICKOLET PIGOLET: THE BRIBE OF FRANKENBEANS
THE ADVENTURES OF CHICKOLET PIGOLET: MURMUR ON THE OINK EXPRESS
THE ADVENTURES OF ANDY & SPIRIT- Book 1 Tweener
THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT
THE CAT CAME BACK
THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL
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THE DOLL VIOLINIST
THE FIRST AMERICANS
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THE LITTLEST COWBOY
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TINY ANGEL
TODAY I AM A PENGUIN
TOO MANY KITTIES
TROUBLE FINDS ROOTER & SNUFFLE
TUCKER'S TALE: The story of a rescue dog
'TWAS THE YEAR CHRIST LEFT CHRISTMAS
VIVIEN'S BEACH DREAM
WE'RE BROTHERS AND SISTERS: THE BOOPLES
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WHAT IS THAT THING?
WHAT IN THE WORLD SHOULD I BE?
WHERE IS SALAMI?
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WICKY WACKY THINGS THAT GO! AUTOMOBILES 1
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