By way of introduction, here is Donna McDine’s bio:
Award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine’s creative side laid dormant for many years until her desire to write sparked in 2007.
With six children’s picture books to her credit, McDine’s 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.
Hello, Donna, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Thank you for having me.
When did the writing bug ensnare you?
When I was a young child, I would watch the show Lou Grant with my dad and enjoyed the whole reporter concept.
However, I never pursued writing as my career. Many moons later, I had children and as we would curl up with books and read together, I envisioned myself writing my own books.
I then enrolled in the Institute of Children’s Literature writing course, and I’m pleased to be an award-winning published children’s author.
Is writing your full-time profession?
No, unfortunately not.
As much as I would enjoy writing full time the consistency of a steady paycheck with health benefits keeps me working at my “day job” as an administrative assistant, and I also work as a Reiki Master Teacher.
How long have you been writing?
I have been actively writing since 2007.
Have you won any literary awards?
Angel’s Forever Home
2019 Purple Dragonfly Honorable Mention Picture Books Six and Older
Dee and Deb Off They Go, Kindergarten First Day Jitters
2016 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Honorable Mention 5 & Younger
2016 Story Monster Approval
2015 Purple Dragonfly Book 1st Place Historical Fiction
2014 Story Monster Approval
A Sandy Grave
2014 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 1st Place Picture Books 6 and Older
2014 The Beach Book Festival Awards Honorable Mention
2014 Story Monster Approval
2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Honorable Mention
2014 New England Book Festival Children’s Books Honorable Mention
2014 Story Monster Approval
“Hockey Agony” & “Images of the Past”
78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition – Honorable Mention – Children’s/Young Adult Fiction category ~ “The Hockey Agony”
78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition – Honorable Mention – Children’s/Young Adult Fiction category ~ “Images of the Past”
The Golden Pathway
2012 Readers Favorite International Book Awards Honorable Mention Children K-3rd General
2011 Literary Classics Silver Award Recipient Picture Book Early Reader
2011 Literary Classics Finalist Picture Book Early Reader
2011 Literary Classics Seal of Approval Picture Book Early Reader
2010 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll – Top Ten – Children’s Books category
77th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition – Honorable Mention – Children’s/Young Adult Fiction
How many published books have you written?
Six children’s books
Which genres do you write?
Picture books and middle grade
What do you find most challenging writing for these genres?
To keep the preaching aspect out of the story.
What are you working on now?
I’m collaborating on a picture book, but I’m not at the liberty to discuss the content just yet.
Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
Inspiration comes from many different avenues. When my children were younger and their friends would come to play, I would often listen into their conversations and jot down different dialogue that I found funny.
What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
Attending book festivals and conducting school visits. Unfortunately, COVID has put a stop to in-person visits and I’m looking forward to being a profiled children’s author at the 18th Collingswood Book Festival on October 3, 2020.
What advice would you give to authors just starting out?
Join a critique group and write, write, write, and read, read, read in the genre you are drawn to write in.
Can you tell us a little about your Saturday Story Time on Facebook and your blog Write What Inspires You?
As COVID placed much of the world under quarantine I was compelled to give back to families and created Story Time Facebook Live for Saturday mornings at 9 am EST.
I first started out reading my own books and put the word out there to children’s authors to submit their books for me to read. I am now booked out through November 2020.
And what’s wonderful about the live readings, Facebook automatically saves the video that can be shared to other social media platforms, providing repurposing marketing across different channels.
How can a children’s author have their book read on your Story Time?
Authors or parents can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with their suggestion and I will be happy to review and schedule.
When my social media guru creates the promo image, I also share it to the author for their marketing toolbox.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
My world is diverse. I’m an administrative assistant by day and award-winning children’s author and Reiki Master Teacher by night.
I am an advocate for thinking outside the box and creating one’s true authentic life to their standards and not that of society.
What message are you sharing in your books?
Overcoming adversity and doing the right thing even if no one is watching.
What are your favorite books?
Fat Kid Rules the World, K. L. Going
Caves, Cannons, Crinolines by Beverly Stowe McClure
The Art of Psychic Reiki by Lisa Campion
If you could create an author’s group with writers from any time period, who would you invite?
The 1800’s. I find that time to be absolutely fascinating. Oftentimes women were portrayed like wilting flowers, but that was oh so not the case.
Who has influenced your writing the most?
Stephen King, K.L. Going, Beverly Stowe McClure, Margot Finke, Lisa Campion
When you’re not writing where can we find you?
I frequent the Piermont Pier that juts out onto the Hudson River or curled up with a book in my backyard sanctuary with the fire pit going now that it’s fall.
A movie producer wants to turn your book into a movie, and you get to make a cameo. What would you do in the movie?
I’d like to be the dog rescuer in Chile that saved dogs after the earthquake.
An elf named 12-25 approaches you. He’s sneezing, wheezing, coughing and there’s a strange tattoo of a snoring dog on his cheek. What do you do?
I lean in closer to check out the snoring tattoo and begin asking a ton of questions as to the significance of the snoring dog tattoo and why the cheek.
What are your most effective marketing strategies?
My live story times and interviewing fellow authors
Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?
Where can we find your books?
At my website www.donnamcdine.com, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble
Thank you, Donna, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!
Donna’s Featured 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 twin, Dee and her classmates for the most part are in the same boat. Suggested age range for readers: 3-8
- Purple Dragonfly Book Award Honorable Mention 5 & Younger
- Story Monster Approved 2016