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 sister, Dee and her classmates for the most part are in the same boat.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Donna McDine whose book Deb and Dee, Off They Go charmed me and my children from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love children’s books but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Donna McDine, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Donna McDine will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Donna McDine!
Multi award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine’s creative side laid dormant for many years until her desire to write sparked in 2007. With five children’s picture books to her credit, Dee and Deb Off They Go ~ Kindergarten First Day Jitters (December 2015), A Sandy Grave (January 2014), Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010) with Guardian Angel Publishing her 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.
Now, how wonderful does Donna McDine sound?! Donna McDine is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of Donna McDine’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and Donna McDine, I hope that you enjoy Donna McDine’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself
Aimee, I’m delighted to be visiting the Red Headed Book Lover and your loyal readers! First and foremost I am a wife of 29 years and mother of two beautiful daughters, who are now young adults of 23 and 20 years old. Phew! Where does the time go? Feels like it was just last school year waiting at the bus stop sending them off to school for their first days of kindergarten. While raising our daughters my itch to write resurfaced after shelving my long ago childhood dream of becoming a reporter. After successfully completing the Institute of Children’s Literature writing for children and teens course back in 2007 I’ve had publication success in print and online magazines as well as five children’s book with a sixth one due for publication October/November 2018. I’ve allowed marketing and networking fall to the way side due to personal issues that needed my full attention. However, I am slowly getting back into the groove of in-person and online engagement with readers and fellow writers. And your highly successful blog is one of my new ventures into re-engagement. I thank you for this opportunity with deep gratitude.
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters is about two fraternal twin sisters who are separated for the first time into two different kindergarten classes. My inspiration for this particular story is brought forth from my personal experience of being separated from my own fraternal twin sister. For when we attended kindergarten many many school years ago, daycare and pre-kindergarten were not the norm prior to kindergarten. So to be placed into a class for the very first time without my sister by my side was a bit nerve racking.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
Join a local writer’s group and if there isn’t one within traveling distance research online writer’s groups in the genre you’d like to write in.
Attend writer’s workshops. A good place to start is with the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators) for they have local and regional chapters across the globe.
Read and read some more in the genre you are interested in. Get your ideas down on paper and write. Don’t worry about the editing from the get go. Get your first draft complete and then edit away.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
Hmmm…. For me it is being brought into the characters lives from the onset. So I am fully invested and have a hard time putting the book down.
What is your writing process like?
My beginning processes are always completed in long hand first away from the distractions of the computer and cell phone. Once an idea comes to me I write out a rough outline of a beginning, middle and end. I think about my characters and get to know them through a character interview asking them what they look like, what are their likes and dislikes, do they have siblings and what is their greatest challenge. From there I free write.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
My children’s book vary from two historical fiction early reader picture books in The Golden Pathway and Powder Monkey, to whale poachers in A Sandy Grave, to the thrill of the ice hockey rink in Hockey Agony and to my latest of kindergarten nervousness in Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters.
For historical fiction the research is definitely more in-depth. I pull myself away from the computer and immerse myself at the library in both children’s book and history books of the particular topic so I stay true to the history. As for the whale poachers book, the story idea came from a newspaper article of a dead whale that washed ashore in San Diego, CA and how the authorities needed to guard it from poachers that would attempt to steal the teeth for the ivory. Hockey Agony was purely interviews with my nephews and niece on the ins and outs of ice hockey and then I developed a storyline about bullying. All-in-all research can take a couple of days to a couple of months depending on the topic.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
I typically write a few times a week early in the morning before I head off to my job.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read as often as possible and some of my favorite children’s authors are K.L. Going, Nancy Sanders, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Kristi Holl. For adult reading my interests vary and as of late I’ve been absorbing myself in more spiritual books by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Echo Bodine, and Sonia Choquette.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I am thrilled to announce my latest children’s picture book is a collaboration with Rita Gigante, Bobbie Sterchele and Renie De Mase. Our book is entitled, Angel’s Forever Home and is scheduled for release October/November 2018. A bit about Angel… “Angel knows he is lucky to be one of the few dogs rescued from the Chilean Earthquake, but now he finds himself with challenging physical limitations and in need of a new family. Facing his rear of rejection for not being like other dogs, he embarks on a journey that teaches him the importance of patience, courage, and the willingness to open his heart to others, which he eventually discovers I the path to connect him with his Forever Home.”
Aimee, it’s been a true pleasure being interviewed by you and I wish you all the very best in your continued success.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Donna McDine! If you have liked what you have read about Donna McDine and are interested in learning more about Donna McDine and reading Donna McDine’s work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,