Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books ~ The Golden Pathway.
Her stories, articles, and book reviews have been published in over 100 print and online publications. Her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Donna’s 2013 releases of Powder Monkey and Hockey Agony and the 2014 release of A Sandy Grave will be joined by an additional book to be published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Dee and Deb, Off They Go. She writes, moms and is a personal assistant from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Children’s Literature Network, and Family Reading Partnership.
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Title: A Sandy Grave
Author: Donna M. McDine
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Genre: Tween chapterbook
Format: Paperback, hardcover & eBook
The anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had–especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?
Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE
Can you tell us what your book is about?
While three young girlfriends are vacationing with their families they discover a dead washed up whale on the beach. The realization that poachers often times attempt to steal whales’ teeth, sets a mystery into motion.
Why did you write your book?
While reading the newspaper I came across a story about a dead washed up whale on a California beach and what the authorities had to do to protect the whale before being able to bury it.
Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
The trio of girlfriends is a curious bunch and enjoy their friendship immensely. They often times tease each other, but respect and love is apparent in their friendships.
Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?
I typically start with a story outline and character profiles and then the plot evolves during my writing process.
Your book is set at the beach. Can you tell us why you chose this setting in particular?
The topic of poachers and the Endangered Species Act and the Mammal Protection Act are directly related to the beach and ocean.
Open the book to any page. What is happening?
After discovering the washed up whale and hearing what the authorities were doing to protect the whale, the main character, Leah, immediately gets a creepy feeling about two filthy men, looking on from a sand dune.
Is it hard to get a children’s book published?
In my experience, the road to publication with any genre is not an easy path. We often hear write what you love, but it’s important to study the markets to learn what publishers are interested in and make your best attempt in creating a manuscript that adheres to their guidelines.
Is it hard to promote a children’s book and where do you start?
An author wears many hats and promoter is one of them. Even before one’s book is published it is imperative you market yourself and your writing on at least a weekly if not daily basis. I’m not saying, you should be jumping up and down and saying hey look at me. I feel it’s more important to become involved with online and in-person writer’s groups and become an active member of discussions and not just tooting your own horn. Visit libraries and schools through author visits, with a combination of volunteer opportunities and select events profiling you and your books.
Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?
If I feel a block I often times go out for a walk, meditate, or make a hot cup of tea and read the paper or the book I’m currently reading.
What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?
Visit with my parents and father-in-law and have a nice leisurely chat without having the world intrude.
Which holiday is your favorite and why?
Memorial Day. It’s a time of renewal of our gardens and everything green. The weather is usually at a terrific temperature for getting that first barbeque off to a great start with friends and family.
If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?
The Barnes and Noble café at our local mall or Panera.
What do you like the most about being an author?
Engaging with students in lively conversation during school or library visits. Since children are becoming more and more visual with all the technology around them, I find that starting off with a brief introduction and then the showing of my latest book video trailer gets the conversation going faster.
What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?
Fiction writers need to conduct their research so that their stories are accurate. For instance, if your story is based around a particular sport, you need to make sure anything involving the sport is accurate.
Donna McDine is giving you a chance to win a $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card.
Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card
• This giveaway begins March 3 and ends on April 25, 2014.
• Winner will be contacted via email.
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