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.
Thanks for joining us at the book club today, Donna. I just finished reading, A Sandy Grave. It’s a timely and enjoyable read. What made you decide to write a book for kids that centered around the topic of poaching?
It was quite by accident that A Sandy Grave came to life. To be quite honest with you I’ve never knew much about the Violations of the Endangered Species Act and the Mammal Protection Act until I was reading an article about a dead washed up whale on a California beach. I immediately clipped the article and began researching this topic. What I discovered about poachers truly fascinated me, hence I began the non-fiction outline of what became A Sandy Grave.
Can you describe your process of taking an important topic and crafting a story that is entertaining and educational around it?
It’s important to conduct research to stay accurate to the details of true life, especially when it concerns laws or facts. Just because an author’s story may be fictional, accuracy is a must to make it entertaining and educational at the same time. I often create character profiles and conduct character interviews to learn how each character will respond to a certain situation. Blending the facts with well-written characters and scenes using all the five senses will have an enjoyable story leaping from the pages.
Did you learn anything surprising during your research for this book?
The Violations of the Endangered Species Act, the Mammal Protection Act, and what a poacher is fascinated me as to how the authorities do their best to protect marine life and how poachers truly have no regard for anything but the almighty dollar.
The characters in A Sandy Grave are based on my two daughters and a niece. I specifically used their character traits from their language to their body mannerisms. When my daughters and niece read the book they connected to it right away. I was quite pleased with their feedback, since all three of them are brutally honest I their opinions.
Did your background or personal experiences influence the writing of A Sandy Grave?
My only personal experience was my fondness of family and friends beach vacations.
What are some of the other projects you’re working on right now?
I’m in the midst of preparing for my keynote speaker engagement for PARP (Parents As Reading Partners) Night at Nanuet Elementary School on March 19th. I will be presenting on the topic of “How An Idea Becomes a Book.” I’m delighted and a bit anxious at the same time for this wonderful opportunity, the estimated attendance is 180+.
Readers can leave a comment or question for Donna for a chance to win a softcover copy of A Sandy Grave.
- By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old and reside in the United States.
- One winner will be chosen via Random.org
- This giveaway begins March 28, 2014 and ends April 1, 2014
- Winner will be contacted via email on April 2, 2014. Comment must include email address so we can contact you.
- Prize will be shipped directly to the winner by the author.
- PUYB Virtual Book Club and Donna McDine are not responsible for items lost or damaged in shipment.
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