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Interview with Donna M McDine, author of "Dee and Deb Off They Go - Kindergarten First Day Jitters": "Instilling the love of reading at a young age helps a child across the curriculum as they advance in school".

Interview: Donna McDine, Author of ‘Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters’

donnaPlease welcome my special guest, award-winning children’s author Donna McDine. Donna fondly remembers watching the TV show Lou Grant with her father. The storyline is not what grabbed her attention, rather the investigative reporting and how the story came together did. Donna often dreamed of becoming a writer and finally in 2007 she pursued this dream. With inspiration, creativity and determination, she is now a proud author of five children’s books.

Welcome to Blogcritics, Donna, and congratulations on the release of your latest book, Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters. Tell us about it!

Dee and Deb is based on my personal experience of being separated from my fraternal twin sister for the first time as we entered Kindergarten. The eventual comfort of finding out that my classmates were a bit nervous too, put me at ease. All the while I was excited to share with my twin sister at the end of day the activities I participated in within my classroom. 

What was your inspiration for it?

My twin sister Deb has inspired me on a daily basis throughout our lives and to honor her I created this tribute to our sisterhood and twin bond. My hope of sharing this personal account of our Kindergarten experience is for readers to enjoy for generations to come.

deeDo you plot in advance or do you write by the seat of your pants? 

Hmm, it depends on the type of book. For Dee and Deb it was by the seat of my pants since it is based on a personal experience of my childhood. For my historical fiction books, The Golden Pathway and Powder Monkey extensive research was conducted to stay true to history. A Sandy Grave and Hockey Agony both took research regarding whale poachers and hockey respectfully. Once the outlines were drawn up in all cases the story flowed.

How do you celebrate the completion of a book? 

My husband and daughters always treat me to dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant, Del Arte and I treat myself to a new journal and ink cartridges for my Graf von Faber- Castell pen.

What do you love most about being a children’s author? 

My heart soars when I watch the excitement light up a child’s face when they find a book that makes their imagination take flight. Instilling the love of reading at a young age helps a child across the curriculum as they advance in school.

Where is your book available? 

Guardian Angel Publishing – www.guardianangelpublishing.com

Amazon – www.amazon.com

My website – www.donnamcdine.com

What is your advice for aspiring children’s authors? 

Visit your local library and engage with your librarian and discuss what writers groups may be offered at the library or in your local area. Check with your local colleges for writing workshops and join the www.scbwi.org”>Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and attend their workshops and conferences. The writing world is full of generous people that are more than happy to pass along their writing wisdom.

Anything else you’d like to tell my readers? 

Visit reading blogs and your local libraries to learn about the latest books and the authors that have created them. Read a variety of books so you can explore the world at your fingertips. Challenge yourself with a total number of books you’d like to read in a year. Join a book discussion group and meet new people with the same interests as you.

Photo and cover art provided by author Donna McDine for the purpose of this interview.
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About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.

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