Interview with Children's Writer Donna McDine, Author of 'The Golden Pathway'

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. Donna’s stories and features have been published in many print and online publications and her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Her second book, The Hockey Agony is under contract and will be published by Guardian Angel Publishing. She writes, moms and is the Publicist Intern for The National Writing for Children Center and Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Musing Our Children.

Visit Donna online at:

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Donna. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, The Golden Pathway?

Thank you, it’s wonderful to be here. In 2006 I came across an ad for the Institute of Children’s Literature and eagerly completed the application and mailed it in. Happily, I was accepted and graduated April 2007 and haven’t looked back since.

History has always fascinated me, even as a young child. And when I found myself taking up residence (as an adult) in the historical hamlet of Tappan, NY (Rockland County) I became even more enthralled. Coupled with my father’s involvement with the Rockland County Historical Society in creating artist replicas of the numerous historical locations throughout the county I found myself further drawn into the past. Then as a student at the Institute of Children’s Literature I jumped at the chance to develop a historical fiction story about a young southern boy against slavery.

I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

The Golden Pathway was derived from the code word for the Underground Railroad the golden path to freedom.

Why did you believe your book should be published?

At one time I would have thought this to be a difficult question, but after meeting with local educators I feel differently. During the draft stages of The Golden Pathway I came to learn many children between the ages of 8-12 remain visual learners. To write a historical fiction directly correlated towards their curriculum with illustrations by K.C. Snider makes the learning process much more interesting.

Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc., have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

The beauty of Guardian Angel Publishing is that Guardian Angel authors are included in the illustrator selection process. All of the Guardian Angel illustrators have a unique lure, and K.C. Snider's talents in historical fiction drew me in immediately. K.C. captured the true essence of The Golden Pathway from the onset and her illustrations speak for themselves.

How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

I am in the midst of a two month virtual book tour coordinated by the expertise of Cheryl Malandrinos of Pump Up Your Book Promotion. I have designed my media kit, both online and print and will be mailing print media kits to local schools, libraries, historical societies, and Underground Railroad museums. I will also be participating in:

September 17, 2010 ~ 1:00-4:00 pm
Children’s Illustrated Art Museum
37 Crestwood Court
Crestwood, MO
Book fair, book signings and readings, illustrator demonstrations, and activity stations throughout museum for children

September 18, 2010 ~ 11:00-1:00 pm
Borders Bookstore
South County Mall
25 South County Center Way
St. Louis, MO

September 25, 2010 ~ 11:00-1:00 pm
Harry Bennett Library
115 Vine Road
Stamford, CT
Author’s Panel: Publishing with Small Presses
Coordinated by: Stacey Moser, SCBWI Writers of Lower Fairfield

What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson. The Golden Pathway differs with a white child of a slave owner helping slaves escape to freedom. Young David does not see people as their color, but everyone as human beings.

Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

David’s clear attempts to remain strong and not to waiver under his father’s steely glare.

Do you plan subsequent books?

At this time I do not have a follow-up to The Golden Pathway. I currently have a manuscript entitled, The Hockey Agony under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing.

Thank you for your interview, Donna. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book? Thank you for your time and appreciate you hosting me today.

Please visit me at,,, or any of the the other online places I cited in my bio.

Ordering information:

Guardian Angel Publishing:

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