Thursday, April 14, 2011

One Young Man's Courage by Donna McDine

One Young Man´s Courage
By Donna M. McDine

I originally began to write The Golden Pathway as an assignment for the Institute of Children´s Literature. After I submitted the outline, I was told that the story was good and comprehensive, but that the market currently contained too many Underground Railroad books.

I believed the critique, but rather than dismissing it completely, I shelved it for a while. Meanwhile, the characters in the book remained at the forefront of my mind, compelling me to write the story.

After some time had gone by, I found that I couldn´t ignore the book any longer and began to write the story. The Golden Pathway is the story of a young child, David, who defied enormous odds to help a young slave escape to freedom via the Underground Railroad.

The Deep South before the Civil War as a time of turmoil, and white slave owners seemed to sense that their way of life didn´t have much longer to exist. I love American History and thought that this story would be a great lesson to children ages 8 through 12, showing these young people how courage and determination can overcome almost any of life´s hurdles.

I submitted The Golden Pathway to the Children´s Writers´ Coaching Club for critique by Suzanne Lieurance, who helped me rewrite it until it was ready to submit for publishing. But first, I submitted the story to the 77th Writers Digest Writing Competition and it placed 12th from over 1400 entries.

I was thrilled. After that, I submitted the book for publication and after expanding and editing even more, Guardian Angel Publishing was ready to publish The Golden Pathway. Now, I had my first published children´s book – and there are more to come.

I hope that The Golden Pathway transports each young reader to the time of the Underground Railroad, and by the end of the book, they´ll understand what it was all about. Young people today may not readily understand the concept of slavery, but when they read about Jenkins´ plight and David´s willingness and courage to help him, they will surely glimpse a piece of history.

Those days were extraordinary times – but children also need courage and determination in today´s world, where bullies at school hang out around every corner and situations at home may turn dark and ugly.

I am currently working on marketing plans for two other children´s books called, The Hockey Agony and Powder Monkey, which will be published soon. The Golden Pathway may light the path for one or more readers to explore their own beliefs and courage to stand up for what they believe.

Donna's Bio:
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 first book, The Golden Pathway, is published through Guardian Angel Publishing as will her second book, The Hockey Agony. McDine’s interests in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Ms. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Musing Our Children, and The National Writing for Children Center.

For an interview or school visit request, please email Ms. McDine at

The Golden Pathway
By: Donna M. McDine

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-081-1
eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-082-8
Available: August 2010

Please feel free to visit Donna at:
Donna's website
Donna's blog
The Golden Pathway Blog

Follow Donna at:
Donna's facebook page
Donna's twitter

For more from the VBT Writers on the Move tour, stop by Marietta Taylor's blog who is hosting Shelby Patrick tomorrow.


Donna M. McDine said...

Hi Elysabeth:

Thank you for hosting me today. I look forward to checking back in throughout the day.

Best wishes,

Magdalena Ball said...

Donna, it just goes to show that publishers don't always know that the market needs. Glad that you kept going and wrote The Golden Pathway afterall.

elysabeth said...

Thanks for coming by so early, Donna. I'm glad I've been part of the journey for you. Good luck with all your writing endeavors - E :)

Maggie, it is a joy that she kept writing and bringing the story out so that it finally got published. Donna has been a delight to know via the online circuit. Thanks for stopping by today - E :)

Karen Cioffi said...

Donna, It certainly is true that you need to believe in your story and persevere in order to get published.

Books that teach, enlighten, or help children are important tools for their growth.

Best wishes for The Golden Pathway and the two in the works.

Nancy Famolari said...

Donna, I'm glad you persevered. I agree with Maggie. Publishers don't always know what the public wants to read. The underground railroad was an important part of the American experience. I'm glad you wrote the book!

Martha said...

Your story sounds just wonderful and so important to be told. Like the others who commented before me; I'm glad you persevered.

Donna M. McDine said...'s been several years since we met online and I'm grateful for the cyberspace friendship!

Maggie, Karen, Nancy, and Martha:

Preserverance is definitely key and starting on a new manuscript once you send one out. That way it helps keep your mind off the one making circulation. At least a little bit.

Have a wonderful day,

terri.forehand said...

You passion shows in your story and your persistance in writing has paid off. What a wonderful book you have written. Many blessings for more success.


J. Aday Kennedy's Brain Fart Explosion said...

This book is inspiring & people of any background will see its appeal.
J. Aday Kennedy
The Differently-Abled Writer & Speaker
Children's Author of Stella the Fire Farting Dragon (April 2010)

kathy stemke said...

I'm so glad you stuck to your guns on this story, Donna. It's a wonderful story of bravery and fighting for freedom. As you mentioned, kids today are up against dangers in different ways.

I pray that your books gets into the hands of the children that need to learn the principles portrayed in this book.

Donna M. McDine said...

Terri, Jessica, and Kathy:

Your heartwarming words of supports have made my day!

Thank you,

Katie Hines said...

I've always been intrigued by the Underground Railroad and as a child wished I lived somewhere close to a real stop. but, of course, since I lived on the west coast at the time, that wasn't an option.

kwriter said...

Good for you. The story was there and needed to be told. I am presently working on my first novel with ICL. But I have another one that has been burning in me based on my ggg grandmother's life. We'll see, the time period has been done to death. I had also thought about a powder monkey story. You beat me to it. I never really had a story worked out just the concept of using one. I will look forward to seeing yours.

Donna M. McDine said...

Dear Katie:

Thanks for stopping by and for your words of support!


Best wishes in the ICL Book Course!

Have a wonderful day,

kwriter said...

Congratulations. You had a story that had to be told. I am presently working on my first novel with ICL. I have another one I rejected becasue the topic has been done a lot. Perhaps I shall revisit it. I had also thought of doing a story revolving around a powder monkey. Good luck with yours.

Karin Larson said...

Congratulations, Donna. You truly inspire me!


Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Lovely post,Donna. I don't think there are ever "too many books" about a subject like slavery. Young people today need to know what life was like years ago, so they can appreciate what we have today, and hopefully not repeat some parts of history. Your book is a great example of our history.

Donna M. McDine said...


Thank you for the wonderful friendship!


I agree with you full heartedly! Thank you for your never ending support.

Warm regards,

Susanne Drazic said...

Wonderful post. It was nice to learn more about Donna and The Golden Pathway.

Cheryl said...

Great article, Donna. I'm glad to hear you didn't give up. The Golden Pathway is a wonderful story.

Donna M. McDine said...

Susanne and Cheryl:

Thanks for stopping by and for your words of encouragement.

Best wishes,