Guest post: "What Messages Do You Receive From Your Dreams?" by Donna McDine, author of 'A Sandy Grave'

I'm thrilled to have award-winning author Donna McDine on my blog today! She's currently touring the blogosphere to promote her latest picture book, A Sandy Grave. Let's give her a warm welcome and don't forget to enter her Rafflecopter giveaway!


Guest Post:

While working on your latest manuscript do you feel like you are living and breathing your characters? To the point where you can’t get them out of your head, even in your dreams. What do you think your dreams are trying to tell you about your characters? Do you think they are trying to relay specific messages to you to include in your manuscript?

I know the non-writers out there who are reading this may think the above statements are outlandish and should land me in the local psych ward, or at the very least to a therapist’s office. Please know I’m not delusional, in this case I’m practical. As an author, the creation of our characters is personal, and they do indeed become part of us. Making it often times difficult for us to shake our characters’ actions and moods even in the twilight state of sleep.

One particular instance when my dreams began knocking me upside the head about one of my characters was the slave Jenkins I created for my first children’s book, The Golden Pathway. Jenkins originally was created for the Institute of Children’s Literature book course, but for one reason or another I shelved this manuscript. Quite some time passed, and for what I thought was bizarre at first I began dreaming about the Underground Railroad and having dogs chase after me in the dark woods. When I shared this recurring dream with my sister, she was the one that connected the dots and brought up my long shelved manuscript. After her encouragement I “dusted” off this manuscript and resurrected Jenkins and David, hence the birth of The Golden Pathway.

I also had a similar experience with the creation of A Sandy Grave. After reading the news article of a washed up dead whale on a California beach I began dreaming about the ocean repeatedly. This time, I didn’t need anyone to put two and two together. I took my dreams as a positive force to get down to the nitty-gritty of the non-fiction research aspect and then create engaging characters and a storyline to be intertwined into one story.

I encourage you to keep pen, paper, and small flashlight (so you don’t wake your significant other) by your bedside for these often inspiring moments. This way you can write down your dreams immediately upon waking, or for the times you are jolted awake by your characters screaming at you. Don’t ignore these instances, instead grab these creative outcries and use them to your advantage.

I’d enjoy hearing about your experiences with your dreams, whether they are writing related or not.

Mayra, thank you for hosting me during my Pump Up Your Book virtual book tour!


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?


The lifeguards had their arms extended and attempted to move the crowd back. The tallest lifeguard said, “People, please stay back. The authorities will arrive to examine the whale to determine the cause of death within the hour. The whale must have died at sea and washed ashore.”


Title: A Sandy Grave
Author: Donna M. McDine
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 24
Language: English
Genre: Tween chapterbook
Format: Paperback, hardcover & eBook

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. 
Visit Donna online at or her blog at

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.


Mayra Calvani said…
It's wonderful to have you on my blog, Donna. I loved your story and will be reviewing it soon. I shared the post on FB and Twitter.

Best of luck with the tour and your wonderful book!

Donna McDine said…
Dear Mayra,

You've warmed my heart being a host on my virtual book tour. Thanks for your never ending support.

Cheryl said…
Good morning, ladies. Thanks for hosting Donna today. It's great to be at your wonderful blog, Mayra.

Donna, I get visions, more like daydreams of my characters. Hope you're enjoying your tour.
Cheryl said…
Good morning, ladies. Thanks for hosting Donna today. It's great to be at your wonderful blog, Mayra.

Donna, I get visions, more like daydreams of my characters. Hope you're enjoying your tour.
Donna McDine said…
Hi Cheryl,

Wonderful, two stops in one day with two beautiful women, Mayra and Nancy!

All my best,
Rosi said…
I don't know if I dream about my characters, but I often have my very best ideas just as I'm waking up. If I have ideas in the middle of the night, which doesn't happen terribly often, I get up and go to my computer and type away for awhile. I'm not much good with a pad of paper and pencil in the night. Thanks for telling us about your experience. Your book looks wonderful.