Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Writer's Life with Laurie Monopoli

Welcome to day two of Laurie Monopoli’s 6-day NWFCC February Author Showcase tour.

For many years I was asked to bring Tony Chestnut to life in an illustrated picture book. After each request, I would graciously reassure each person that I would write the book, when the time was right. In reality, I was waiting to come up with a story that would truly capture the true merit of our much adored song, Tony Chestnut. This turned out to be quite a challenge. I knew the premise for this story had to have a special meaning and purpose… it simply had to feel right!

Then out of the blue, one night I had a dream about a dear friend from my childhood. His name was Rusty Reynolds; he had bright red, crazy hair, zillions of freckles, black thick rimmed glasses and the kindest, most generous heart. And at the ripe old age of five, Rusty and I embarked together on what turned out to be a terrifying journey --- our first day of kindergarten!

When I awoke from my dream I raced to my computer and began typing at a speed faster than I even anticipated I was capable of. In just minutes I wrote the entire story. When I was finished typing, I took a deep breath and with some trepidation prepared to read the story aloud to my audience consisting Chrissy, my bright-eyed, nocturnal Himalayan cat and Lexi, my half sleeping Yorkie. After this first reading I sat back and deeply sighed in delightful relief. I realized Tony Chestnut’s story was always there, it lingered deep within me just waiting to emerge-- at the right time. A few months later, The Book About Tony Chestnut was officially brought to fruition. Of course with a little inspirational guidance from my childhood buddy, Rusty (the resemblance between the two is no coincidence) and it simply… felt right!

Follow Day 3 of Ms. Monopoli's tour tomorrow at Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.


  1. Laurie:

    Welcome! It's a pleasure to have you here today.

    Best wishes,

  2. Laurie,

    You're such a talented writer. I wish you all the best in the future.

    ~ Irene

  3. You know I hear a lot of authors saying they got their ideas from a dream. In fact, that's where I got the idea for one of my books. Can you imagine what kind of dreams Stephen King had, lol? Great guest post!

  4. I don't think I want to even consider Stephen King's dreams.

    What a great story behind the story. Inspiration comes from all kinds of places.

    Best of luck in all you do,


  5. Great story! It's exciting when you find you've either had the answer inside all along or somehow your characters have created their own story. Thanks for sharing!

  6. How cool!! My daughter sang Tony Chestnut last year in Kindergarten!! So glad there's a book to accompany one of the highlights of her Kindergarten year. :-)


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