Monday, February 24, 2014

The Inspiration Behind Powder Monkey and Hockey Agony

Every day life inspires me. The occurrence does not have to be an extraordinary moment. Often times my most inspiring moments have come when I was not concentrating on my writing. From watching my children play with their friends when they were younger to listening in on conversations at the local coffee shop. I always keep a little note pad and pen in my purse for these unexpected moments. Several times inspiration has struck me when I’ve been driving and I keep a handheld recording device on hand for these moments. This way I’m sure to remember a thought because before I know it my thoughts are elsewhere or the current conversation has taken me someplace else.

As for, Powder Monkey and Hockey Agony. The inspiration of the storyline of Powder Monkey came from a call for submissions on the historical fiction topic of the late 1700’s pertaining to the Royal Navy. Always fascinated by history I jumped at the chance to create a manuscript worthy of submission. Through research I came across information of the Press Gangs the Royal Navy utilized to kidnap boys as young as eleven to work on ships. The conditions were deplorable and the determination of survival by so many inspired me to stay true to the historical events. Even though my initial submission by the publishing house putting out the request I did not give up. I eventually submitted to Guardian Angel Publishing and after several rounds of edits GAP accepted Powder Monkey!

The inspiration of Hockey Agony came from everyday life. Coming from a family of sports lovers I often find myself watching my daughters, nieces, and nephews competing in one sport or another. Unfortunately, over the years bad sportsmanship is often found within the spectators, players, and coaches…sometimes even encouraging the players to cheat and to inflict personal injury to their opponents. And as many of us had read some of these horrific occurrences make the local and national news. It’s our duty as adults to maintain a calm disposition at sporting events and to encourage competitive clean playing. For without honesty and integrity what will our children have in store for themselves when they enter adulthood?

For me inspiration is just a thought away or article in the newspaper. Inspiration comes for me at the most unexpected times and I latch on to each and every thought making notes to hopefully use at a later time.

I’d enjoyed hearing about what inspires you! So please comment and tell me about your moments.

Thank you and here’s to your inspiration!


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist


  1. Great post, Donna! I too get inspiration in day-to-day living. I'm not quite as good at capturing that inspiration when it happens however and often struggle to recall that great idea I had earlier. I like your idea of voice recording when driving as that is often when I have moments of inspiration. Just the other day, I kept repeating a thought over and over until I got parked and could write it down. Recording it immediately would have been a far better idea!

    1. Hi Karin,

      Good for you in getting your idea down on paper! Looking forward to hearing how you develop it for your next critique submission!


  2. Learning the story behind the story is so interesting. You just never know where or when an idea will pop up. Congratulations on your latest books, Donna. You're really on a roll. Historical novels are some of my favorite stories. My work is often inspired by something I read, perhaps in the newspaper, or at an event for children or teens I attend, such as a ball game or music recital. Sometimes seeing an old house inspires an idea. It's good to carry a tablet and pen to not lose those magic moments when a character speaks to you. Thanks for a great article.

    1. Hi Beverly,

      Your historical fiction book, Caves, Cannons and Crinolines is one of my favorite books. Old houses truly are inspiring.



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