Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 2014 accomplished!

July! How is it the end of July? I spent most of the month in a state of illness. It's winter here, and I've come down with every infection known to man, with the exception of the Ebola virus, although judging by the news, that could be on the way shortly.

So, as I coughed and spluttered my way through the month, this is what I accomplished:


1. I completed the first round of revisions of THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER (2015) for my publisher. The first one is always the biggest (and the hardest) and it felt good to see all the multi-coloured mark-up because it meant the ms is already tighter and stronger. This was the first time I've had to do a MAJOR manuscript change. Usually an editorial means taking words out, but I had to add an extra 40 pages! Now I'll sit back and wait for round two.

2. THE DEVIL'S INTERN (2014) now has its own Tumblr account. I am loving this style of blogging and will probably set up a Camelot one in the near future too. How quickly this caught on was a surprise. I had heard Tumblr was the way to go, but to put it in some kind of perspective: in four years, around 450 followers have joined Musings of a Penniless Writer. Compare that to Tumblr, where I gained over 1,000 followers in around ten days. Interesting stats for anyone tired of Blogger.

3. The gorgeous cover for THE QUEST OF THE ARTISAN (2015) was released. A million thanks to those around the Interwebbythingy who joined in with the reveal.



4. Two WIPs have had my undivided attention this month and I've been a writing machine. Number one is now sitting on 52,232 words (a monthly increase of nearly 15,000 words); WIP number two was a complete delete and start again and is at 6,000 words. Deleting the original 8,000 words was depressing, but necessary. Hey, sometimes you have to do what's right, not what's easy. I think Dumbledore says that, but not about writing!!


August is going to be a month of unknowns because THE DEVIL'S INTERN starts shipping for pre-orders. Which means reviews and promotion. Sooooooo exciting...and terrifying. Wish me luck.


Previous months:

Jan
Feb
March
April
May
June

Monday, July 28, 2014

Seven random things about me!

I was tagged for the "seven random things" months ago and this post has been sitting in my drafts since then! Thought I might as well post it while I was spring-cleaning my blog.  :)


1. I'm ambidextrous. I'm naturally left-handed, but I went to a school where some of the teachers tried to force pupils to use their right hand. As a result, I can do most things with both hands, (although I still write with my left hand - suck on that, Mr Evans!)

2. I have OCD. I'm fine with that. I've had it since I was about seven years old. My earliest OCD memory is missing playtime because I couldn't leave my desk until all of my books were stacked with their corners aligned. By the time I was satisfied my desk was tidy, playtime was over. As an adult, everything has to be alphabetised, and bedding and towels need to be folded a certain way or I get itchy and scratchy, but it also means I'm the most organised person you will ever know. OCD can hinder or help. I choose to make it help me, but it's been a long slog to get to this point.

3. I emigrated to Australia with my family seven years ago from the UK. We had no house, no jobs, nothing! We didn't know anyone in Australia. We arrived with five suitcases of clothes and treated it as an adventure. I will never do anything that scary again, but hell, I'm so glad I did.

4. In October, I will have been married for twenty years.

5. I do not look my age!! (It is mandatory to agree with this one!)

6. The Duke and Duchess of York (Andrew and Fergie) almost knocked me over in their car once while I was crossing the road in London. They missed me by about two inches. They were speeding in a Bentley (I think), and if they had hit me, I would have been a goner.

7. I'm a qualified paralegal. I didn't pursue a career in law because I've hated every lawyer I've ever worked with!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cover Reveal: QUEST OF THE ARTISAN

There are no words to describe the feeling I get when my designers send new cover artwork my way.

There's usually lots of squealing, followed by contented sighing. Then longing that they were actually made of cake icing because all I want to do is eat them!

QUEST OF THE ARTISAN is book two in THE CHILDREN OF CAMELOT series. Due for release early 2015.

This is Rustin, by the way. And this is his story:


THE CHILDREN OF CAMELOT series continues in QUEST OF THE ARTISAN.

Six months ago, seventeen-year-old Rustin Hall thought he knew what he wanted. Then he travelled back in time with his best friend, Mila, to the world of Camelot, knights and magic, and everything changed.

Now Rustin is the artisan, and he knows his future because it's written in the past.

But Rustin's plan to build the first temple for the Gorian druids is cut down like the trees he talks to when the Round Table reveals the name of the newest knight of Camelot: a name that carves fear and unrest into the other knights. With Mila now in danger, Rustin, along with his friends, James and Jalaya, goes on a quest to find her before a new malevolent evil gets there first. A necromancer is building an army of the dead, and they are coming for Arthur's daughter.

Rustin will join forces with a young would-be knight called Galahad, as his quest takes him into the very heart of the Arthurian legends he grew up reading. A quest that could be the end of the artisan's life, not just in Logres, but for good.



Rustin and Mila look so cute when lined up together:



  
All of my Camelot books, and a certain DEVIL'S pre-order, can be found on Amazon at the link here.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 2014 accomplished!

June was, until a couple of days ago, a month for writing, revising and planning. It had actually been my quietest month of 2014 to date - the calm before THE DEVIL'S storm! Then several things hit me at once, none of them good, and my best laid plans went down the crapper. I think I'm back level now, but it's been a horrible couple of days. I might talk about it later on this blog, but right now, I would like to forget.

Anyway, onward and upward with my monthly reflection post. Good things did happen. I just need to keep breathing:


1. I made huge progress on one of my WIPs: QUEST OF THE ARTISAN is book two in my CHILDREN OF CAMELOT series and the word count jumped to 37,483, an increase of 12,633 words. I've also started the design process for the cover artwork. Although it'll be released in 2015, I'm not committing to a final date yet because I have a feeling this one will be released quite early in the year.

2. I had a telephone conference with my publishing house and agent regarding the promotion work required for THE DEVIL'S INTERN, which will start shipping on the 1st August. I'm in Australia, they're all in New York - oh, the beauty of timezones - as 4:30pm on the Thursday for them was 6:30am on the Friday for me. Good job I'm an early bird. I came away from the conference so filled with happiness at how much effort Holiday House is putting into the promotion of TDI. I know there are some publishing houses that do very little, but my team are at the opposite end of the spectrum. It's awesome to have so much goodwill and support. Expect things to start kicking off soon. Team DEVIL rules!

3. I received my editor's initial revision letter for THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER (2015). I read through it. Drank some wine. Read through it again. Drank more wine! It's so daunting to get that first letter (which runs to 5 pages!) with the edited manuscript because my first reaction is always "Help, I'm never going to do this!" I will. It just hits you how much work there is still to do.


Roll on July because I'm having a week off. Hell knows I deserve it!

Previous months:

Jan
Feb
March
April
May

Monday, June 2, 2014

BookExpo America news part 2: THE DEVIL'S INTERN

I wasn't able to attend BEA 2014 - (what with it being held in New York and me currently unable to apparate!) - but thankfully there were people there to look after THE DEVIL'S INTERN.

My agent, Beth, tweeted photos from the event where my next literary baby was blown up on posters!:



My publisher tweeted about galleys that were available, and the cherry on the icing on the cake was Publisher's Weekly including THE DEVIL'S INTERN in its list of "Big Children's Books" that were getting attention.

I hope everyone who went had a lot of fun and snagged some great books. Next year...perhaps!

Friday, May 30, 2014

May 2014 accomplished!

What must it be like to have a quiet month?! Not happening for me anytime soon. Every month of 2014 has been crazy so far, but May was so insane I'm expecting the men in white coats with their lobotomy tools any day. 



1. THE RING OF MORGANA was released. This is my fourth novel, but first in my new CHILDREN OF CAMELOT series. On the day of release, it gave me my first ever number one Amazon ranking:




2. I finished editing my publisher's galley of THE DEVIL'S INTERN. That's it now - done! This was my hardest deadline to date, as I had just over a week to read all 80,000 words, but it was fun because it's been years since I read it through from start to finish, like a real book. So to then hear that it had been awarded a Kirkus Star Review in their BEA 2014 Special Edition was just unbelievable. I love this book so much, and it starts shipping in just two months.





3. I submitted a new manuscript to my agent. It's a YA contemporary thriller. The relief I felt at finishing this was something else because it's taken 10 months to write. Contemporary is hard for me, as much as I love reading it, and I have huge admiration for authors who make it look effortless. It isn't!



4. Other WIP progress:


#1 (book three in my DEVIL'S series) remains at 7,334 words, unchanged for the month.
#2 (book two in my CHILDREN OF CAMELOT series) 24,850 words, an increase of 10,646 words.


Previous months:

Jan
Feb
March
April

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

THE DEVIL'S INTERN gets a starred review from Kirkus!!!

Picture the scene. It's 4am. I'm barely conscious, but that's when I get up to answer emails and start writing before work. I go to my emails and there's a WOO-HOO in the subject line from my editor, Kelly, over at Holiday House.

WOO-HOO is good, right? My addled brain doesn't quite know.

And then I read the email!!!

The first trade review for THE DEVIL'S INTERN was in, and it was a STARRED REVIEW FROM KIRKUS!!!

Needless to say, there was a lot more WOO-HOOing over email as Kelly, my agent Beth, and I freaked out ever so slightly.

We had to keep quiet on the news, because it was being officially revealed in the BEA issue of Kirkus, but now it's out and I can scream it to the world!

So, here's the review:



THE DEVIL'S INTERN [STARRED REVIEW!]
Author: Donna Hosie

Online Publish Date: August 1, 2014
Publisher:Holiday House
Pages: 288
Price ( Hardcover ): $None
Publication Date: October 1, 2014
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-8234-3195-3
Category: Fiction


A comic, time-traveling trip to Hell and back.

After four years in Hell, Mitchell thinks he’s found a way to escape by going back in time and preventing his death. Inside Hell’s vast bureaucracy, he works as an intern to Septimus in the accounting department. It seems that most souls go to Hell rather than Up There, as the damned call Heaven. Hell is becoming seriously overcrowded and has financial issues. When Mitchell learns that Septimus has possession of the Viciseomater, a pocket-watch–like time-travel device, he unites with almost-girlfriend Medusa and best friends Alfarin, a Viking prince from the year 970, and his girlfriend, Elinor, who died in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The team first lands in New York and checks into the Plaza. Unsurprisingly, things don’t go according to plan, and the group begins to sense that some nasty characters from Hell are after them. Hosie writes with a decidedly wry comic style even as she unfolds her dramatic story. The worst job in Hell, cleaning out the ground-floor toilets, is reserved, for example, for reality TV stars. For all the story’s lightness, she doesn’t ignore the ever present problem of paradox: What happens if these characters succeed in preventing their own deaths?

Just outstanding fun for those who enjoy snarky comedy and suspense. (Paranormal suspense. 12-18)


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

An interview with an agent (my agent!)

So, in between chatting about Harry Potter and getting me book deals and stuff, literary agent Beth Phelan from The Bent Agency in New York, kindly took the time to answer some questions for my blog.

She's also actively looking to expand her list, so if you have a rocking manuscript that meets her wish-list, check out her submission guidelines and go query her. Beth really is on fire right now, as well as my two book deals, she's just scored a three book deal for Jennifer Duell and a great deal for Ingrid Seymour.

1. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in publishing in the past two years? I guess the biggest thing I’ve noticed is that it’s harder to sell a book if you haven’t adapted to the new marketplace. I arrived in the industry to see digital imprints and independent digital publishers opening their doors, and as a young agent, I’m eager to see what they can do and how they’ll continue to evolve. Instead of just sending our clients’ work to traditional houses, we’re looking at their digital arms and other digital-only or digital-first publishers as well – and taking them quite seriously.
2. Do you have any predictions for how publishing might change in the next two years? It’s hard to say, but I think that we’ll see the digital book change a lot in terms of multimedia and what we can do with our digitally published books. I’m also eager to see how digital imprints of the big houses perform and how their terms will change as we all adjust to this new landscape.
3. You’re reading sample pages from a query you loved. How long does the writer have to impress you before you give up if you’re not connecting with the voice? It depends on how much I loved the concept! If the concept blew me away, I’ll keep pushing through the book – maybe I’ll even read the whole thing. But if I can barely enjoy the concept because the voice is flat or even worse, if it’s annoying, then I might only get through one page. I tweeted the other day that writers should be careful not to rush in those first pages. We’re groomed into believing that those first pages are supposed to hook the reader – and that’s true. But I think writers go a bit overboard sometimes and give me way too much, forcing all the information in my face, which is just as bad!
4. What are you DESPERATE to see in your inbox? I’d love to see some literary YA and something with heart that’s also funny – maybe staged at a summer camp for aspiring comedians. I am also dying for a book about a teenager who finds out they were kidnapped as a baby and raised in a loving, totally normal home by their abductors – and they have to go live with their “real” parents. And I’m looking for literary YA horror, some new approach to witches and contemporary stories about teens that are stranded/have to survive out in the wilderness.
5. The Devil arrives in your apartment and tells you he’s burning your book collection and you are allowed to save only one. Which book do you save? This is a mean question!! I would probably save my enormous, one-volume edition of the Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve had that book since I was a kid and it’s so heavy and the spine is a mess but I love it.
6. Is there a book that you don’t represent that you wish you did? Well, if we’re really dreaming here, I always wished I were Garth Nix’s literary agent.
 
7. Who is your literary crush? (You can’t have Remus Lupin or Mr Rochester or Gansey from THE RAVEN BOYS because they’re mine!!) Take them! As long as you leave me Ron Weasley. And I’m trying to say this without seeming like a total creep, but oh well, I’m an adult who reads kids books, so what do you want from me!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Number 1!!

Release days still make me giddy, and it's the only day where I'll check a book's rankings. I'm so glad I did this week for the release of THE RING OF MORGANA because it gave me my first ever number one ranking on Amazon.

I took a screenshot and posted it over on my Facebook page. 

I'm all about the milestones and this was one I'll remember. Thank you to everyone who bought the paperback or downloaded the book on its first day of release - and if you're already reading it, I hope you're enjoying it!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy release day to me: THE RING OF MORGANA is out now!

My fourth literary baby, THE RING OF MORGANA, is released today!

It's the first in my new Camelot series, THE CHILDREN OF CAMELOT, and kicks off sixteen years after the events at the end of THE SPIRIT OF NIMUE.

This book was a joy to write, an absolute joy. My continual thanks to everyone who continues to support me. Mila's story wouldn't exist without you.

It is available in paperback and ebook here.


Donna
x

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 2014 accomplished!

What a month April was. So much good news, some of which I was allowed to share, some of which will have to wait until May - (I do love being cryptic!)


1. My second book deal was announced on Publishers Marketplace!!! THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER is the sequel to THE DEVIL'S INTERN, and will be released in the Fall of 2015. I'm beyond excited and thrilled to continue working with Holiday House, and in particular, my editor Kelly Loughman.

2. Holiday House confirmed the release date for THE DEVIL'S INTERN is the 1st October 2014!!! I'm so excited to see this baby unleashed on the world. Apparently it will be ready for shipping from the warehouse on the 1st August. I'm not sure what this means, but it could be that pre-orders and review copies go out early.

3. WIP progress:

#1 (young adult contemporary thriller) 58,550 words (+ 4,019 for the month)
#2 (book three in my DEVIL'S series) 7,334 words (unchanged for the month)
#3 (book two in my CHILDREN OF CAMELOT series) 14,204 words (+ 8,471 for the month)

4. I was asked to host an AMA (Ask Me Anything) over on the YA Writers forum of Reddit. The subject matter was Hybrid Authors. Hopefully I managed to inspire and not scare!

5. In early BEA news, THE DEVIL'S INTERN was named a must-grab galley by Publishers Weekly. In other news, my twitter feed damn near crashed when that news was announced!!


I really am having the BEST year, and May will make it even better as THE RING OF MORGANA, the first of my two releases in 2014, is officially released. Sooooo excited!!!

Previous months:

Jan
Feb
March

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BookExpo America news: THE DEVIL'S INTERN

BookExpo America (BEA) is the biggest annual book fair in the US. It takes place during May, and the publishing press is already starting to drop hints and suggestions about what's hot.

Along with two other Bent Agency authors, (Kat Ellis and Heidi Schultz), I'm thrilled to have been mentioned in the BEA preview issue of Publishers Weekly. THE DEVIL'S INTERN (Holiday House, October 2014) has been named a "must grab galley!"

A galley is an unbound version of the novel, printed on the actual size paper of the hardcover/paperback. I know this because I had to ask my editor last week because I had no idea!!!

If you're heading to BEA this year, be sure to snag a copy.

More exciting news around BEA to come :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Proper author stuff!

I have my own author page on The Bent Agency website!!!

I can't even begin to tell you how long I've coveted my own page. And with TBA too! I feel like I'm a grown-up proper writer person now!

Having an author shot done was quite hideous. I hate having my photo taken. But my 17-year-old daughter is good with a camera and so she took it in the end after many rejected photos. Most importantly, I needed my heels to feature! People who know me know how much I love my shoes!

 


But the thing that really geeked me out, was the fact that authors are listed alphabetically on the site, and so I am next to A.G. Howard, author of one of my favourite books recently, SPLINTERED.



I'm in the company of greatness. Let's hope it rubs off!

Friday, April 18, 2014

BOOK DEAL NUMBER 2!!!!!!



Going out on submission with another book was just as terrifying as going out on submission with book one.

But thankfully, I didn't have to wait as long for a YES!!!

I am over the kermit-flailing-moon to announce that Holiday House has bought THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER, book two in my series about time travelling devils, in a deal brokered by my awesome agent, Beth Phelan of The Bent Agency, NY. Book one, THE DEVIL'S INTERN, is scheduled for release this Fall, with DREAMCATCHER scheduled for release Fall 2015.

From Publishers Marketplace this morning:



And the announcement on my agency blog too!

While the submission process was just as terrifying, let me tell you that getting the email to say they loved it was just as special and awesome as the first time too.

Cheers!






Wednesday, April 2, 2014

THE DEVIL'S INTERN has a release date!

Today I heard from my publishing house that THE DEVIL'S INTERN will be officially released on the 1st October 2014!!!

I'm happy and excited and nervous as hell and a million other emotions...

...but mostly just excited because this book has been four years in the making and it's finally coming out!!!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

March 2014 accomplished!

March 2014 was an AWESOME month, but alas, one of the main reasons why is something I cannot yet reveal! So, continuing my monthly round-up, here is what the last 31 days have produced (kinda!):


1. THE DEVIL'S INTERN (Fall 2014) moved to copy edit stage. This is the first time I've gone through this process with a publishing house.  What happens is the manuscript moves away from the loving eyes of your editor (who bought the book), to a copy editor who is there to take a cold, hard look at grammar, punctuation, word choice, content, consistency, suitability of text for intended age group, technical problems, legal issues and length. I have utter admiration for copy editors. You need to have an absolute passion for the English language to be effective. For me - little author - I found it quite daunting, as if everything was being questioned. And it should be, so thankfully my super editor, Kelly, was there with reassurance. I'm so happy with how THE DEVIL'S INTERN has been looked after. There's a reason Holiday House is one of the most respected publishers for teens and children.

And in addition to all of this, we unveiled the cover on an unsuspecting world of mortals!



2. WIP update: #1 (YA contemporary thriller) is sitting at 55,000 words. That's twenty one chapters and I'm on the home stretch now with around nine more chapters to write. I keep thinking this is a hot mess, but then I read back and really enjoy it. I am way out of my urban fantasy comfort zone here though. #2 (YA urban fantasy and book 3 in my DEVIL'S series) is sitting at 7,500 words. By contrast, this is a dream to write and for the first time ever I know the entire plot in my head. However, I need to stop writing this for a while, for reasons that will be announced shortly.

3. The formatting of THE RING OF MORGANA for both paperback and ebook was completed. Because it's so ahead of schedule, the release date has been brought forward to the 12 May 2014. I also received my paperback proof copy which is very pretty. (Pictured here with my other CAMELOT books.)



4. I'm now working on six - yes, SIX - manuscripts! I've truly lost my brain! But as I can't add anything to WIP #2 for a while, I have to have a Monday - Friday drafting projecting. So, I've started the second novel in my CHILDREN OF CAMELOT series. This won't be released until mid-2015, so  I'm only doing a chapter a week. Perfectly reasonable she says...as the men in white coats come to take her away!


Previous months:

Jan
Feb

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cover Reveal (and it's mine...again!!): THE DEVIL'S INTERN

I'm so very happy to reveal the cover for my second release in 2014, THE DEVIL'S INTERN (Fall 2014, Holiday House).

Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Mitchell discovers a time-travel device that will allow him to escape his internship in Hell's accounting office and return to Earth, but his plans to alter the circumstances of his own death take an unexpected turn when his three closest friends in Hell insist on accompanying him back to the land of the living.


THE DEVIL'S INTERN may feature devils and monsters and time travel, but at its heart is a tale about friendship and making the right choice, however hard.


2014 is shaping up to be a most excellent year!

Friday, March 7, 2014

A new release date for MORGANA!!!


Squeee time!

As I mentioned before, my publisher decided just before Xmas to bring forward the release date of THE DEVIL'S INTERN to Fall 2014 from its original holding date of Spring 2015.

Because of this, and because THE RING OF MORGANA is proving a dream of a fourth baby to produce, I am very happy to confirm the release date for my fourth literary baby is also being moved forward...

...to Monday, 12th May!

I should have my paperback arc in my little hands very soon.



Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 2014 accomplished!

Continuing my end of the month round-up, here are my thoughts on February's accomplishments. (January's list can be found here.)

February is a shorter month, but to me that just meant fewer days in which to get things done. Don't panic...don't panic, became my mantra! I did actually complete some things though, amidst the panicking!:


1. I completed line edits for THE RING OF MORGANA (June 2014). Line edits are satisfying and horrifying and absolutely essential. I discovered I overuse the word that! I frequently discovered I don't know how to spell Morgana! And I discovered that my keyboard randomly wraps quotation marks around lines of prose that aren't actually dialogue! (Like I said, line edits are ESSENTIAL.)

2. The cover artwork for THE RING OF MORGANA was finalized and unleashed on the world. It's so pretty, I want to hug it and squeeze it and call it George! (No one under the age of 40 will get that cultural reference!) My sincere thanks to the amazing Bloggers who helped with the reveal. MORGANA totally owned the Internet last week!


3. One of my WIPs now stands at 48,000 words, an increase of 8,000 on January's word count. Progress isn't as quick as I hoped, but the premise involves computer hacking and I know NOTHING about hacking...or I should say, cracking, because that's the correct term, apparently. Lots of research is required for this wip, and if I'm arrested because of my Internet searches, I'm totally blaming my agent! Because of the research required, I've now decided to work on this only at weekends when I have more time to learn about keyloggers and malware - (admit it, you're impressed with my knowledge already!)

4. Hmmm! Did you notice there I said "one of my WIPs"?!!! So, in January's post I categorically stated there wouldn't be a fifth manuscript to work on. Hmmm, guess what I started? I couldn't help it. The third book in THE DEVIL'S series was literally begging to be started. It's in the voice of a Viking Prince. I'm learning Old Norse - it's awesome!

5. I gave the blog a makeover with a new layout, more links and some pretty colours. I also joined Pinterest and I will be posting images from the books and photos that inspired the words over there from now on.


I can't believe we're heading into March already. Where's the time going? It's only three months until my MORGANA release. Okay, NOW I'm panicking!