Monday, June 29, 2015

June 2015 accomplished!

June has been all about writing and drafting. I've been trying to clear my author schedule as much as possible because the next couple of months are going to be crazy with revising THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE (Fall, 2016), and promoting THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER (Fall, 2015).

So, knowing I'm not going to have much space in the diary for just writing new material, I've glued myself to the computer this month and I've been banging out the words. A WIP I started in April has now reached 70,000+ words! It's the quickest I've ever written so much of a manuscript - and I write quickly! But I'm really happy with it, and whilst I didn't meet my self-imposed deadline to finish it by the end of June, I will have it completed and to my agent soon.

Other accomplishments this month: THE DEVIL'S INTERN was awarded the Gold Seal in the Westchester Fiction Awards. These are chosen by a committee of High School librarians and teachers in Los Angeles. The Westchester award "honors talented authors who contribute exemplary literature to the Young Adult literary canon and the visionary publishers who bring their texts to life." 

And at the annual ALA meeting in San Francisco, THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER went down a treat with the attendees and the ARCs went quickly from booth 1203! I'm hoping to be there next year - especially as the conference is in Orlando! ALA + Harry Potter Wizarding World - here, just take all of my money!



Go Team DEVIL!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Another award win for THE DEVIL'S INTERN


THE DEVIL'S INTERN has won another award! It has been given the Gold Seal in the Westchester Fiction Awards which are chosen by a committee of High School librarians and teachers in Los Angeles. The Westchester award "honors talented authors who contribute exemplary literature to the Young Adult literary canon & the visionary publishers who bring their texts to life." 

YAY - go Team DEVIL and thanks to the committee. The other 2015 winners can be found here.

Monday, June 1, 2015

May 2015 accomplished!

May was AWESOME! Absolutely bloody AWESOME! Without further ado, here are a few of the things I achieved this month:


1. My big news was my third book deal announcement in Publishers Marketplace. THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE is scheduled for a Fall 2016 release and is the third book in my time-travelling DEVIL'S series.




2. Publishers Weekly listed its "Can't-Miss Kids' Galleys" for BEA 2015, and for the second year running DEVIL'S were featured with THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER listed!


3. Kirkus Reviews revealed what they thought of THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER: "More spendidly hellish fun" in this recommended trade review!



4. Then it was all systems go as BEA 2015 got underway in New York. I saw lots of photos from the event and here are a few of them, including my first look at the paperback version of THE DEVIL'S INTERN, and Maggie Stiefvater eating the hardcover!








5. And finally my WIP has not been neglected this month. I've managed to reach 53,000/80,000 words. I have a self-imposed deadline of the end of June to get this baby finished. I might actually do it!




Saturday, May 30, 2015

The One Where Maggie Stiefvater Tries To Eat My Book!

Everyone knows how much I love Maggie Stiefvater, right? Just in case you didn't, here are some of my reviews of her books:

THE RAVEN BOYS
THE DREAM THIEVES
BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE

I love her. She is a Goddess of Writing to me. I wouldn't want to exist in a world where her stories didn't live.

So, you can imagine my reaction when I received an email from my publishing team from BEA2015 with this image!!!!!!


Yep! That's Maggie Stiefvater holding THE DEVIL'S INTERN...or actually trying to eat it!

No more words. Just more hyperventilating from a Penniless Writer whose life has been made!

Friday, May 29, 2015

BookExpo America news: THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER

I wish I was there...I wish I was there...next year I WILL be there!

BookExpo America, the biggest book trade fair in the US, is now in full swing. I've been jealously reading everyone's fun tweets, especially the ones involving my next release, THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER.

Thankfully some awesome people have been posting photos online and I've been able to snag a couple:


 This is a tiny section of my publisher's booth with a huge poster of DREAMCATCHER! I haven't wanted anything so badly since BEA14 when there was a huge poster of THE DEVIL'S INTERN!

 


Next up is the lovely Sabrina from marketing who posted an image of her with the Team DEVIL merchandise. I made a very strange noise when I saw this photo because I'm pretty sure that book in the far right corner is the first look at the paperback of INTERN which doesn't come out until July!

Great people, great books. BEA16 is in Chicago and I WILL be there!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

BOOK DEAL NUMBER 3!!!!!!





I've had my THIRD book deal announcement in Publishers Marketplace, and it's just as awesome as numbers one and two!



THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE has sold to Kelly Loughman at Holiday House in a deal brokered by agent, Beth Phelan, of The Bent Agency, NY. It's the third novel in my DEVIL'S series and is told in the voice of a teenage Viking! The book is dark, humorous, and very scary as Team DEVIL descend into Dante's nine circles of Hell.


I'm utterly thrilled to continue working with the wonderful Kelly and the entire team at Holiday House. My DEVIL's novels could not have found a better home.

The bubbly is on me!





Thursday, May 7, 2015

THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER: BEA 2015, ARCS, and Kirkus Reviews!

I find the build-up to a new release even more exciting than the actual release itself! And even though it's still five months to go until THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER is out, things are starting to get hot in hell!

First, BookExpo America, (which is the biggest book trade fair in the US), is starting to get ready for its opening this month. Publishers Weekly has listed its "Can't-Miss Kids' Galleys" and for the second year running DEVIL'S are featured with THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER listed. BEA 2015 is on in New York from the 27-29 May, and Publishers Weekly's comprehensive list of "unmissable books" is here.

Second, arcs of DREAMCATCHER are now available. I know there will be a lot handed out at BEA 2015, but others have been given to readers via contests on Twitter and Facebook by my publisher. There are some really cute photos of winners here on my Facebook page.

Finally, it's always a nervous time when you're waiting for those first industry reviews. Kirkus is one of the biggest and Team DEVIL is thrilled that not only has Kirkus featured DREAMCATCHER in their BEA 2015 Special Edition, but they've also given it a fabulous recommended review stating the book is [quote] "More splendidly hellish fun."



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 2015 accomplished!

April was...mad! So much happened. I'm coming to realise that I probably need an assistant...or an intern...or forty-eight hours in a nine day week!

So, here's what I accomplished this month - (although there is one thing I can't reveal yet! That's coming soon :)):


1. I got another Amazon number one! First day of release and QUEST OF THE ARTISAN topped the Arthurian Myths and Legends chart. It was a lovely way to say goodbye to a time-travelling world that gave me back ownership of my own writing.




2. Then Hell took over my life! The cover reveal for THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER (Holiday House, Fall 2015) took place. Thanks to everyone who tweeted, shared and linked. I know ten people received arcs, courtesy of my publisher. I loved watching the videos and reading the tweets of those readers who won copies!



3. Speaking of arcs - lookie what I received in the post. And yes, I am reading my own book on the bus! I can't wait to receive it in hardback form.



4. Back in time to THE DEVIL'S INTERN which received recommended trade reviews from Horn, and Library Media Connection. 


5. Forward to the future and my current WIP is standing pretty at 30,000 words.  Not bad as I decided this month to completely rewrite it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

More great trade reviews for THE DEVIL'S INTERN

Think trade reviews come in at the same time your book publishes? Think again. It's been a full six months since THE DEVIL'S INTERN was released, and the trade reviews are still coming in.

The latest are from The Horn Guide to Children's and Young Adult Books which has just published its reviews of every hardback novel released in the US in 2014. They gave INTERN a lovely recommended review, noting:

"Likable, complex characters; clever humor ; and a well-plotted time-travel narrative...a unique, highly enjoyable read."

The other trade review came from Library Media Connection. It was another recommended, noting:

"The humor, clever analogies, and almost "fun" depiction of Hell contrast  enormously with the trip back in time where the tone is much more tense and emotional."

Needless to say, Team DEVIL is very happy!





Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cover Reveal: THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER


I was promised colour and OMG did my publisher deliver.

Behold the cover artwork for THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER, book two in my DEVIL'S series and the sequel to Kirkus Teen Book of 2014, THE DEVIL'S INTERN.

The cover was designed by Christian Fuenfhausen. He's the talent behind THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher, PAPER TOWNS by John Green, and one of my all-time favourites, CREWEL by Gennifer Albin. Here is the official publisher's synopsis:


In this emotional and action-packed sequel to the critically acclaimed THE DEVIL'S INTERN, Team DEVIL reunites and takes readers on another journey to the land of the living—this time, to stop a madman from unleashing the terror of The Devil's most prized possession, his dreamcatcher.

Medusa Pallister is about to interview for the most important job of her existence: an internship in Hell's accounting office. If she gets it, she'll report to Septimus, the coolest boss in the underworld. But the job will also mean working with Septimus's other intern, Mitchell Johnson.

Medusa has a history with Mitchell. The only trouble is, she can't remember what that history is. All she knows is that she saw him and two other devils outside her house while she was still alive. When Medusa is united with Team DEVIL, she thinks she'll finally get some answers. But the teens soon have bigger problems to face when an Unspeakable escapes from Hell with The Devil's dreamcatcher. In the wrong hands, this repository for all The Devil’s most horrific thoughts could be wielded as the worst weapon the realms of the living and dead have ever seen. To prevent this disaster, Medusa must find the courage to come to terms with her dual pasts, lead Team DEVIL and a counterpart team of unruly angels from Up There into horrifying danger, and face down The Devil himself in a surprising twist that no one, not even The Devil, could have foreseen.


DREAMCATCHER is released in the Fall.

And here are my two devil babies together. Get some shades on because it's bright in Hell!





Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 2015 accomplished!

What a bloody month! I swear I should have Gold Club membership for Accident and Emergency, x-ray departments, physios and surgical consultants in the Southern Hemisphere! On the plus side, we are now closer to getting my son the care he needs. A career in sport is the way he wants to go, and so dealing with this recurring injury is priority number one. Thank you so much for your well wishes over the course of the past few weeks. I have wonderful friends who know the power of a pick-me-up email!

This isn't a hugely comprehensive list of accomplishments this month because I've not been keeping track, but I remember doing all of this:

1. I finished my publisher's typeset edits for THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER (Fall 2015).

2. I finished my agent's copy edits for DEVIL'S #3.

3. I started writing a new ms and have managed to scrawl out over 10,000 words.

4. Oh yeah. And I published my sixth novel!


I guess I did manage to do quite a lot in March!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

HAPPY RELEASE DAY: QUEST OF THE ARTISAN!!

It's finally here! Happy release day to QUEST OF THE ARTISAN!

QUEST is the sequel to the Amazon number one, THE RING OF MORGANA. It's also my last ever CAMELOT novel.

This is such a strange day. It's taken three years and five novels (spread across one trilogy and one two-book series) to tell this generational Arthurian story. All of the books are YA. All of the books are time travel. Did I find my niche, or did it find me? Either way, it's been a long time to immerse myself in the Arthurian world. I've loved reimagining Arthur and his knights for a contemporary audience, but it's time to move on to pastures new. QUEST was the most fun to write and is certainly my favourite of the five books. Perhaps it's because I love writing from a boy's POV, but Rustin the MC is cute and fun and so darned loyal I could eat him!

QUEST OF THE ARTISAN (and all of my other CAMELOT novels) are available in ebook format and paperback. I hope you enjoy Arthur and friends one last time!

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

IndieBound

Friday, February 27, 2015

February 2015 accomplished!

February was a real juggling act for me, and at times I wasn't sure where I was. I think this is going to be the norm for me now and so I had better suck it up and start dealing with it!

Here's what I achieved in February:




1. In rather huge news of awesomeness, THE DEVIL'S INTERN was awarded YALSA's (Young Adult Library Services Association) 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults honors! This is wonderful for me and my publisher because libraries are an incredibly important platform for publishing houses to sell to. To be acknowledged by the YA division of the American Library Association is a huge privilege and will hopefully result in even more libraries joining Team DEVIL!

2. Publishers Weekly had a sneak preview of the Fall's big releases in the world of Picture, MG, and YA books. THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER (Holiday House, Fall 2015) got a name-check!

3. With DEVIL'S #1 released, and DEVIL'S #2 now at the design and typeset stage, all attention in Hell has turned to DEVIL'S #3. I submitted my finished ms to my agent just before Xmas and have received back her thoughts...four pages containing a bazzilionty words! You would think after this long I would be used to the shock of seeing an editorial letter, but I'm not! The usual feelings of panic and OMG-I'm-Never-Going-To-Do-This ravaged me. And then I got on with breaking it down and just writing. One chapter a day and it'll be done in a month - that's my goal. When my agent is happy, then it will go out on submission...dum dum dum!




March sees the release of THE QUEST OF THE ARTISAN, my final (and favourite) CAMELOT novel. Breathe...just breathe!





Thursday, February 5, 2015

More Team DEVIL awesomeness!!!!

I'm so happy!!! THE DEVIL'S INTERN has been named as a YALSA 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults novel.

To celebrate, my publisher made this GORGEOUS promo poster, which also happens to mention the Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2014 too!!

2014...2015...who cares as long as readers enjoy it!


Friday, January 30, 2015

January 2015 accomplished!

The past, present and future - that's what this month has been about. Promoting those books already released, writing/revising current projects, and getting ready for my two releases in 2015.

This is my recap of accomplishments during January:


1. I completed the copy edits for THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER (Holiday House, October 2015). For those who don't know the process, after you've gone through two/three/four rounds of revisions with your editor, your manuscript will then be passed to a copy editor to go through everything with a fine tooth comb. Grammar, punctuation, continuity etc are all put under the microscope. This is the last stage before proofing of the actual printed galley manuscript, so this is really when your manuscript becomes a book. Copy edits are painstaking, but absolutely essential. I will admit though, I'm glad we're past this stage because I really had to concentrate on the little details. Now my baby is off to the design team. Last year THE DEVIL'S INTERN was ready for BEA and the other big industry expos. It'll be very cool to be featured there again.

2. QUEST OF THE ARTISAN (March 2015) became available to pre-order for Kindle readers. It's my last CAMELOT novel and we're definitely ending the two series' with a bang - or perhaps I should say roar! I also received my paperback arc for review. It's hard to believe that by the end of 2015, I will have published SEVEN novels!



3. THE DEVIL'S INTERN continued to make more Best of 2014 lists. This month it was featured on  YALSA's The Hub. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Musings 2014 Year in Review

This year has passed by in a blur. It seems like only yesterday I was posting my 2013 year in review. I swear time speeds up the older you get.

One thing I am so glad I decided to do was write up an accomplishments list every month. Whether it was major publishing news, or just adding to that word tally on a WIP, there was so much to remember.

Here is what I regard as a standout accomplishment from every month in 2014:


January 2014

I received the news that my publisher was bringing forward the release of THE DEVIL'S INTERN to Fall 2014. Little did I know then just how much this book would dominate my life during 2014!

February 2014

I revealed the cover artwork for THE RING OF MORGANA - along with a team of other brilliant bloggers who kindly offered to help. This is probably my favourite cover to date. I'm not a girly girl, but this artwork is just so pretty.




March 2014

I revealed the cover artwork for THE DEVIL'S INTERN. It is so striking - and so red! Having something radically different to my other covers was a shock, but it really stands out on a shelf. I've also since discovered that my designer was responsible for the cover of Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK novel.




April 2014

My second book deal was announced in Publishers Marketplace. THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER will be released in the Fall of 2015 and is the follow-up to INTERN.



May 2014

THE RING OF MORGANA was released and gave me my first ever number one ranking on the Amazon charts. Not bad for a little indie!



June 2014

June was all about the writing. I wrote nearly 20,000 words on my works in progress this month, which may not be NaNo-ball-busting, but for a busy mum who works full time, it was a heck of an achievement.

July 2014

My third cover reveal of the year! QUEST OF THE ARTISAN won't be released until the 31st March 2015, but the cover for my final CAMELOT novel was so gorgeous, I had to share it.


August 2014

This is when all things INTERN kicked off! It's hard choosing a highlight, but I've gone for receiving my box of hardback copies in the mail. It was a moment I'd never stopped dreaming or believing in. And finally it was here.



September 2014

THE DEVIL'S INTERN received its second star review. School Library Journal joined Kirkus in giving TDI the most coveted of accolades. I was actually sitting in a physio room with my son when I got the email from my editor. He was recovering from a fractured arm and dislocated shoulder, so my response was kind of muted at the time. Mum first, writer second.

October 2014

THE DEVIL'S INTERN was released. Nuff said!

November 2014

I went to New York and met my agent and editor for the first time. NY is noisy and magical and beligerant and just freaking amazing. My publishing house treated me like a princess and just confirmed that I am in the best hands possible. I mean, they took me for cocktails at The Plaza, because that's where the character in the book go! Seriously.




December 2014

My perfect year was topped off by Kirkus Reviews naming THE DEVIL'S INTERN a Best Book of 2014 for Teens.





How the heck can I ever surpass 2014? Well, I'll give it a darned good try in 2015. I have two confirmed releases, QUEST OF THE ARTISAN in March, and THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER in the Fall. Yet I do intend to start slowing down next year. The frenetic pace of my life has led to some minor health issues which now have to be dealt with.

So I will end this end of year post by wishing you all a Merry Christmas. Enjoy the holiday season, and may you have health and happiness in the year to come.

Donna x





Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kirkus names THE DEVIL'S INTERN a best book of 2014!!


So, in my previous post I alluded to some good news that I could share this week. And it's big - HUGE! I was told this news over lunch with my editor and agent in New York last week, and like all awesome announcements, it's been hell keeping quiet about it. 

Kirkus Reviews has named THE DEVIL'S INTERN "A Best Book of 2014 for Teens"!!!!

And lookie, I get a special plaque too which is already on the Kirkus website...


THE DEVIL'S INTERN was listed in two categories:
  • Best Teen Science Fiction/Fantasy; and
  • Best Book to Make you Laugh and Possibly Cry!

Team DEVIL rules!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Happy hellish news!

Team DEVIL is so very happy at the news today that THE DEVIL'S INTERN has been nominated for the ALA Young Adult Library Services Association's "Best Fiction For Young Adults 2015"!

It took us all a little bit by surprise, but the best news is always out of the blue...or red in TDI's case!



Thursday, October 30, 2014

SQUEE!


There is seriously nothing better than seeing your book(s) on the shelves of school libraries. This was sent to me yesterday, and what makes it even better is that I'm on the shelf next to the genius that is Khaled Hosseini!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Stars of 2014

In what must have been a painstaking job to collate, Publishers Weekly has listed every book released in 2014 to date with a starred review from the big six review publications, (Booklist, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, The Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal). Just 789 books have received stars from the tens of thousands of books published, and THE DEVIL’S INTERN received two - (Kirkus and SLJ).


This amazing list can be found here if you're looking for a recommendation...or 789!