Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Calm Before The Storm!

I am alive!

I am aware that I haven't blogged for ages!

In a couple of weeks everything will be going batshit crazy mental with things that are all cooking behind the scenes right now!

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the calm before the storm and the art of just writing. No revising, no editing, no copy-editing, no proofing, no promotion...

Just writing!

44,000 words in six weeks!

Occasionally it's nice to just go back to basics.

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


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


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!

Barnes and Noble


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


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!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dear Teen Me

I was so pleased to be asked to do this as part of THE DEVIL'S INTERN release publicity.

Dear Teen Me is a site where authors write a letter to their teen selves.  Among those who have previously revisited the past are Rainbow Rowell, Leigh Bardugo, and Kami Garcia.

Before I wrote mine, I had a read through of many of the letters already published. I quickly realised that the authors don't hold back. Many of the letters are very moving, and you really get a feel for how terrifying the teenage years are for some people. With hindsight, I was a pretty lucky teen to be honest, although at the time I thought the world was ending. I was quite popular, my parents were together, and whilst I was bursting with angst that saw me leave home at 18, I was always independent and able to cope.

My contribution can be found here. I wanted to be positive, and I'm happy that my letter has already had such a lovely reaction to it online. I guess the main message I try to pass on, not just to my own children, but those I speak to in schools, is don't be afraid to make mistakes. That's what I was trying to get across via Dear Teen Me. Being 16 sucks on so many levels, but it's ok to not know where you're going or what you want to do. Just don't let the fear of failure hold you back.

Friday, October 3, 2014

THE DEVIL'S INTERN: Booklist review - and it's another great one!

And on release day too! "...dead funny to dead serious..." is a great description. THE DEVIL'S INTERN is quite dark, and I would heed the publisher's suggestion of a 15+ rating.

The goodwill shown towards me and the book yesterday was so lovely, but a writer's life continues and I'm knee-deep in revisions for book two in THE DEVIL'S series, while also drafting book three! But I will make a concerted effort to enjoy this release for the next few weeks, which will culminate in a trip to New York next month.

But for you, there are still four days remaining in the competition to win one of three copies from the publisher. Go here for details.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


It's here!!!! I can't believe it. From today, THE DEVIL'S INTERN (Kirkus star/SLJ star), will be available to buy in bookstores across the US and Canada. This is insane - and brilliant - and insane. All of my hard work over the past four years has led to the biggest Kermit flail of all time!!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A second starred review for THE DEVIL'S INTERN!

It's all ramping up for the official publication of THE DEVIL'S INTERN, and Team DEVIL is thrilled that the second trade review has come in, this time from School Library Journal, and it's another star review to match the star review from Kirkus.

SLJ is the world's largest reviewer of books for children and teens. For them to love TDI as much as we do is beyond exciting.

The full review can be read at this link here. I'll also copy it below.

Onwards and upwards to the 1st October and the full release!


*HOSIE, Donna. The Devil’s Intern. 240p. Holiday House. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823431953; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823432653. LC 2014002402.
Gr 10 Up–Hosie has written a book that will not only entertain but maybe even enlighten. Seventeen-year-old Mitchell Johnson has spent the last four years in Hell, where he is the Devil’s intern in the accounting office. With the number of new arrivals on the rise, Hell’s finances are strained. Fortunately, the Devil has a plan to use his Viciseometer, a time-travel device, to limit the number of those destined for Hell. Mitchell sees it as an opportunity to change his fate and revisit the day he met his fate with a bus. After stealing the Viciseometer, he travels back to the past with three of his friends (a Viking prince, a 17th-century peasant, and a wild-haired gal from the 1960s) and attempts to alter history, only to learn that life and death are complicated and unpredictable. Interesting characters, nonstop adventure, and humor with a touch of heart will not disappoint teens looking for a dark comedy. Glimpses of the afterlife could also spark discussion among readers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

4 years to realise a dream!

Four years ago, I wrote a novel. It was the first time I had ever tackled writing young adult. It was a fantasy tale about time-travelling devils. It received a bunch of request from agents, but it wasn't ready.

So, I put it to one side and wrote other books and became a (fairly) successful indie author.

But I never gave up on my dream of being traditionally published.

So, I rewrote my novel about time-travelling devils. And when I say rewrote, it was a complete and utter overhaul. New MC. New tense. New Plot.

Now it was ready.

Seven agents wanted to represent it. I chose Beth Phelan (now with The Bent Agency in New York.) After a year on submission, I received an email from Beth that is tattooed on my brain! Four magic words: you have an offer. It was from Holiday House, one of the most respected publishers of children's books in the world.

Yesterday, I received my author copies of the hardback.

Apologies for the shocking quality of the photos, but my hands have not stopped shaking! For four bloody hard long years I worked on this, never ever giving up on my dream.

And now it's come true.

Never give up on your dream. Ever. Because when it happens, it's the best feeling in the world.