Monday, May 2, 2016

CAMELOT Kindle issues slayed!

The problem with downloading the Kindle versions of SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR, THE FIRE OF MERLIN, and THE SPIRIT OF NIMUE has been resolved and all three ebooks are available for $0.99 on Amazon once more - link.

They will also remain at that price indefinitely.

No idea what the problem was - I suspect malevolent sprites. Now go fight some dragons!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 2016 accomplished!

How can it be the end of April already? The year is flying past. I saw many on my blog roll were involved in the A-Z Challenge this year. Kudos to those that planned and finished the task. Yet again time constraints meant I couldn't take part, but here's a list of what I did accomplish this month:

1. ARCS of THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE arrived at my publisher's office in New York. So far I've only seen photos - oh the joy of living the other side of the world! It looks so shiny and pretty.


2. THE DEVIL'S INTERN continues to shine! This month I found out that it had been added to the Young Adult Literature syllabus at Texas University - next to John Green and Stephen Chbosky, no less. It was also chosen as the April Book Club choice of South Hadley Public Library. And voting will soon commence in the Surrey Schools District (the largest school district in British Columbia with approximately 70,000 students) Surrey Teens Read Program. THE DEVIL'S INTERN is one of ten novels nominated.

3. Not to be outdone, THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER was a bit of a star this month too. First, Horn Book Guide Reviews gave it a recommended review in their Spring 2016 issue, stating "Expanding on its predecessor's (The Devil's Intern) strong character relationships and time paradoxes, this sequel raises the stakes and builds excitement for the intrepid quartet's next adventure." DREAMCATCHER has now received recommended trade reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Horn. Scholastic Reading Counts also got in on the DEVIL'S love and awarded it 5/5 stars. But most exciting of all was the news from my marketing team that DREAMCATCHER is being given a new cover for its paperback release in July. I've seen the galleys and it is gorgeous!

4. And for the third year in a row, Publisher's Weekly named one of my DEVIL'S books as a key children's galley to grab at Book Expo America. This year's BEA is taking place in Chicago, and ARCs of THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE will be available from the Holiday House booth, #1412.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March 2016 accomplished!

I can't remember the last time I mentioned my CAMELOT books, but I'm going to mention them now, because I checked my sales figures this month, and at one point, SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR was outselling a MINECRAFT book. Not a big deal really, but when you have teenage sons, it actually becomes one!

The fact that my CAMELOT babies are still selling regularly remains a source of great happiness. I undertake little to no publicity for these anymore - not because I don't love them, but because my DEVIL'S books consume my time - and so the fact that readers are still buying SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR and the others in the two series' is bloody awesome.

It's been a busy month. So here is my March rundown of news and accomplishments:

1.  The cover art for THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE was released. This is my third DEVIL'S novel and will be released in October by Holiday House.

2. With more and more schools adding THE DEVIL'S INTERN to their reading lists, a fantastic Reading Group Guide was released for THE DEVIL'S INTERN (#1) and THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER (#2). It features over 20 questions for discussion, as well as classroom activities. It can be found here.

3. I received the final typeset version of THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE for proofing. Seeing my third DEVIL'S baby like this was amazing, especially as my designer has done some uber cool graphics under the chapter titles. Once done it will be off to the printer for advanced reader copies to be bound up, ready for the various US book expos before release in October.

4. My WIP reached 50,000 words. It's not time-travel - which is a first for me. Yet I've never written anything so quickly.

Friday, February 26, 2016

February 2016 accomplished!

This month rocked my world!

1. The cover for THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE (Holiday House, Fall 2016) was finalised and will be revealed via YA Highway on the 3rd March. It's gorgeous - but then I am biased!

2. I received my agent's initial feedback on DEVIL'S 4 and so I am now deep in the revision trenches. We both cried at The End. Now I have to make her cry even more!

3. I started a new ms! I wasn't planning on starting anything new because I have three manuscripts at various stages, but when an idea comes, you just have to flow with it. I have never written so much, so quickly. It's Buffy-esque - that's all I plan on saying right now, but the word count is already 22,000.

4. Those fine folk at Foreword Reviews announced their Best YA Titles of Winter 2016, and THE

Roll on March!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January 2016 accomplished!

January has been pretty crazy. I haven't been working on anything new, but my team and I have been working on several projects and getting them ready for that next stage.

1. THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE, which is book 3 in my DEVIL'S series, is now finished and off to the typesetter. My editor and I worked like maniacs, with emails and drafts bouncing about everywhere, as we revised this constantly over the last few months. BANSHEE will be released in October, but ARCs will be ready for BookExpo America this May.

2. I finished drafting book 4 in the DEVIL'S series, and this one is the last in the series. I totally cried when I wrote THE END! This is now with my agent for revising.

3. Whilst we take DEVIL'S to the next stage, it is an exciting time for what might become my next series. It's time-travel. Not paranormal. It's magical realism with an urban and yet historical feel. I'm very proud of it, and my agent feels it's ready for line edits, which is the stage before submission. I will wait and see what happens in 2016!

4. The Turkish edition of THE DEVIL'S INTERN was released in January. SEYTANIN STAJYERI has a wonderful new cover, and apparently it has already been featured at a big book fair. I know this because of the lovely photos that keep popping up on Instagram! Thank you for the love shown so far, Turkey. I can't wait to hold my translated copy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

THE DEVIL'S INTERN is released in Turkey!

There aren't many firsts left for me in publishing now, but I'm starting 2016 off with a bang! THE DEVIL'S INTERN will be released in Turkey on the 6th January 2016, following on from the international rights deal struck last year to publish it, THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER, and the forthcoming THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE in that gorgeous language.

SEYTANIN STAJYERI has a certain ring to it, don't you think?!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Musings 2015 Year in Review

How do you judge the success of a literary year? More book deals? More money? Or just more peace with where you are in the publishing world?

I decided to stop indie publishing in 2015, and as a result, my commitments halved. Of all the decisions I made this year, that was the best one. Indie publishing gave me a lot of validation, but it was such hard work. I now spend more time doing other things away from publishing, which is a lot healthier for my body and mind. Yet I also had my most successful year to date in the traditional publishing world, with another book deal, my first international sale for three books, several awards, and earning out a healthy advance in the first reporting period.

So, here is my literary highlight from each month in 2015. I wish you and yours a wonderful Xmas and a Happy New Year. See you in 2016!

Donna x


Release news: My final indie book was also my final CAMELOT novel. In January, QUEST OF THE ARTISAN became available for preorder and I received the ARC. I didn't feel sad it was coming to an end, just contentment that I had done these books justice. I knew this would be the end of indie publishing for me, and regardless of what happened, I was at peace with that.


Award win: THE DEVIL'S INTERN was awarded YALSA's 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults honors. The importance of this can't be underestimated. Libraries are a huge resource for readers, authors, and publishing houses alike, but their budgets only go so far. So librarians will buy from "Best Of" lists, especially when that list is compiled by the American Library Association. YALSA contributed enormously to the critical success of THE DEVIL'S INTERN, and my publisher and I are eternally grateful.


Release news: QUEST OF THE ARTISAN was published. It went straight into the Amazon Arthurian Myths and Legends chart at number one!


Cover reveal: The cover artwork for my second DEVIL'S novel was revealed. THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER cover was designed by Christian Fuenfhausen - (he is 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.)


Book deal: My third book deal was announced in Publishers Marketplace. THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE sold to Kelly Loughman at Holiday House. Set for release in the Fall of 2016, it is the darkest book I've written to date - and possibly the funniest too!


Award win: 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." The framed certificate is now hanging proudly on the wall of my study.


Release news: THE DEVIL'S INTERN was released in paperback!


Book deal: I had my first International Rights Sale for THE DEVIL'S INTERN, THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER, and THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE to Turkey!


Release news: THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER received a recommended review from Booklist to go along with lovely reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal.


Release news: The hardcover of THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER was released across the US and Canada!


New manuscript: I finished the second round of agent edits on a brand new time-travel adventure. It'll be exciting to see if anything happens with this in 2016!


New manuscript: DEVIL'S 4 will be my last novel in the series and December has been totally devoted to drafting it. My aim is to finish and have the edited draft with my agent by the 31st December. I'm on course, but saying goodbye to this world is going to be near impossible.

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 2015 accomplished!

I started a new job this month. Brain = mush!

I also had a nasty injury after falling and ended up, amongst other things, with my fingers in a splint. Very helpful for an author - not!

But I did manage the following in November:

1. THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE is my third DEVIL'S novel and will be released in October 2016 by Holiday House. I finished my first round of revisions this month, as well as line edits. It was a mammoth task. The comments in the margins from my editor and I combined totaled 1,500! The book is very dark and very funny and my favourite DEVIL'S book to date.

2. Just one month after its release, THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER has its first nomination! It has been nominated in the CYBILS (Children's and Young Adult Blogger's Literary Awards) in the Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction category.

3. Harper Collins' blog, Epic Reads, featured THE DEVIL'S INTERN as one of 8 Books That Prove Love Can Transcend Space and Time.  To be featured by another massive publishing house on their own blog is a lovely honour.

4. I have finished the second round of agent edits on a brand new time-travel story. No idea what will happen to it, but it's been rewarding getting into something completely fresh.

December is going to be the month I finish drafting my final DEVIL'S novel. I've added nothing to the word count since October because of other commitments, but it's time to say goodbye to Hell :( There will be tears.

Friday, October 30, 2015

October 2015 accomplished!

What a wonderful month October was. In my 'real life' I got a new job, and then spent a week in New Zealand where this beautiful view was my inspiration for drafting DEVIL'S 4. Life's a bitch, eh?! This is what I did this month:

1. My big news was the hardback release of THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER! I love this book so much, possibly even more than THE DEVIL'S INTERN. To write in the voice of a really strong teenage girl after writing in male POV's for such a long time was so refreshing. Medusa totally kicks ass!

2. THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE is the third book in the DEVIL'S series and is scheduled for release in October 2016. This month my editor sent me through my first editorial letter and the 320 page manuscript in mark-up - it looks like a unicorn had explosive rainbow diarrhea all over it!! I'm tackling one chapter a day. Any more and I go blind!

3. DEVIL'S 4 is my one WIP right now. It's currently sitting at 50,000 words. My deadline for finishing this is 30 November. I've been editing as I write and it's going really well.

4. THE DEVIL'S INTERN is one of ten YA novels nominated for the Surrey Teens Read 2015-2016 Best Book program which is a Canadian schools initiative.

Roll on November! Only eight weeks until Xmas!

Friday, October 2, 2015


Two hardback novels in bookstores!!!!!!! This is the stuff of dreams. So whilst I have my book release celebration in Australia, THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER - (the sequel to the award-winning, critically acclaimed THE DEVIL'S INTERN) - is now officially in bookstores across the US and Canada.

It's time for Kermit arms!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 2015 accomplished!

September was all about revisions, reviews, and writing!

1. In August, I finished a brand new time travel manuscript which had nothing to do with Devils or Camelot. In September, I received the editorial letter for it from my agent. First thoughts: OMG! Second thoughts: OMFG! I have to admit my agent did have to talk me down from the ledge because I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work I thought it needed. Yet breaking it down into sections wasn't nearly as daunting as I thought. Editorial letters are very confronting, but ultimately they make a manuscript stronger. I need to learn to love them!

2. THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER received a recommended review from Booklist to go along with lovely reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal.

3. My new website went live.

4. DEVIL'S 4 is cooking nicely and the word count is now over 40,000. My self-imposed deadline to finish it is the 30 November. For the first time in my life, I've actually given myself a deadline that might not kill me!

THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER is officially released on the 1 October! It's my seventh novel!!! Early reader reviews have been great, and so it's onwards and upwards for Team DEVIL.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

August 2015 accomplished!

I'm in the Southern Hemisphere, so August for me is when I start to dream to hope that winter is over. This has been a bitterly cold winter in Australia, and quite frankly, I am over it! But it was a great month, author wise:

1. The best news was my first International Rights Sale for THE DEVIL'S INTERN, THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER, and THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE to Turkey! I can't wait to see the translated versions. It's very exciting.

2. I finished a new time travel manuscript, and it's nothing to do with CAMELOT or DEVIL'S! It might never see the light of day, but at 86,000 words, it's the longest ms I've written to date. It's edited and with my agent for her thoughts.

3. Following hot on the heels of the recommended review from Kirkus, School Library Journal (the biggest reviewer of children's books in the world) has also given the seal of approval to THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER saying "With lots of adventure and a clever twist, this book will be another favorite among readers." YAY! One month to go until DREAMCATCHER'S official release.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

My First International Rights Book Deal!!!

From Publishers Marketplace:

Ten months after the hardcover release of THE DEVIL'S INTERN in the US and Canada, and two months before the hardcover release of THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER, I am thrilled to announce that both books, and THE DEVIL'S BANSHEE (Fall 2016), have sold in Turkey.

It's the last tick on the list for my DEVIL'S series. Agent, Publisher, Starred Reviews, Awards, and now International Rights.

I am one very contented author right now!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 2015 accomplished!

July - she came, she saw, she went seriously bloody quickly! My life passed by in a blur of emails this month. I really need to be more aware of what I'm typing at 4:30am! Here's some of the stuff that happened...

1. THE DEVIL'S INTERN - which is now officially blurbed as award-winning and critically aclaimed - has been released in paperback!!!!!!!!

2. The first chapter of THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER (Holiday House, Fall 15) is now available on my publisher's website. It can be read right here. Preorders of the hardback have already started shipping from Amazon ahead of the 1st October 2015 release date and I'm loving the photos appearing online from readers!

3. For those librarians and teachers who have classroom discussions following CCSS (Common Core State Standards), my publisher has listed a number of questions for DREAMCATCHER to assist with book clubs. CCSS questions for THE DEVIL'S INTERN can be found here.

4. YALSA's 'The Hub' has an online personality test which links in with your favourite YA novel. THE DEVIL'S INTERN is one of the books featured along with books by John Green, Marie Lu, and Holly Black.

5. I removed SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR from Kindle Unlimited, and as a concession to those wonderful teachers and librarians who placed my CAMELOT novels on summer reading lists, I reduced the price of the Kindle version of SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR, THE FIRE OF MERLIN, and THE SPIRIT OF NIMUE to $0.99. Judging by the spike in sales, this has been a popular decision and I'm happy to oblige.

6. I started writing the fourth DEVIL's novel.

7. My other WIP is really coming together. It's currently sitting at 82,000 words. I think the final count will be nearer 90,000, making it the longest novel I've written to date.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

THE DEVIL'S INTERN now out in paperback!

A paperback release is kinda weird. When the hardcover of THE DEVIL'S INTERN was released last October, there was fanfare and cupcakes and OMG so many interviews...

...and the little old paperback just appears!

But I can't wait to get my hands on it because not only does it have an excerpt from the forthcoming sequel, THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER (Holiday House, Fall 2015), the paperback of INTERN has blurbs!!!! Like proper industry "ZOMG this is awesome" blurbs"!! My editor actually ran out of room to put all the accolades on including:

* Kirkus Prize 2014 nominee
* Kirkus Teen Book of the Year 2014
* YALSA 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults
* CYBILS (Children’s and Young Adult Blogger’s Literary Award) - Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction nominee
* Teen Choice Book Awards nominee
* YALSA'S 'The Hub' Best of 2014 
* Westchester Fiction Award 2015 Gold Seal

It's all a bit awesome!
The retail on Amazon is $7.99 for the paperback. Not sure what it is in bookstores. This is the problem with living in Australia and releasing in the US guys get to see it before I do!!!

Go Team DEVIL!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Why I'm removing SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR from Kindle Unlimited

(This post originally appeared on my Facebook and Tumblr over the weekend.)

If I go into a cake shop, buy a donut, and only eat half, I don't pay for what I've eaten - I pay for the whole donut. And rightly so. It's the same if I go see a movie and walk out halfway through - I don't just pay for what I've seen. To leave would be my choice, but I wouldn't get a refund for the minutes left and in no way would I expect to. And yet Amazon has decided to pay authors for what readers only actually read via the Kindle Unlimited scheme. Now I only have one novel on the Kindle Unlimited scheme, and that is SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR. My announcement is that as of next month, I am withdrawing it. All of my CAMELOT books, including ARTHUR, will still be available for standard Kindle and in paperback, but you won't be able to sample SfA via Prime. This is probably where I should say this wasn't an easy decision, but in truth, it was dead easy! I'm not an Amazon hater - far from it. Amazon has an amazing business model that has given a platform to authors, and they've also enabled book lovers to buy novels cheaply. But there is a difference between cheap and rip-off - and I won't be ripped off. If you read the opening of SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR and don't like it then that's a shame, and you are within your right to leave a horrible, Asparagus-smelling review, but you're gonna pay for the privilege!!

Right now, my first three CAMELOT books are on Kindle sale for $0.99/£0.99 to help those kids who have them on their school reading lists. ANYONE can take advantage of that offer. That's less than a donut! I don't want to rip you off, and with that pricing, I'm not, but I deserve the same.


Love Donna x

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:


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!