Thursday, October 2, 2014

HAPPY RELEASE DAY: THE DEVIL'S INTERN - want to win a copy...or three?

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, and to celebrate, my awesome publisher, Holiday House, is giving away a copy of the book to three readers who would like to win one.

This giveaway is, unfortunately, open to US residents only. Which means I can't enter because I live in Australia! If you're an international reader, and are now feeling rather pissed off, I do understand your pain. Maggie Stiefvater recently did a giveaway, and I couldn't enter that either. Seriously, I'm moving to New York!

For those who can - and more importantly - DO enter, the points process once you click on the Rafflecopter giveaway is simple:

  • 2 points for a Facebook page like;
  • 2 points for every tweet; and
  • 1 point for an add on Goodreads.

Each point is a chance to win. The more points, the bigger your chance of winning one of the copies. This competition is open for five days.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But in the meantime...


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

THE DEVIL'S INTERN: blog tour (cont...cont...cont)

It's the last couple of stops on the blog tour now before my post tomorrow. I just want to take this moment to thank not only those who have taken part, but the HUNDREDS of people who have supported this on social media. It's very much appreciated.

So, first up, there's an interview with moi and a giveaway over on YA Book Nerd.

Second, there's a lovely review of THE DEVIL'S INTERN and another giveaway - (seriously, my publisher has been so generous and amazing on this tour) - which you can check out here on Charlotte's Library.

Tomorrow is release day. It just got real!

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 2014 accomplished!

September was a beautiful hybrid of accomplishments, including finished WIPs, nominations, editor revisions, star reviews and even a blog tour. Here be devils and knights - (and one very exhausted penniless writer!)

1. The wonderful reviewers at School Library Journal gave THE DEVIL'S INTERN another starred review to go along with the one already received from Kirkus. SLJ also named it on their "What's Hot in YA" list.

2. Speaking of Kirkus, I found out that THE DEVIL'S INTERN is a nominee for this year's Kirkus Prize.

3. Musings of a Penniless Writer is now in a monthly newsletter format. Sign up here to join Team DEVIL and Team Camelot!

4. On the 8 September, I wrote this on one of my two WIPs:

QUEST OF THE ARTISAN (2015) is finished! It is now in the hands of my critique partners. Once I have incorporated their suggestions, it will go to my line editor, and then onto formatting for a 2015 release. This is my fifth - and last - Camelot book for a while. I did get a little emotional as the journey ended, but the sense of achievement was something beyond words. I am now working on just ONE WIP (DEVIL'S 3). The joy of not juggling imaginery worlds cannot be overstated. At one point I was convinced the Knights of the Round Table were going to end up in Hell!

5. The blog tour for THE DEVIL'S INTERN started. My thanks to those who are taking part and giving over their blogs to Team DEVIL. My own post for the tour is coming on the 1st October, and my publisher will be giving away three copies of the hardcover to celebrate the official release. In the meantime you can win a copy here.

6. I received the second round of revisions for THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER (2015) from my publishing house. I have a three week deadline for this, but slow and steady is the key if I revise two chapters a night. It takes about an hour to go through each line and edit twenty pages at a time. Definitely doable, and very exciting to see this baby taking shape for publication next year.

So what's happening in October? As THE DEVIL'S INTERN goes into bookstores, it should be quiet...yes?!!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

THE DEVIL'S INTERN: blog tour (cont...cont)

4 days until release! 4 DAYS!!! I wrote the first draft of this novel 4 years ago!! Now it's 4 days until bookstores will start putting it on shelves. I still haven't gotten my head around this, to be honest. I feel detached, like it's an out of body experience. I'm getting requests from schools to visit, and will even be doing my first webchat with a US school soon, and yet it doesn't feel like it's me doing this.

Anyway, enough of my musings, because there are some more links for the blog tour today.

First up, author Donna K Weaver. Donna is a buddy from my Harry Potter website days and the two of us have gone through the publishing journey together. She's amazing and writes clean romance. I love her questions because I can always have fun with them. So, if you would like to know what happens when Gandalf wears a fedora to my launch party, then go here!

Second, teacher Colby Sharp has a slightly more serious interview with me about the writing process, but it was a fun and inventive way of structuring it. The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 interview asks five questions, and you answer each question using one, two, three, four, or five sentences. My advice to writers and readers can be found here.

I have the weekend off, and then the tour picks up with some more chances to win THE DEVIL'S INTERN, including three copies from my own little blog.

4 days!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Maze Runner: the movie

Even if you're feeling Young Adult dystopian fatigue right now, may I respectfully suggest you go see THE MAZE RUNNER in movie theatres in the near future.

A fabulous cast, emotion, thrills, and amazing special effects all combine to produce the best YA adaptation since THE HUNGER GAMES. I absolutely loved it.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

THE DEVIL'S INTERN: blog tour (cont)

Seven days to go until THE DEVIL'S INTERN is released in bookstores, and the blog tour continues.

A few links today. First, the ever-amazing Ellie Garratt is hosting me over on her site, where I discuss the fun and fear of time-travel.

Secondly, my publisher, Holiday House, is shining the spotlight on me with a Q & A.

And, the competition to win a copy of the book is still open over on I Am A Reader.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

THE DEVIL'S INTERN: blog tour begins with a chance to win a copy!

THE DEVIL'S INTERN (Kirkus star/SLJ star) release blog tour kicks off today. First stop is I Am A Reader. I'm talking about the importance of peripheral characters, but once you're past my witterings, there's a chance to win a copy of the novel!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Do you read your own books?

Confession time. I recently read my own RETURN TO CAMELOT trilogy on the commute to work! I actually felt a little silly doing it at first, but then I realised that no one on the bus knew me, no one would realise I was the author, and so I was never going to have to face the accusation of vanity.

And in any case, I didn't do it for vanity! I did it because it's been two years since they were published, and I needed to make sure there was continuity between that series and my new CAMELOT series.

But it did get me thinking as to whether other authors read their own work after publication. Is it enough to rely on a copy editor to pick up on continuity? I make copious notes as I write, but they're just scribbles. Half the time I can't read my own writing! The best way to check anything is to actually read.

And two years after publication, I've gotta say, I did good! I'm darned proud of this trilogy, especially book 3.

So, have you read your novels after publication? If so, what did you think?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Literary eye candy for the weekend!


I love the books and I'm starting to love the tv series too. Claire is as kickass as I hoped, and Jamie is...Jamie is...

Jamie is simply perfection!

Outlander as a film would never have worked, but a slow burn tv series affords the viewer the time to get invested. More books should be adapted this way.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Well this is kinda cool

THE DEVIL'S INTERN is one of the nominees for this year's Kirkus Prize in the "Young Readers" category. I'm clearly not going to win, but it's nice to be in there - and so close to the amazing Neil Gaiman too!

Friday, September 12, 2014

LOLs for the weekend!


I snagged this from Facebook. It made me laugh so hard.

Intelligent snarky humour = love.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Musings of a Penniless Writer - the Newsletter!

At the start of this year, I set myself two social media targets.

One: get a Tumblr account for Team DEVIL.

Did that!

Two: get a newsletter started.

Finally done that!

Musings of a Penniless Writer will go out in newsletter form at the beginning of every month. It'll be a condensed version of this blog, but I intend to make it my first place for reveals and competitions as time progresses.

The sign up form is here for anyone interested in joining Team DEVIL and Team Camelot!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How big is too big?

It's a debate that rears its head every couple of years. When is a book just too big to be enjoyed?

In the past few days, I've read articles on this subject in various news outlets, including The Daily Mail. It comes after author, Ian McEwan, spoke out against novels that are 700+ pages long.

JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR NORRELL is certainly one that springs to my mind. I would love to reread it, but I am put off by holding something for months that will probably break my wrist tendons! I have many large tomes on my bookshelves, (Gabaldon and Mosse included), and as much as I love their work, I do feel that 2-300 pages could easily have been trimmed without affecting the story.

J.K.Rowling comes in for a bit of a bashing on this subject. Her first four novels in the Potter series were taut, but then they became a little bloated. The Mail article suggests she got too powerful to be edited.

What do you think? Are you fed up with 300,000 word novels, or do you think 300 pages isn't enough?

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.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lost chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory revealed


This is the kind of story I love. Fifty years after its original release, a "lost" chapter of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY has been uncovered.
It's actually a chapter from a very early draft. It shows that Charlie was originally accompanied by his mother and not Grandpa Joe. There was a far larger cast of kids, and there was a "Pounding and Cutting Room"!
The Guardian has the full story here.
This story got me thinking about other books where we may one day see the reveal of a "lost chapter"...or two. I would love to see more from Tolkien or Rowling. Perhaps a chapter showing Boromir's demise in THE TWO TOWERS, or Lupin's death in THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.
I don't keep old drafts of my novels, and those that weren't fit for publishing were deleted long ago! But it's nice to think of an archaic time when writers drafted hand-written manuscripts. It makes the craft of writing seem so romantic.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 2014 accomplished!

There are times when real life doesn't just bite me on the ass, it pummels me into the ground and then stamps on my head with spiky heels for good measure. One of my children suffered a serious sporting injury this month. He's okay, and that's the most important thing, but he's undergoing intensive physio for the time being. In terms of time, it means my 15 hour days just got longer. By 8pm, I'm so tired I can't even speak. In fact, my family know not to speak to me because I just won't remember the conversation the next day!

But writing doesn't stop for time - or dislocated shoulders and broken arms! So here's what I managed to accomplish during those moments when I was actually conscious!

1. This month it's been all about THE DEVIL'S INTERN. Kirkus posted their starred review online and then a few days later, I hit the jackpot with fanboys and girls everywhere - (and especially in the office where I work!) - when the hugely popular website listed TDI as "an amazing must read fantasy book"!

Then I came home from work to what I'd been hoping and waiting for four long years:

Getting a hardback copy of my own book in my own grabby little hands! As authors who get a traditional deal know, most publishers will send a huge box of copies to authors as part of their contract. Now I have a load of gorgeous first editions for future fun! Mwhahaha.

2. In terms of works in progress, I've made amazing word count advancements on my two draft manuscripts. WIP #1 is sitting at over 70,000 words, an increase of nearly 18,000 words for the month. In three weeks time, it'll be finished, and because I edit as I write, it'll be straight off to my critique partners. WIP #2 is now at 15,000, an increase of 9,000 words for the month. I've just sent this opening to my agent for her thoughts.

What does September hold?

Previous months:


Saturday, August 23, 2014

These books have a tale to tell!

It should have been easy. Awesome publisher sends excited author a box of their own hardback books as per the contract...

Except it wasn't! Because neither the awesome publisher nor excited author counted on those dark forces known as...Customs!

Last week, I was advised my author copies of THE DEVIL'S INTERN were being held by Australian Customs. They allowed two copies through, but a box of twenty was impounded. The reason? I had to prove excise tax wasn't due. Now, I've had issues before with the very diligent customs people here. When we emigrated, they impounded my shoes and my Christmas decorations. I got my shoes back. What I got back of my decorations was smashed beyond repair and had to be thrown away.

I sent an email to my editor. Did they send me gold-plated books? My editor was distraught that the surprise had been ruined!! Then I was distraught when I realised she was joking!! Both my editor and agent offered to get involved and write letters.

I did the maths for Customs. 20 books x retail value, then converted into Australian dollars did not equal excise tax. My brain was hurting by this point. I'm a writer, not a mathematician.

Clearly I am a mathematician though, because a week later, I phoned and was advised my books had been released.

And yesterday they arrived.


"Who has been reading my book?" said Mummy Bear. Oh, who cares! I have my author copies and they are beautiful and shiny.

And in a year's time, I'll probably have to go through this again when THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER is released!

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.

Monday, August 4, 2014


I always know something awesome has happened (overnight my time) when I wake up to an email exchange between my agent and my editor. Such an event occurred this weekend when I woke up to this.

It's hard to describe the feeling when you find out your first traditionally published novel has received a Kirkus starred review. We actually found out in April, it got published in the BEA 2014 special edition in May, but now it's officially online.

How did I feel? I burst into tears!

Nuff said!

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: