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!

Friday, October 31, 2014

October 2014 accomplished!

October! Mental! Mad! Release exhaustion! Definitely my busiest month of the year (publishing wise) so far. This is what I managed in the thirty-one days of the witching month - (breathing was thankfully compulsory!):

1. Release day for THE DEVIL'S INTERN came and went! It was slightly surreal. My book is in bookstores in the US, but I live in Australia and felt slightly detached from it all. I received so much goodwill in messages, but I would have loved to have experienced it firsthand with a proper release party and cake! (Gotta have cake!)

2. I received the trifecta of great reviews with Booklist joining Kirkus and SLJ in publishing their thoughts of INTERN. "Dead funny and dead serious" really sums it up!

3. Dear Teen Me asked me to write a letter to my sixteen-year-old self. I wanted to be optimistic because life has treated me pretty well, even if being sixteen sucked! I was also featured with several other authors on Teen Reads with my brief musings on Halloween.

4. Talking of teens, I was invited to speak with a High School Book Club in my home city about INTERN and my thoughts on publishing. So many were really clued up on the industry. They also received my first signed copy of INTERN! (By the time I get to New York, I will have a better signature!!)

5. More teens news. Last night (11pm my time) I took part in a great Skype chat with another High School Book Club, but this one was in Ohio, USA. I'm not sure I was that conscious during it, having been awake since 4am, but the students were smart and knew what they were talking about. They really dissected THE DEVIL'S INTERN and reminded me of the times when I used to theorise about Harry Potter! A couple of them even guessed plot lines for the next book.

6. Proving nothing stops in publishing, not even for new releases, I spent most of the month revising my 2015 releases. QUEST OF THE ARTISAN has been through my critique partners and is now getting some serious editorial attention. THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER is through its second round of revisions with my publishing house, and I expect at least one more round before we go to the copy-edit stage.

7. I am so enjoying working on just one WIP and it's definitely a way that I'm going to take forward from this point on. Gotta say, DEVIL'S 3 is shaping up really nicely. My aim is to get it to my agent by the end of November and I'm definitely on course to hit that target.

November is going to be AMAZEBALLS because I'm off to New York, New York! Expect lots of squeals as I get to meet my agent and editor for the first time. There WILL be cocktails!


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

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...


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?!!


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.

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!

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.

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. I now own a Tumblr account. I am loving this style of blogging. 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:


Tuesday, July 22, 2014


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:


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:


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:


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:

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)