Today on the blog, I’d like to introduce you to fellow author Donna Hosie. She is represented by Beth Phelan of The Bent Agency, who is also my agent. I decided to get to know Donna through her books on my own accord and my opinion here is unbiased and honest
To share a bit about her, I can tell you that Donna Hosie is a hybrid YA author and full time geek. She is originally from England and currently resides in Australia with her husband, three children, and a crazy Golden Retriever named after Harry Potter! Her first foray into writing came about when Warner Bros and EA Games asked her to be a fan consultant on the Order of the Phoenix computer game (How fun is that?!) After this experience, she turned to fan fiction and eventually wrote her own time-traveling novels while studying for an BA in Modern Languages. Donna loves anything fantastical as evidenced in her books: RETURN TO CAMELOT trilogy, THE RING OF MORGANA (May 2014), THE DEVIL’S INTERN (Holiday House, October 2014) and THE DEVIL’S DREAMCATCHER (Holiday House, Fall 2015).
I can also tell you—after reading her novel SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR—that she is loads of fun, and that if she is as funny in person as she is in her books, I definitely want to go party with her!
I have posted a short review on her novel, which you can read on Amazon or Goodreads. But today I’m here to learn a bit more about this amazing author. So Donna, I have only a key, few questions for you:
Tell us a bit about yourself as an author, what inspires you? What does a day of writing look for you?
I’m inspired by classical music, the environment and myths and legends. I can hear a piece of music and visualise a scene. The same with an everyday landscape. As a child I was obsessed with Greek mythology, and that still holds true today, only I’ve expanded into every kind of myth and legend because I like the concept that every legend has its foundation in a truth.
A day of writing is a dream! I work full time as a Government Public Servant, and so writing fits around that and my family. So I get up at 4am – yes, that’s 4am and not a typo! I write before work, and then when I get home at 6pm, I’ll usually do another hour or two, in between the laundry and homework and housework. It’s very hard, and so with a couple of nice book deals under my belt already this year (Agent Beth is Agent Awesome!), I’m hoping to be able to become a full time writer in the next couple of years.
Recently you wrote a post on being a Hybrid Author, knowing what you now know, would you do anything different in your career path?
It’s funny. Everyone who contacts me nowadays wants to know about being a hybrid author. I seem to have inadvertently become a poster girl for it! I would certainly advocate indie publishing as well as pursuing the traditional route. It’s incredibly fulfilling. I wouldn’t do anything different in my career path, even knowing what I know now. The rejections (and occasionally tears) have made me the author I am today. If I could give one little nugget of advice to aspiring authors out there, it would be to not take rejections too personally. If you are determined, and you continue to learn and improve, you will succeed in traditional publishing. I absolutely believe that. Just be prepared for it to take YEARS, not months.
In Searching For Arthur I picked up several allusions to stories like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, how have classics like these ones influenced your writing and which are your favorites?
This is a great question. I loved THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE as a child, and as an adult I’m a total Potterhead! I guess fantasy novels like HIS DARK MATERIALS by Philip Pullman and the Tolkien novels have given me permission to be as creative as I want as a writer. I don’t think any issue should be out of bounds, but more than anything, even when writing fantasy, you have to give a story heart and soul. The fantastical has to be believable, because your readers need to care.
Rapid fire questions
Pantser or Outliner
An absolute pantser. I can’t outline to save my life. I enjoy the organic process of drafting and seeing where characters take me. I usually don’t have a denouement planned until about 5 chapters from the end!
eBook or hardback
Both. Stephen Fry tweeted a great quote along the lines of “books are no more threatened by ereaders as stairs are threatened by escalators.” That made me laugh. Choice is good.
What book(s) are you reading right now?
I am DESPERATELY waiting for THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater to be delivered, so I’m rereading HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE for the zillionth time. I’m also reading my publisher’s galley of THE DEVIL’S INTERN which we release in October, (that counts, right?!)
Type or hand write?
Type. Oh dear lord, a book would take me centuries to write if I did it by hand, and then it would have to be rewritten because I wouldn’t be able to read any of it!