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Tour Stop: DEVIANT by Helen Fitzgerald and her Journey to Publication

Posted by on June 10, 2013

I’m excited to be the opening stop on Helen Fitzgerald’s DEVIANT blog tour – hitting shelves June 2013 from Soho Teen. It’s a pretty interesting – and seemingly creepy, by the look of that cover – read. Here’s a little bit about the book, along with a guest post!


When 16-year-old Abigail’s mother dies in Scotland–leaving a faded photo, a weirdly cryptic letter, and a one-way ticket to America–she feels nothing. Why should she? Her mother gave her away when she was a baby, leaving her to grow up on an anti-nuclear commune and then in ugly foster homes. But the letter is a surprise in more ways than one: Her father is living in California. What’s more, Abigail discovers she has an eighteen-year-old sister, Becky. And the two are expecting Abigail to move in with them.

After struggling to overcome her natural suspicions of a note from beyond the grave (not to mention anything positive) Abigail grows close to her newfound sister. But then Becky is found dead, the accidental victim of an apparent drug overdose. As Abigail wrestles with her feelings and compiles a “Book of Remembrance” of her sister’s short life, she uncovers a horrifying global plot aimed at controlling teen behavior: one that took her sister’s and mother’s lives, with vast implications.

One of the worst things that can happen to a writer is that your editor leaves the publishing house. This one person has championed your writing from day one, sold it to the sales and marketing team, edited it, improved it, marketed it, marketed you, believed in you. If they leave, the passion behind you and your book can go up in smoke. Your career can be over. I know this has been the case for many writers.

Two years ago, I sold my first YA (Amelia O’Donohue is SO not a Virgin) to Daniel Ehrenhaft, then working at Source Books. We clicked immediately, liked the same books, relished in different, feisty female characters and in unusual stories that crossed genres and broke rules. Conversations with Daniel left me feeling excited and motivated. After talking to him, I’d run to my desk and write for days on end.

We were both very excited about this first book, but Daniel moved on to another job before it was published and while Source Books went on to do a great job, I missed his passion and – most of all – our connection.

But… One of the best things that can happen to a writer is that you click with an editor to such an extent that you will find a way to work together again no matter what.

A year after my first YA came out, Daniel phoned to say he was starting a new imprint. He asked if I had any ideas. I told him I had quite a few. He loved one of them, made suggestions as to how it could be turned into a book, and co-developed it with me. The fun Skype calls, the motivation and the passion, had returned. And hey presto, Deviant. Out June 11 with Soho Teen.

Helen  Fitzgerald

Helen FitzGerald is the second youngest of thirteen children. She grew up in the small town of Kilmore, Victoria, Australia, and studied English and History at the University of Melbourne. Via India and London, Helen came to Glasgow University where she completed a Diploma and Masters in Social Work. She worked as a probation and parole officer for ten years. She’s married to screenwriter Sergio Casci, and they have two children.

Find Helen on her Website | Twitter | Facebook
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  1. Art or vandalism? Um, it depends I suppose. In our town we have “professional” graffitist come and decorate the back alleys. It looks downright awesome!!
    Pretty exciting look book! And cool to find out the author is Australian!! Yay!! :)

  2. Thanks for taking part in the tour, Hafsah!

    Personally, I think graffiti is sometimes vandalism and sometimes art. It kind of depends on the intention of the graffitist, right? In my town, there's a “Yarn Bomber” who knits cozies for street signs and other bits of public property. He or she uses some of the most hideous yarn imaginable (think 1970s afghans), but I still think it's pretty cool.

  3. This looks great! Love that cover, too ; ) I always wonder if the author has any life experience that they put into their books? Thanks for sharing with us and Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  4. I also love graffiti. In Slovenia many of our trains have graffiti on them (not on purpose – someone did them when no one was watching…). Majority of our society thinks it's ugly and that it's not good for the railway's reputation, but I find them refreshing and our trains look cool! B-)
    And the cover of this book is really beautiful. I hope I get to read it soon!

    Inx from Inklings of two Booklings

  5. I love the cover. I saw it and immediately wanted to read it. I love how expressive it is but at the same time so ambiguous. I can't wait to read Deviant

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