Archive for year 2012


So What’s the next big thing – eh – Sarah?Well read on… Wendy Loveday says it so much better than I do!‘Two weeks ago, writer, Adrienne Dines tagged me in her post The Next Big Thing and today it’s my turn! Basically, I have ten questions to answer about my Work in Progress and then I have to tag five other writers who will tell you about their latest novel next Wednesday. So…let the games begin!’

The Next Big Thing

By Sarah Mussi

What is the working title of your book?

The working title of my next book is SIEGE. It’s the REAL title too! Hodder liked it – more than liked it. The cover designer loved it and made the whole cover the title you can see it on my facebook author page…
Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea for the book came from a school I once worked in. There really was someone living in the ceiling. The rest is from a very dark place that is hard to talk about.


What genre does your book fall under?

Definitely YA. Probably Thriller.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’d like an all new cast picked from kids who are passionate about screen, who need that chance, who are hungry to get a break.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I’ll have a go at that oneliner…

SIEGE is a disturbing story about what could happen, what might happen to disaffected youngsters in a rapidly disintegrating society…

Unable to intervene, a horrified nation watch as their future, their brightest and their best, are systematically butchered in front of their eyes; their only hope lies with Leah, sixteen, unarmed and hiding in the ceilings of the school.

Oh dear … that was two lines.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

SIEGE is represented by Ed Victor and published by Hodder. Launch date: March 2013
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took a year all in all, but the first initial draft, after all the planning took three weeks.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I think the nearest book might be WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Who or What inspired you to write this book?

A growing sense of alarm at how easily we accept violence as a part of every day life.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

SIEGE is totally gripping. It leaves you breathless, scared to turn to the next page, yet unable not to.

It will change the way you see teenagers forever.

And here’s the prologue:


The Before Time


In the time before the shooting I was Leah Thompson, sixteen years old. I had one brother of fourteen, Connor; one sister, six, called Sally. No dad. Not one that I’d ever met, anyway. A mum with depression.

In the before time, I took care of everyone

It was quite simple.

If I didn’t take care of them I wouldn’t have a family.

Neither would Sally nor Connor.

But nothing is ever that simple, is it?


… more coming soon…







Guardian top tips

Writing tips in the Guardian!

Get more tips from me on the Guardian Children’s Book site!

Sarah Mussi painting

ANGEL DUST Summer Drawing Competition



Enter our ANGEL DUST summer drawing competition for the chance to win this signed original painting by Sarah Mussi!

To enter – draw or paint an angel or seraph and post it to Sarah’s Facebook page before 5pm on 31 August 2012.

The winner will win Sarah Mussi’s painting and a signed copy of ANGEL DUST. Five runners-up will each receive a signed copy of the book.





Terms and conditions
1.    To enter the competition you must be resident of the UK or the ROI.
2.    Drawings/paintings can be made on any size paper and any materials can be used but the picture must be scanned or photographed and posted to Sarah Mussi’s Facebook page.
3.    We will only accept digital copies of the drawing/painting and will not accept physical copies.
4.    The competition is open to 11-18 year-olds.
5.    The competition is not open to employees (or members of their immediate families) of Bonnier Publishing.
6.    Only one entry per person.
7.    Entries must be submitted by 5pm on 31 August 2012. Hot Key Books reserves the right to amend the competition end date at any time.
8.    There will be one winner and five runners-up (from all eligible entries).
9.    Our decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
10.  The winner and runners-up will be informed on Facebook after 5pm on 31 August 2012.
11.  The prize will not be transferable to another person.
12.  No part of the prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize.
13.  The competition is run by Hot Key Books, Northburgh House, 10 Northburgh Street, London EC1V 0AT


Angel Dust – SPOTTED in Foyles!

Serafina is here! She’s looking out at the world from this bookstore. Wonder what she makes of Kings Cross?

Probably getting ready to fly off the shelf!



Things I will soon be up to!

2nd August

Most important date: ANGEL DUST PUB DAY (no NOT Pub Crawl Day, silly!)

It’s the day Serafina will open her wings and soar out on her first visit to the world, her maiden voyage, her solo flight. Find out what happens when she lands in the city and faces real life!



3rd August

Then I will fly away myself – sadly not on angel wings, but on Virgin Airways! And spend all of August in Ghana: writing, writing, writing. I will update the world from the jungles of West Africa on full stops and other useful things.

1st September

I’ll be back!


Meanwhile watch out for me in other unlikely places: the papers, the blogs and of course the bookshops!


Writing Tips


So you want to be a writer? Well, do you? Do you? Do you?

(Or do you want to be famous… and rich… and live forever… and make your mark on posterity… and move your audience to great emotions through your power of words… and hobnob with BIG names… and have your biographers create the film of YOU?)

Well you’ve just clicked on the right page! Because luckily all the above is very possible (we know it is: we’ve seen it happen to others) and as well as all that, we can write a book that will give its reader a great read.

And that’s what comes first: giving the reader a great read.

So this site is dedicated to all readers.

Dear Reader, I solemnly pledge to do everything in my power to pass on anything I’ve ever learned, in that never ending journey towards giving you the best read of your life, on this site.

Let the Best Read of Your Life Quest begin!

My first challenge in the quest was to find out what readers wanted from a book. I asked one hundred young adults between the ages of 12 – 19 this question. Below are some of their answers:

  • A special world that’s mine all mine
  • A character who will be my friend
  • A plot so exciting I don’t want to put the book down
  • I want to learn about things
  • I don’t want to be bored (aka: I’m intelligent – you know – as well as you!)
  • I want to feel bigger and better and different when I’ve finished reading it.
  • It should be meaningful.

There were a lot more answers (you try it, and you’ll see you get quite a few silly ones too), but most of them said something like the above.  So into the Cauldron of Success needs to go the following ingredients to make ‘the gruel thick and slab’!

Special worlds

Characters you like



Page turning

New learnings


Life changing things

Bigger and better and different realities


So that’s some of the ingredients for giving the reader a great read. All you need to do for now is : stir well. Check for taste. Add more of any if needed.


Coming soon: Challenge Two of:

The Best Read of Your Life Quest

Post 2:  What actually is ‘A Special World’?


Welcome to my new site!

Hello all of YOU!

And welcome to the brand new shiny website of me, Sarah Mussi, author of ANGEL DUST and massive fan of YA fiction.

Here you can find out more about ME, what I’m up to, my books and the things that have helped me with my writing. And here I can find out more about YOU and what you like reading and what you’re writing and all things YA-ish.

So stay in touch – have your say – on twitter – or facebook – or on this site!


X Sarah





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