February 22, 2010


This past November, needing something to kick-start a new book, I decided to write a novel in a month.

So . . .

After 29 days of intense writing, I typed the last words of OLIVIA BEAN, TRIVIA QUEEN. It's about a trivia-obsessed girl who will do anything to get on Jeopardy! . . . and to get her father back home. Throw in a goofy little "bother" who spouts gross trivia, a mom who loses her job at the local newspaper, her mom's (Ugh!) live-in boyfriend and an annoying boy next door, whom Olivia absolutely, positively does not like (except when she does) and you've got OLIVIA BEAN, TRIVIA QUEEN.

If you'd like to read about the experience of writing a novel in a month, click here. If you want to read about each day of NaNoWriMo, start here. (There's a fun trivia question at the end of each day.)

I sent a five-page synopsis of OLIVIA BEAN, TRIVIA QUEEN and the first fifty pages to my uber-agent, Tina Dubois Wexler. She sent them to my wonderful editor at Delacorte Press, Stephanie Lane Elliott.

Tina called with the delightful news that Stephanie has acquired rights to publish OLIVIA BEAN, TRIVIA QUEEN.

WAHOO! It will be my third novel with Stephanie and Delacorte Press.

For some reason, with the sale of a third novel, it feels like this is more than a lucky break . . . or two. This feels like a career. My career -- a career I've long dreamed of and worked toward.

As if that weren't enough good news, HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL comes out April 13th, and I'm busy preparing to speak at schools, bookstores and conferences. My schedule is filling fast, so if you'd like to arrange an author visit, please get in touch soon.

After that, AS IF BEING 12 3/4 ISN'T BAD ENOUGH, MY MOTHER IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT! comes out in paperback in time for summer reading -- May 25th.

Who knew that this nerdy kid, who used to ride her purple, banana-seat bike to the local library in Philadelphia would end up creating books that have landed on the shelves in that very library?

Although I'm a person of many words (Really. Ask my husband and kids.), I have only one to describe how I'm feeling: GRATEFUL!


Obsessedwithlife said...

Great News! Congrats!


Paul R. May said...

So excited for you, Donna!! You deserve every bit of this wonderful news!

Anonymous said...

Well, I would certainly argue that the first novel wasn't luck either, but I understand why the 3rd would feel so good. It's wonderful news for you and for everyone that appreciates your writing. You talented lady you.


Janeen Mason said...

Holy Cow, Donna! C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !!! I can't wait to read it! Love the title. A celebratory lunch involving Thai peanut sauce is in order!

--S said...

Donna, this is so awesome! We're so proud of you:) It really is a wonderful achievement!! Love, Susan and Steve

Jill Nadler said...


Deborahdux said...

Best news I've heard all year! You so deserve it, Donna. Al your hard work and talent is coming to fruition. I am so proud of you I could cry.

Pam Calvert said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I love hearing Nano success! (And your story sounds CUTE!) I'm already an avid fan! :-D

JKW said...

I can believe it - your writing is right on target. My grands loved the 12 1/2 mom for president book. 4 girl grands and it went through 3 of them. The youngest (11) thinks reading should only be done in a classroom - unfortunately she is missing out on a big beautiful world. . . . . Blessings, Janet

Mary Hershey said...

Completely IMPRESSIVE, Donna! Wow...

So happy for you, and I want to go on the celebratory lunch that involves Thai Peanut Sauce with you and Janeen! :-)

Love and happy, happy, squeezes and squeals,

Mary Hershey

P.S. Can we launch you over at Shrinking Violets in April?

David LaRochelle said...

The answer is: This talented children's author has proven with her third sold manuscript that hard work, skill, and winning personality equals success in the publishing industry.

The question is: Who is Donna Gebhart?

Congratulations on the wonderful news, Donna! This is going to be YOUR decade!

Anonymous said...

Wahoo! I'm happy dancing for you, Donna. Congrats on your sale--I can't wait to read it with my daughter. :)

Wow--I may have written my NaNo quickly, but this quick sale definitely makes you the NaNo Queen!

Vonna said...

It's great to hear of a NaNo success, but I'm sure that your talent and skill are what took this novel to such a happy ending.

Wild About Words said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind, funny, enthusiastic, creative, WONDERFUL comments.
With a world of appreciation,

Tracy Lucas said...

My banana-seat bike was electric yellow.

Congrats, on behalf of the writer-kids like me--are still pedaling furiously and hoping to add a Random House sale blog post of my own some distant day. :)

Well played. Enjoy it!

Wild About Words said...

Thanks for the great comment. I'll bet our banana seat bikes would have looked great riding next to each other.