Will Hill
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  • April18th

    Happy Easter everyone! Or if you don’t celebrate Easter, Happy Bonus Days Off Work everyone!

    So, almost exactly a year since I wrote its Prologue, the final files of DEPARTMENT 19: ZERO HOUR have been approved, the last tiny corrections and amends have been made, and sometime in the next ten days or so, someone will press a great big red button marked PRINT and copies of the fourth book in the D19 series will start rolling off an equally giant conveyor belt. You can click here for the blog I posted after I went to see The Rising being printed and bound – it’s quite a thing to see, I can promise you.

    There are going to be several announcements over the next couple of weeks – an all-new Department 19 File (one that’s entirely FREE!) featuring one of the most popular characters in the series, and a lot of stuff about the publication of Zero Hour. But I wanted to just post up some pictures of the ZERO HOUR edit that took place over the winter – I did this last year, and a lot of people seemed to be interested (several other writers took up the baton and posted similar images – click on their names to see images from Adam Christopher, Kim Curran and Amy McCulloch) so I’m doing it again. I hope it shows how much work there is left to be done after a first draft is complete – and bear in mind that after this edit, there was a professional copyedit, a complete line-by-line edit, a professional proofread, and a final round of corrections. Typing THE END is really not even close to the truth :)

    Anyway – here, reduced down to glorious 10% size, are the pages of ZERO HOUR after I had done my main edit on them, with changes showing in red. This followed structural notes and an in-depth edit by my editor, and was my opportunity to really dig back into the book and improve it, which we definitely did. By making more than 30,000 edits :)

    Click on the images for bigger versions…








  • January15th

    This is a hard blog to write. So before I get into it a little bit, here are the headline facts:

    Department 19: Zero Hour is being delayed by two months.

    It will now be published in the UK on the 29th May, with the paperback publishing in January 2015.

    Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada, the English-language territories where HarperCollins publishes directly, should see a similar delay.

    Translations around the world should be unaffected, as should publication in the USA.


    First things first. I’m really sorry about this.

    I can’t really explain how it feels to know that there are people looking forward to something I’ve written, who are invested in the characters and the story and want to know what happens next. It’s kind of scary, and nerve-wracking, but it’s the very best bit about being an author, and it still amazes me every day.

    I don’t take it for granted, and I take my responsibilities to my readers very seriously.

    Which is why the book is being delayed. Because, to be absolutely up front with you, if we hadn’t delayed it, it wouldn’t have been as good as I want it to be.

    I’m not going to get too deeply into it all, but suffice it to say that last year was a tough one, full of upheaval and disruption and unexpected life stuff. My books are long (as you may have noticed!) and the schedules to get them into the shops a year apart have always been quite tight.

    If I wrote books that were 90,000 words long, there’d be no problem. But I don’t – the first draft of Zero Hour was 198,000 words, more than twice as long as most YA novels. And twice as many words means twice as much time to edit, and copyedit, and typeset, and proofread, and print.

    I handed Zero Hour in three months ago, my awesome, endlessly patient editor Nick went to work on it, I re-drafted, he line-edited, I re-drafted again. And it became clear to us both that there was no way it could be published at the end of March unless we essentially spell-checked it and printed it, right then.

    I wasn’t prepared to do that.

    Because I knew it still needed work. It was the best first draft I’ve written, I think, but I knew it could be better, that it would benefit exponentially from me having the time to take another pass through the text, to sharpen up the story, to deepen the characters, and polish the language.

    I go into each new book with the ambition that it will be the best thing I’ve written, because I should settle for nothing less.

    And neither should you. You shouldn’t be expected to spend your time and money on anything less than the very best work I can do.

    With that said, I’m pleased to say that Zero Hour (all 186,000 words of it, at last count) goes for final copyedit on Monday, and then to print next month.

    It will be out on the 29th May. And it will be the best book it could possibly be.

    Because if it isn’t, then really, what’s the point?

    Thanks for reading,


  • September27th


    Posted in: News

    Since I’ve nearly finished writing it, it’s publishing in just over six months (*panics*), and people keep asking me about it, here is the cover for the fourth book in the Department 19 series:

    Zero Hour final cover

    Pretty damn cool, huh? And yes, those are bear traps… :)

  • September20th

    In the summer, my UK publishers HarperCollins asked me to write a (very) short three-part D19 story that they could adapt into a series of animated graphic novels – we’ve done a lot of videos in the past, and they were keen to try and find a new way to bring the books to life visually. I’m a huge comic books fan, so I was delighted to write something, especially as I knew they were going to be realised by Tom Percival – author, artist, Skulduggery Pleasant illustrator, and all-round creative genius, who I’ve been lucky enough to have working on my stuff right from the start (check out his website here). The results were even more awesome as I was expecting!

    The first two were released over the last couple of months, and the final part has just gone live today, so now the story can be watched in its entirety. All three are embedded below –  hope you enjoy them…

    1: If You Go Down To The Woods…

    2: The New Recruit

    3: In At The Deep And Snowy End

  • July29th

    Am deep into the writing of D19 book four (which will have a title and a cover soon, I promise!) but as these have now started popping up on retail sites, I thought I’d give you a good look at the new covers for the UK paperback editions of the series. Battle Lines is published on Thursday (the 1st of August) and the first two will start showing up whenever they are next reprinted – probably sometime this summer…

    I love the new look, SO much – they’re a lot more exciting than the previous PB covers, which were very cool but didn’t really say much about the story. The new ones give a sense of some of the locations, the new tag line makes it clear these are vampire books, and most of all, they just look damn cool :)

    I hope you like them as much as I do – let me know in the comments section below…

    Department 19 new PB cover

    The Rising new PB cover

    Battle Lines new PB cover