About the Debutante Ball

The Debutante Ball, established in 2007, is a group blog for authors making their debut in the literary world. We are now in our twelfth season of celebrating up-and-coming authors. Former Debs include bestsellers in the genres of women’s fiction, mystery, literary fiction, nonfiction, young adult, and more.   Click on any of the photos above to learn about The Debutante Ball Class of 2019 and their books. Read about the bestselling…

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Wisdom from the Masters via Podcasts.

Today’s topic is tips and writing advice from teachers, mentors, and other inspirational figures. I’m going to start with a tip for how to find this advice: Podcasts! I may be late to the party but I only recently learned that you can use the search function on most podcast listening apps to find episodes featuring those authors you most admire. You just type, say, Tommy Orange, into the search…

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Interview with Jennifer Nissley, author of THE MYTHIC KODA ROSE

This week’s interview is with Jennifer Nissley, another of my agent siblings with whom I share the amazing Danielle Burby. THE MYTHIC KODA ROSE will be out on July 13th and has been described as an offbeat and romantic novel that follows a teen girl whose desire to find out more about her late rock star father rings her closer to the last person he expected. Sounds amazing! Read below…

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With eyes wide open

We’re blogging this week about writing advice, and my favorite piece of wisdom is an oldie but a goodie, and is something I’ve applied both to my writing and my life: Be a person upon whom nothing is lost.  This is paraphrased from the venerable Henry James, seen here looking like a big old bag of fun: The longer quote, published in his essay, “The Art of Fiction” in 1884,…

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Interview with Vera Kurian, author of NEVER SAW ME COMING

We are thrilled to welcome Vera Kurian to The Debutante Ball this week! NEVER SAW ME COMING is a debut thriller about Chloe Sevre, a young college student, and a psychopath, who has been recruited to take place in a secret university program to study psychopathic behavior. But when students at her university turn up dead, and when Chloe realizes she’s being targeted by the killer, Chloe and the other…

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A Deleted Scene from A Door Between Us

When I first read the prompt for this week’s blogpost, I thought, “deleted scenes? Do I have deleted scenes?” As a dedicated plotter who outlines and re-outlines every beat and scene of every story I’m working on, my editing is more about paragraph and sentence structure than the actual story. But then I went back and looked at an early version of DOOR and right there in the first chapter…

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Interview with Lilly Dancyger, author of NEGATIVE SPACE

We are thrilled to welcome Lilly Dancyger to The Debutante Ball this week! NEGATIVE SPACE is a touching and deeply honest memoir about grief, art, a daughter’s love, and trying to build a story out of fragments and empty space. Keep reading to learn about her journey to publication, her proudest moment as a writer, and her incredible memoir, NEGATIVE SPACE. Share or comment below for a chance to win a…

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[News Flash] June 7, 2021

Many thanks to our last two guest authors, Laura Brooke Robson and Brenda Peynado! Laura Brooke Robson spoke to us about her debut GIRLS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, a fascinating story about snarky girls and climate peril. Read her interview here. And Brenda Peynado spoke to us about her debut short story collection, THE ROCK EATERS, a series of fabulist stories about love transcending barriers. Read her interview…

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Interview with Brenda Peynado, author of THE ROCK EATERS

We are thrilled to welcome Brenda Peynado to The Debutante Ball this week! THE ROCK EATERS is a haunting and genre-bending collection of short stories that reflect our flawed world, and the incredible, terrifying and marvelous nature of humanity. Keep reading to learn about her journey to publication, her experience working in an emergency veterinary clinic, and her debut collection, THE ROCK EATERS. Share or comment below for a chance…

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All the Scenes That Never Made It Into The Tiger Mom’s Tale

There have been so many deleted scenes from my debut, THE TIGER MOM’S TALE, which comes out in just 5 short weeks. I wrote the first draft of this book in 2015, and then completely re-wrote it in 2018. It is the story of a biracial personal trainer, Lexa, living in NYC, and having to confront her Taiwanese heritage which she’s mostly ignored, when her estranged Taiwanese father passes away…

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Back to the future: Misadventures in exposition

If you’re thinking of writing a novel and wondering where to start your story, a good rule of thumb is: Start as close to the end as possible.  There are many reasons for this, among them that your story should be focused and not meander, readers have short attention spans, and 1000 page sprawling Tolstoyian dramas are unlikely to become bestsellers. But often, we don’t know where the end is….

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