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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Blooper Reel: Is it “Duke”? “The Duke”? or “Sir Duke”?

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, composer, pianist, and jazz orchestra leader, plays a pivotal role in the life of Omar Bassari, one of my main characters in The Talking Drum. Omar is a drummer growing up in a small village in Senegal. He’s been training to become a master drummer under his father Ibrahim’s direction. One day, in the mid-1960s, Ibrahim pulls him aside to tell him of an important event…

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[News Flash] July 5, 2020

We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s interview and book giveaway with Nicole Mabry @fornickels author of  PAST THIS POINT. RETWEET OR SHARE for a chance to win a copy of her book! Interview (and Book Giveaway) with Nicole Mabry, author of Past This Point @DebutanteBall #ClassOf2020 #guest #author   News from the Class of 2020 Debs: Lisa Braxton invites you to watch her recent interview about The Talking Drum sponsored by the…

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Interview (and Book Giveaway) with Nicole Mabry, author of Past This Point

It is my pleasure to welcome Nicole Mabry to the Debutante Ball today! Nicole and I have met virtually through our Debut Authors of Color group. PAST THIS POINT, an apocalyptic women’s fiction thriller, tells the story of one woman and her dog fighting to survive during a deadly virus outbreak that renders New York City a ghost town. About Nicole Nicole Mabry grew up in Northern California but has lived in…

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Cutting Room Floor for The Goddess Twins

There is quite a bit that was shed from the original manuscript of The Goddess Twins to what has resulted in the published version that’s available today. When I was writing this story, I worked off of an outline, and even from the outline there are things that shifted and changed. I have found that the writing process can be like finding your way through a labyrinth. I am grateful…

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I deleted so many scenes… pretty much an entire book of them.

Back in 2016, Architects of Memory had a different title, a different premise, and a far different execution than the version that landed with Tor. The planet Tribulation was only supposed to be the first stop on what was intended to be a galaxy-spanning adventure. In the second chapter, ship’s doctor Reva Sharma mentions that the crew should go to Europa Station to deliver the weapon to Auroran R&D. In…

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All (well, some) of the Cuts from Kathleen’s Debut

We’re talking about deleted scenes this week, and there were so many iterations of Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes that I don’t know where to start. Here are a few of the major and minor cuts I made during the four years I worked on the novel: A very minor character named Erin Warner used to be a POV character. In fact, the chapters that are now Tracy’s were originally…

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A Deleted Scene from The Talking Drum

I deleted so many scenes from The Talking Drum over the years in which I was revising it that I had a hard time choosing which one to feature in this blog. I finally settled on a scene in which my character Sydney, who co-owns The Talking Drum Bookstore and Cultural Center with her husband, is desperate to unload a set of encyclopedias her husband purchased. She doesn’t think anyone…

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Interview (and book giveaway) with Jeni McFarland, author of The House of Deep Water

It is my pleasure to welcome Jeni McFarland to the Debutante Ball today! Jeni and I have met virtually through our fellowships at Kimbilio, a national residency for fiction writers of the African diaspora. The House of Deep Water has been described as a stunning and perceptive debut perfect for fans of The Mothers and Olive Kitteridge. It made Bustle’s 23 Debut Books That Are Too Good To Ignore, Salon‘s…

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Let the Children Read Whatever They Want

I was just chatting with my sixteen-year-old son yesterday about reading. “Remember how everyone loves reading when they’re in second, third, and fourth grades?” he asked. I mean, yes. I remember this quite well. My little cherub was a voracious reader, downing series after series — Percy Jackson, The Secrets of Droon, Warriors, My Weird School, and a million other things. “What happened?” I asked him. Because now, he reads…

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The worlds my parents gave me

One of the most exciting things about becoming a mom was buying all the books. Seriously! Other people might concentrate on things like onesies, baby wipes, bouncers and cribs. I did enjoy putting all of that together—my daughter’s nursery is outer space-themed, because I’m just that predictable. For me, though, good parenting also involved making sure that my daughter had the proper reading material. Like I said. I’m predictable. My…

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