So this is it. The Last Dance. Okay, technically, it’s not really the LAST dance, just the last one as an actual Debutante. I and my fellow 2007 Debs are turning, like Jess Riley’s little caterpillars turned into monarch butterflies, into Founders.
If you regular readers (god bless ya!) are having anxiety attacks at the mere thought of being without your favorite Deb, have no fear, we’ll each be here on rotating Saturdays, just like a shared custody agreement. So check in on the weekend once in a while, won’t you?
And now, as I refuse to get all weepy about how proud I am of my fellow Founders and how beautifully they’ve handled this year, I am, instead, going to introduce you all to our new 2008 Debutantes:
Debutante Danielle Younge-Ullman lives in Toronto with her husband, her toddler and their dog. Her first novel, FALLING UNDER, is a fresh, sparely written coming-of-age story and bittersweet romance, about a young woman, Mara Foster, struggling with her identity as she breaks free of a turbulent past and heads toward an uncertain future. We’ll all be lucky enough to get it from Plume/Penguin in August 2008.
Debutante Jenny Gardiner lives in Virginia with her husband and three kids and more pets than she needs. Her humorous yet poignant award-winning debut novel, SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER, is about Claire Doolittle, who once was swept off her feet by Mr. Right, only to find herself 5 kids and 15 years later married to Mr. Always Right. Now about the only sweeping in her world involves a broom and dustpan, and she’s decided it’s time to fix what’s wrong in her life before it’s too late. This promising debut will be released by Dorchester in February 2008.
Debutante Lisa Daily lives in Florida and is a relationship expert who appears every week on Daytime, a syndicated morning TV show. She’s the author of the bestselling dating advice book, Stop Getting Dumped! : All you need to know to make men fall madly in love with you and marry “The One” in three years or less. Her novel FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME will be out in March 2008 from Plume/Penguin and explores what happens when America’s favorite TV dating expert, Darby Vaugn, finds out on national television that her husband is cheating. To make matters worse, her fans are turning on her, her book sales have tanked and her love life is fodder for late night television. (And before I get any sort of guff about her NOT being a debut author, she is making her FICTION debut, so there.)
Debutante Gail Konop Baker’s Literary Mama column “Bare-breasted Mama” made its debut in October of 2006, (you might remember it from our News Flash Friends of the Debs! sections). Her memoir, CANCER IS A BITCH: REFLECTIONS ON MIDLIFE, MORTALITY, MOTHERHOOD AND MARRIAGE will be published by Da Capo Press, October 2008. Gail also marks the first non-fiction Debutante on the Ball. I think once you read her writing you’ll agree that we had to have her.
Debutante Jess Riley lives in a drafty old house in Wisconsin with her husband and a neurotic dog that despises public radio. Her novel, RIDING WITH LARRY RESNICK tells the story of Leigh Fielding, a twenty-eight year-old kidney transplant recipient who—six years, hundreds of dialysis sessions, and a million bad poems after being diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease—finally feels strong enough to pursue a few lofty goals she’s been mulling for years: find herself, her deceased kidney donor Larry Resnick’s family, and the mother that abandoned her decades ago. It will be published by Random House in the Summer of 2008.
And you just might remember Debutante Eileen Cook, who lives and works in Vancouver Canada, and who has graced The Debutante Ball’s pages with her wit and wisdom since the very first waltz. Her day job is as a counselor for individuals with disabilities. Since this provides her with too much reality, she turned to writing where she can control the ending. Her first, long-awaited novel, UNPREDICTABLE, will be a Penguin/Berkley lead title in February 2008.
And a final message to the 2008 Debutantes (get out your hanky, Dusty):
I am so very delighted with you all. You’ve each proven as dedicated and enthusiastic about this new venture as the Founders were a year ago, and I am thrilled to turn The Debutante Ball over to your capable hands. Your fresh take on the road leading to the publication of your debut books will no doubt please our regular readers and bring in new ones to discover your talent. I wish you all great success on The Ball and with your gorgeous debuts.