The Financial Reality of Being an Author or Don’t Quit Your Dayjob

Monday, April 15, 2019

I just finished doing my taxes this past weekend, so this week’s topic about the financial reality of being an author is especially appropriate. Once you’ve stuck a proverbial toe into the publishing world, either as a new author or if you’ve just started querying, you quickly realize that the bestsellers and millionaires that get splashed across headlines and festivals are the exceptions that prove the rule. Nobody sane writes…


Like a Dream

Monday, April 8, 2019

“People always say that, don’t they? People think hope can be raised or lowered like a flag, and it’s not like that at all. It’s in your chest no matter what. I couldn’t have pushed it off if I tried. I’d been stabbed in the heart, but the hope… No, it was just like a rock.” It’s going to be tough describing a book like The Dream Peddler without descending…


An Introductory Guide to Researching Your Next Novel

Monday, April 1, 2019

I’ve already talked a little about my research into the world around Ghadid in the Perfect Assassin – books and books and days spent in the University library – but I’ve never really talked about the how of it. How did I do the research. How did I find those books. How did I take what I’d learned and weave it into a story. It’s all about the references, really. And the bibliographies. You’ve gotta start…


Interview with Claire Bartlett + Giveaway of WE RULE THE NIGHT!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

This week, we are so thrilled to welcome amazing human and debut YA author Claire Bartlett to the Debutante Ball! Claire is my agent-sibling and our publishing journey has been in (mostly) parallel for the last year or so. I am so, so excited for the world to finally read her brilliant debut novel, We Rule the Night, a complex and kind-hearted take on female relationships and self-determination with magic!!…


A Sunrise, A Coffee, A Long Walk

Monday, March 25, 2019

This week we’re sharing what our perfect day might look like, which I suppose might say a lot about ourselves. I’ve been lucky enough in my life to get real close to perfect more than once, so I’ve got a pretty good grasp on what would make up my perfect day – in case any benevolent god is listening in.   After living in Arizona for six years, I know…


What’s Important

My book is out tomorrow. My book. Is out. Tomorrow. That is a weird thing to say. A weird thing to type. A weird thing to think. Just two years ago, I was writing The Perfect Assassin. I was carefully setting goals and timelines and getting up early and writing during naps and writing in the middle of the night – forget about sleeping when baby sleeps: write when baby…

Monday, March 18, 2019

Interview with Soniah Kamal

Saturday, March 16, 2019

I’m so excited to welcome Soniah Kamal to the Debutante Ball this week! Her novel UNMARRIAGEABLE, has been described as a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan. It’s been an Amazon Best Books Pick, a Library Reads Pick, and featured in People Magazine. NPR said it’s “a fun, page-turning romp and a thought-provoking look at the class-obsessed strata of Pakistani society,” Publisher’s Weekly gave it a starred review…


The World of The Perfect Assassin

Monday, March 11, 2019

As the only fantasy Deb this year, I’ve been looking forward to the topic of worldbuilding since, well, we first started. This is my jam, my butter, my easily spreadable confection of choice. Some people say worldbuilding is hard, but I can’t seem to stop. All it takes is a seed and a little water and it all but grows itself. The seed for Ghadid was a line in a…


It’s Not Personal

Monday, March 4, 2019

There’s a certain allure to personality tests, as if answering a few (or a hundred) questions might just finally crack open the complex mystery that is you. We all know they’re not scientific, not in the least, and yet spending a few minutes and actually thinking about our own tendencies, our own desires, our own framework, can help us understand why we do some of the things we do. Why…


Plot!Walks, Plot!Runs, and Other Sources of Inspiration

Monday, February 25, 2019

Like most writers, everything in my life is a potential source for inspiration. Overhearing a conversation in a cafe. A coworker’s funny story about Alaska. A 12 hour drive through the backwoods of Florida at night after a hurricane, where the roads are covered in debris and your friend in the passenger seat keeps talking about that time their friend tried to drive through a puddle and it turned out…