Year’s End

Friday, August 23, 2019

  In many ways my debut year was full of surprises. I received so many wonderful gifts that I hadn’t planned on—a blurb from one of the writers I most admire, positive reviews in outlets that still terrify me (can you say Kirkus, anyone?), pictures of my book purchased by friends old and new, near and far. I was truly surprised by how many friends not only bought the book…

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A Party for THE DREAM PEDDLER

Friday, August 16, 2019

  I considered not having a launch party for my book. I’m not a big fan of being the center of attention (which is funny, because when I was ten years old this was my favorite thing ever), and I didn’t want to hand sell books to close friends. I was excited for them to buy it—I just didn’t want to be the one selling it. But publishing a book…

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Interview with Lana Wood Johnson and Giveaway for TECHNICALLY, YOU STARTED IT

Saturday, August 10, 2019

  I am beyond thrilled to be hosting my agent sister, YA author Lana Wood Johnson, on the ball today! Lana was born and raised in Iowa in the time before the internet but has spent the rest of her life making up for that. After years working in wireless communication for companies of all sizes, she now works doing the same for a local youth shelter. Lana lives in Minnesota…

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Work in Progress

Friday, August 9, 2019

    I used to have this weird typo tic where I never got the acronym for work-in-progress right. It always came out WOP. I’ve even tweeted about my wop and never noticed until it was too late. Maybe there was something Freudian about this little tic. Because “wop” always makes me think about a cartoon where some character is being repeatedly bludgeoned over the head. Not that my works…

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They Could Have Named Her Anything

Friday, August 2, 2019

  Stephanie Jimenez’s astonishing debut novel follows the evolution of a friendship between Maria and Rocky, two seventeen-year-old students at a private girls’ school. In order for this youthful friendship to take center stage, both characters need to be incredibly rich and real, and I was so impressed with how well Stephanie pulls this off. The two teenagers felt so real, to me, in fact, I found they reminded me…

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Bluebeard’s Drawer

Friday, July 26, 2019

    I have two manuscripts in the drawer. Although they’re not actually in a drawer, and I have no idea where they went. They are so old now that I know not if any current software could even read them, so I’ve pretty much abandoned the idea of ever looking at them again. This may be for the best. The first time I wrote a book, I sat down…

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Why Can’t I Name Characters Not After Famous People

Friday, July 19, 2019

  Let’s see, hilarious mistakes. There is no doubt in my mind that I made far more of these than I can remember right now. Actually, I can remember a lot of mistakes I made, and I even caught a lot of them myself before we went to copy edits (that woman missed NOTHING I tell you), but they’re not particularly funny. One of the things I had to be…

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Interview with Christine Hyung-Oak Lee and Giveaway for TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU DON’T REMEMBER

I am so pleased to welcome debut author Christine Hyung-Oak Lee to The Debutante Ball! Lee is the author of the memoir Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember, which was featured in The New York Times, Self Magazine, Time Magazine, and NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Zyzzyva, Guernica, The Rumpus, and BuzzFeed, among other publications. She is a…

Saturday, July 13, 2019
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Cutting Room Floor

Friday, July 12, 2019

    When I finally felt as though I had a reasonable draft of The Dream Peddler, the one I began sending out to agents, it came in at right around seventy-nine thousand words. This was a nice length for a debut literary book, as in, appropriate to the genre and not so long as to be scary. I had cut many things, because I tend to go on and…

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TEMPER

Friday, July 5, 2019

    Damn, these debutante ladies are really teaching me some stuff. Constantly reminding me that I need to get out of my literary fiction rut and read books like this more often. This book is absolutely page-turningly fascinating and delicious in every way. Layne’s characters are so real that it feels like they might leap off the page and bite me, and I’m not sure if the bite will…

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