News Flash: September 4, 2011

Congratulations to donnas, who won Amanda Kyle Williams’ The Stranger You Seek!

From the 2012 Debs…

Deb Erika is thrilled to announce that her novel, LITTLE GALE GUMBO, is a Goodreads giveaway for the next two weeks! Go on over and throw your hat in the ring for one of 25 copies!

Deb Linda is happy to have survived her initiation into Deb-hood without her head falling off. Much.

Deb Molly is excited about a brand-new class she’s teaching this semester, an intensive monthly workshop for YA & children’s book writers called, appropriately, the YA & Children’s Writing Workshop. (And you do NOT want to know how long it took to come up with that title!)

Deb Joanne is also delighted to have survived her first post without too much ridicule and finger-pointing.

Deb Rachel is ringing in Labor Day with some new friends. Of the human and Skinny Girl Margarita variety.

Past Deb News

Deb Eleanor‘s penultimate 2011 event will be at the Englewood Public Library in Englewood, CO, on Thursday, September 8th at 6:30 pm. Come say hello if you’re local (or if you’re not – Colorado’s really pretty)!

Deb Kim had a pre-interview with BBC’s Outlook radio programme (see how Brit she is?)  The half hour interview will take place this month, details to follow.

Deb Jenny will be in Manhattan on Wednesday September 7 at the launch of Wade Rouse‘s humorous dog anthology I’M NOT THE BIGGEST BITCH IN THIS RELATIONSHIP. With a powerhouse list of contributing authors, the book has garnered a lot of early buzz and the party should be a blast. Anyone around NY/NJ/CT who can stop in for champagne, authors and dogs (what’s not to love?!), feel free to do so at Trixie + Peanut Dog Emporium, 23 East 20th Street, 5-8 pm. Bitch is an Indie pick for September, and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Ladies Home Journal. Some proceeds benefit the Humane Society of the US so please do check it out on Amazon!

Oh also Deb Jenny’s novel SLIM TO NONE is approaching a top ten list on Amazon–it’s up there with Chelsea Handler and Tina Fey, so go check it out and help Deb Jenny climb the list!

Friends of the Debs

If you’re in the Atlanta, GA metro area, don’t forget to check out the Decatur Book Festival this weekend, featuring Friends of the Debs like Tayari Jones, Amanda Kyle Williams, Joshilyn Jackson, Alma Katsu, Elizabeth Stuckey-French, Libba Bray, Holly Tucker, Holly LeCraw, A.J. Mayhew, and over 300 other wonderful authors.

Deb Dish — Tell us five things that are in your purse right now

Deb Joanne

This will be the lamest answer ever, because I’m really not a purse gal and tend to keep things very minimalist, but here goes: wallet with all the standard stuff, pen, lip balm from bath and body works, Tide pen (I’m a bit of a spaz when I eat sometimes) and a spare hair elastic.  Sorry to disappoint – my next dish will be way more interesting, I promise!

Deb Erika

The running joke in our family is that I am Helen Hunt’s sister from Mad About You, you know the one who pulls umbrellas out of her purse? You really never know what is in there, but usually if you need it (you know,  for when you run into MacGyver), I’ve got it. For example, today in my purse I have a pair of my daughter’s socks (clean, but that isn’t always a given), a dispenser of Band-Aids given out at my husband’s medical insurance meeting, a Maine State Ferry service schedule, a tube of Smith’s Rosebud lip salve, and a paper coaster from Sebago Brewing Company.

Deb Molly

Does anyone else make sure a purse is large enough to hold your journal before buying it? Whenever I shop for handbags, I always end up standing in the middle of the store, trying to shove notebooks into each bag. Salespeople love me. Anyway, my current purse is shaped like a carpet-bag, wider at the bottom than the top, and though it doesn’t actually look that big, I can fit my journal, datebook, phone, wallet, keys, twenty pens and a hundred different tubes of lipgloss, a sweater in case it gets cold, and usually some kind of lunch if I’m heading to work. And yesterday at Costco I managed to shove two giant clamshells of blueberries into it, so I wouldn’t have to carry them around the store. Win!

Deb Rachel

I too seem to keep a little of everything in my purse. Handbags are to me what shoes were to Carrie Bradshaw (minus the $500 price tag). In fact, the navy blue number I’m carrying right now is a one-week old newbie. I’m reaching in and here are the first five things I pull out: overstuffed wallet full of receipts I need to log in my business expenses, empty envelope that I think once held a paycheck, a pair of $7 Walgreens headphones, two sets of vintage dice I just bought at an antique shop, a voice recorder (because you’ll never know when you need to log an interview? I have no idea.)

Deb Linda

Ha! Tough to narrow it down — it’s more like what don’t I have in my purse.  I like to be prepared for any eventuality. Let’s see, aside from the usual stuff, like wallet and keys…1. one of those cut-off stocking things they give out at shoe stores, because you never know when you’re going to try on shoes someplace that’s out of them, 2. my Kindle, 3. a tiny screwdriver for fixing glasses 4. emergency chocolate, and 5. a crap-ton of old grocery store receipts. Yes, I really need to clean out my purse.


Deb Joanne Says Hello!

So this is my first post, and the first post of the 2012 Debs, as we receive the baton passed from the awesome, shiny, talented and just absolutely lovely class of 2011 Debs.  Wow, these are some big shoes to fill and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m nervous about trying to live up to the legacy that Kim, Sarah, Eleanor, Elise and Tawna and all the past groups have created.

Well, I’d better just jump in.


I’m Joanne and I’m going to be your Monday Deb for this year, so I’m definitely going to try to be funny and witty so your Monday Blahs turn into Monday HA HAs.  Okay, that was lame.  Sorry about that.  Yes, sometimes I do get corny, but people tell me that’s part of my charm.  Well, my mom does, anyway.

But back to me and who I am.  I’m the Canadian (eh!) representative of this year’s Debs, so I will talk a lot about pop (not soda) and the escalating cost of hydro (not electricity) and most importantly, Tim Horton’s, which incidentally originated in my home town.

My middle grade book, SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE, will be published by Bloomsbury Kids in June 2012.  It’s not the first novel I’ve written, nor the second or even, um, the tenth.  Let’s just say Joanne got a LOT of practice writing novels before she finally got it right.  But I’m super happy to be here and I’ve wanted to be a Deb for a very long time.  A while back, the class of 2008 took pity on me invited me to write a guest post about publishing perceptions versus publishing realities.  Boy, do I know about the realities!  And for anyone following along, my Snoopy pajamas wore out long before I got my book deal.  True story.Zoe, the black Lab

As for the personal stuff about me, I’m a married DINK with a menagerie of pets that I have a feeling you’re going to get to know over the next year.  Zoe is our most recent adoptee; at 8 months, this sweet little black Lab is definitely keeping us on our toes.

But isn’t she beautiful?  Chester is our younger cat who adores Zoe and wants to lay and snuggle with her at every opportunity.  Simon is our quiet, low-key cat, who came to us almost thirteen years ago, just days after my husband and I got married.

Gabby, the African GreyAnd then there’s Gabby, the evil bird who is definitely a cousin to Jenny Gardiner’s Graycie, if not in blood, then definitely in attitude (speaking of blood…).  Don’t be fooled when you hear Gabby say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Or ask you sweetly what a dog says (and then follow up with a bark); she’s buttering you up and would gladly throw you over if you come between her and her man (my husband – she does have good taste, I’ll give her that).  If you see ghastly bites on my hand, you’ll know I’ve recently made that mistake.

My weekdays are spent in an office, huddled over a computer, planning meetings, managing calendars and ordering coffee as the Executive Assistant to a bank VP.  My weekends are spent huddled over a computer creating books for kids that I think I would have liked to read back in the days before mortgages and taxes were on my radar.  Basically, I spend a lot of time huddled over computers; massage gift certificates always welcome.

But back to the important stuff.  I’m just so excited to be here, and in the short time that I’ve had so far with Molly, Rachel, Linda and Erika, I have come to know that we’re going to have a GREAT year.  I’ve got my gloves and tiara on already and am so looking forward to dancing with all of you!

Let the music begin!Joanne in gloves and Tiara


How Deb Kim Huffed and Po’d Her Way to an Agent

I love my agent story. I write about it in my BOOK  and I’m happy to share how I tackled the dreaded querying process.  I gave it an end run by meeting agents in person. It’s not as hard as you think! And it does NOT involve stalking.  I began writing as cheap and non-alcoholic form of therapy when my husband lost his job in 2003. This story just worked its way into my brain and wouldn’t leave. It was my first stab at fiction beyond writing my own excuse notes to teachers in high school.  I’m  a big fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books. (‘Fess up, Ranger or Morelli? I’ll let you guess my choice.) I asked myself, “What would happen if Steph Plum was saddled with her niece and nephew with autism and had to care for them?”

Madness ensued, to use an old chestnut.

When typed, “THE END” I was shocked. “Er, I think I just wrote a book.” No. I had not. What I had done was written a first draft of a manuscript. I started to read agent blogs. I stumbled across the Holy Grail of “trial by kitchen fire, get your hands off my George Clooney and WHERE IS MY GIN” blogs – Miss Snark. (Pause for a moment of silence please.)  Miss Snark was an agent who, under his or her pseudonym, gave writers and authors alike a safe, freewheeling place to learn, make mistakes, embarrass ourselves and prostrate ourselves before the agent gods as well. I prepared to query. UGH.

Like a lot of newbies, I learned the hot names – and set my sights on the hottest agents at the time.  Some of them sent rejections really, really fast. I had a book of rejections. “Not for me. I wish you the best. Dear Kim, Dear Kim, Dear Loser who will never be published,” (I made that one up, but that’ s how rejections felt.) Former Deb Jenny Gardiner and I became good friends, and she introduced me to Backspace.  Backspace was hosting an amazing Author Agent Seminar, at the famed Algonquin Hotel. Mark and I were flat broke, I had three young girls with autism, and was living in CT. Ah ha! That meant I was a commuter rail away from New York City. Mark gave me the money to attend the conference. And off I went. The day before, my very first Huffington Post piece was published. I printed it out and “clung to it like Charlie Bucket with a golden ticket.” At Backspace I saw my idolized agents in action! And guess what? The ones I was desperate to work with did not capture me at all in person. I realized that a personality fit is as important as “the name.”  One agent did catch my eye, Eric Myers. I walked up to him during the intro session and blurted out my pitch, holding up my HuffPo with anticipation. He asked for chapters! From there we did the revise revise revise dance and I got the call a few months later. That’s it on my cell phone. THE CALL! Eric has been the ideal fit for me. My lesson to you? Take your time. Find the right personality and career fit and get yourself to any event where you can meet an agent in person. It’s well worth the time and money.  Good luck to any of you who are querying now. (PS) Morelli.


Deb Kim on Holiday Tradition: Old, New and Retro Too

If you’ve seen my website Kim Stagliano, you know I love all things retro. I was born two decades too late at least. One day, I hope to have a fully modernized retro kitchen loaded with appliances from (Elmira Stoveworks). My friend and former Deb Jenny Gardiner wrote “Sleeping with Ward Cleaver,” and the title was meant to be snarky. (Have you read that book? It’s great!) My first thought when I read the title was, “I’d love to!” I know, I’m an oddball.

So.. to family traditions. As you know by now, I’m the Kimoir’ist who has three girls with autism. Mia is 16, Gianna is 14 and Bella is 10. Because of their autism, we’ve been able to hang onto some traditions that most families have to let go early on – like Santa Claus. Frankly, that’s not as great as it sounds. Parents often talk fondly about how great it would be to keep their kids young. It’s not. It means there’s something seriously awry and it’s terrifying. You need to let your kids grow older, for their sake. However, this is our reality, so we make the best of it. We will put out gluten free cookies and coconut milk (yes, Santa is on the GFCF diet in our house) and we talk endlessly about his arrival.

Other traditions we’ve had to relinquish. My Dad loves to read “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (The Night Before Christmas) aloud on Christmas Eve. Each year he tries to read to my girls. They wriggle off his lap or beeline over to their computers faster than Blitzen can land on your roof. They simply aren’t interested. I know that kind of hurts him. I also know we have to choose our battles, and it’s not worth forcing the girls to listen. 

One tradition I hope never to experience again is being a paper mitten on the holiday giving tree at Church. Twice. It’s in the book – we were really struggling and some kind soul at Church added our name to the list of families in need. It was humbling – and I’ve learned much from the experience. I’m mostly grateful to have felt the sting of being officially “poor” – it has made me more empathetic to others. That’s a good lesson. Albeit harsh while we were learning.

When we sold our lovely home in 2005 (Mark had been out of work for over a year and we moved from Ohio to Mass to live with my parents) I sold most of our Christmas decorations. I had a gorgeous retro Santa wreath I’d had custom made, 16 wreaths for our windows, strings of net lights, bric a brack, gosh, you name it. We couldn’t afford to store so much stuff – we needed to pare down. And so we did. When we rented a house in CT in 2006, slowly getting back on our feet, I realized I didn’t have much for Christmas decorations beside our tree trimmings and a  few things the girls had made. I also kept my childhood Christmas books. I have about ten books that I use as decorations. They are old friends I visit every year. I still needed some decorations – so I went to ebay – and over the last couple of years I’ve bought lots of inexpensive, retro holiday decorations. Elves, table cloths, plastic light up Santa, cute candles – all from the 1950s or early 1960s.

Autism and unemployment have changed my thinking on tradition – and in a good way. Being together as a family comes first and foremost.  I’ll always hang our stockings by the chimney with care. The table will sparkle with the Lenox Holiday china Mark got when he worked for Lenox at the start of our marriage. Each dish reminds me of our first days of marriage. “Before autism.” My menu is flexibile, although I always include some Italian treats and serve seafood on Christmas Eve (baked stuffed shrimp on Friday!)  This year we’re serving lasagne on Christmas – why not?  I’ve learned that I can let go of some things I thought I needed and I can always recreate the true joy of the holiday, even on a shoestring budget because life is NOT about “stuff” after all.

My house looks old fashioned and warm and inviting – I wish you could come over for a visit. Do you like gluten free cookies? And do you mind if my 88 year old Dad reads to you?

Merry Christmas, everyone. And Happy Holidays too. (Snow provided by mother nature LAST year – looks like a green Christmas in CT for 2010!)


Graduate Deb Jenny Gardiner returns with a new book!

Today the Debs are thrilled to welcome back Graduate Deb Jenny Gardiner! Jenny Gardiner is the author of the award-winning Barnes & Noble bestselling novel SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER and WINGING IT: A Memoir of Caring for a Vengeful Parrot Who’s Determined to Kill Me. Her work has been found in Ladies Home Journal, the Washington Post and on NPR’s Day to Day. She has a column of slice-of-life essays in Charlottesville’s Daily Progress newspaper. You can pre-order Jenny’s book here and don’t forget to check out her hysterical video of her parrot, Gracie,here! And if you’d like to check out Jenny’s website, we’ve got a link for that, too, right here. Jenny, welcome!

It’s so exciting to be back on the Debutante Ball after all this time—I miss it as well as the regular camaraderie with my Deb sisters. I always felt so honored that Kristy Kiernan tapped me to be in the Deb Ball two years ago—it created so many opportunities and provided a wonderful experience for that debut year. Plus it was such a bonus to be able to share in the experience with other authors going through the same thing. After that debut year you feel a bit more like a seasoned veteran, but nevertheless we’re all navigating the murky waters of publishing together, so it’s wonderful to know that there is this sisterhood out there, the Debutante Ball, composed of many fabulously talented and fun women authors. So thanks for bringing me back into the fold to celebrate the launch of my latest venture, WINGING IT: A MEMOIR OF CARING FOR A VENGEFUL PARROT WHO’S DETERMINED TO KILL ME (Gallery Books/March 16).

I’ve had the chance to get to e-know Sarah Pekkanen a bit through the Ball and I thought she’d get a laugh at this blog post, since we’ve been trying to set up an appearance together, thwarted only by my abysmal memory, which seems to worsen by the minute. I think. But I can’t quite remember…

Help! I’ve forgotten and I can’t recall.

Yeah, I know, sort of a lame take on the iconic 1990’s television commercial featuring an elderly gal with a medical emergency who urgently needed assistance with her feeble self. Thanks to “Life Call,” she had someone who was able to prop her up, and all was well.

So far I’m not in need of Life Call to rescue me from a frail bone-related fall, but I am in dire need of some sort of life call to save me from an increasingly enfeebled brain. They say the mind is the first to go, and my memory–which until recently I’d successfully prodded into action with a regular machine-gunning of reminder alerts on my iCal each day–has taken a day at the beach and decided it doesn’t want to return just yet, if ever.

Thus, I have placed practically my entire memory in the evidently disabled hands of my MacBook’s iCal, which it seems has aged in dog years itself and is failing in its own wretched memory to remind me of all that I can’t help but forget. Two operating systems ago, my iCal reminders worked regularly, even though I overloaded the application with unrealistic demands: most every function of my day popped up to remind me to do it, short of basic hygiene functions such as “remember to brush teeth.” So many demands that while it reliably reminded me, it also crashed constantly. So I upgraded to a new operating system and the failures became rampant. My reminders would pop up for one event, but not for the next. But I’d not remember to check my calendar to see what it was forgetting to remember. The next upgrade failed me even more. I’m a victim of the memory of both me and my fail-safe computer, failing all over the place.

Since my calendar can’t even remember to remember, I’m holding out hope they soon come out with helper dogs for failing memories.

I felt a little relieved after chatting with my friend Tana the other day on the phone while she was preparing to leave for the gym. As she was talking on speakerphone, I heard water running in the background.

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to the bathroom,” she said. “I’m just filling up my water bottle.”

Well, of course any woman with good girlfriends knows that occasionally we all happen to race into the loo while on the phone—it’s a hazard of friendship. So I just laughed and told her it wouldn’t have mattered regardless. We talked for a minute more when suddenly Tana stopped.

“Oh, crap. Where’s my water bottle?” she asked.

As if defining my dilemma for my own affirmation, she did what I regularly do: forgot the simplest of things in the shortest period of time imaginable. It’s what we do best. All day long. And fight it with the meager tools at our disposal to keep us from having to purchase ear horns and walkers and resign ourselves to our dwindling age and capabilities.

The other day I suffered the hat trick of memory shortcomings. First, I lost my reading glasses in the time it took to swap out shirts. A few minutes later, I became vexed because I couldn’t find the enormous pile of tax information it had taken me an entire day to find, which I’d then put somewhere I’d know where to find it. Shortly thereafter, I needed to recall the brand of car I’d rented a few days earlier, as I wanted to be sure we didn’t consider it while shopping for a new car. I’d made a point of remembering the brand. To no avail.

And that’s the thing. I’m always putting things where I know I’ll remember them. And rarely do. I walk to a food cabinet while fixing dinner, forgetting in six short steps what I’d gone there to retrieve. I wake at 3 a.m. with brilliant ideas, but don’t want to wake completely to write them down, certain I’ll recall by dawn. Never do. Yet then I wake up in the middle of the night over mundane things, like forgetting to soak black beans for dinner, only to not be able to sleep, recalling everything I need to remember to do that I haven’t done and worry that I won’t remember to do it. I leave notes everywhere, only to not know where the notes are. I record reminders on my phone. Only to forget to listen to them later.

Maybe life’s pressing needs are actually squeezing my brains dry. Sounds like I could use a good vacation.

A conversation between me and Tana these days goes something like this:

“Did you hear about, oh, what’s her name? Long brown hair, lives up that narrow mountain road.”

“Yeah, the gal with six kids?”

“Exactly. And that dog that smells like death. Her husband played in a band when he was in college—”

“Oh, what is her name? It begins with a P, doesn’t it?”

“It rhymes with my mother’s middle name, I think.”

“What’s your mother’s middle name?”


“Nothing rhymes with Amanda. But anyhow, we’ll think of her name. But did you hear–they’re getting a divorce.”

No! I always knew he was up to no good.”

“Who? Her husband?”

“Yeah. What’s his name?”

Well, you get the idea. We have all the minutiae committed to memory but the barebones facts have evaporated from our gray matter, by some brain-fog that has settled over our memories, doomed to cloak our thinking and force us into some Sherlock Holmesian effort to recall. Our trail of deduction requires mental bloodhounds, and it seems as if our dogs have got up and went.

“Between the two of us we have a brain,” Tana said. And she’s right. Which makes me think maybe I need to simply be paired up with someone, 24/7, from here on out. Because clearly at this point two heads must be better than one.


News Flash, April 12

brownwaite_smallWe’ll be having a contest this week in celebration of the launch of Deb Eve’s FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA! Everyone who comments this week will automatically be entered to win (one entry per person, but you can comment as often as you like. Eve loves to read email. And we’re lonely.) At the end of the week one commenter will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of Eve’s book and a love note from the rest of us.

On the note of Deb Eve’s launch, Deb reader Larramie will be celebrating tomorrow over at Seize a Daisy. Do stop over and join the party! Thanks Larramie for all the support.

Deb Meredith will be interviewed on AdviceRadio.com Wednesday, April 15th at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST. If anyone wants to call in and ask Meredith questions during the show (it lasts about 30 minutes), the number is 800-405-6425.

Founder Deb Mia King has joined three other bestselling authors to put together one amazing contest … The Great Hawaii Book Escape!

Mia King, Carol Snow, Jill Marie Landis, and Jane Porter are celebrating all things book and beach. One lucky winner will receive EIGHT signed novels (Sweet Life, Good Things, Here Today, Gone to Maui, Getting Warmer, Destination: Marriage, Homecoming, Flirting with Forty, Mrs. Perfect) plus over 30 amazing gifts for your home, kitchen, closet and more, so you can create your own paradise wherever you are.

Contest ends May 30, 2009. For complete details visit http://www.miaking.com/?p=1766.

Alumna Deb Jenny’s novel Sleeping with Ward Cleaver was nominated for the Library of Virginia Literary Prize.

News Flash, January 25

Deb Kristina was pleased to see this nice mention of Real Life & Liars on a website and blog devoted to Michigan authors: www.Mittenlit.com. “Mittenlit” is a great word! (Michigan’s lower peninsula looks like a mitten on the map, in case that fact doesn’t leap to mind for those readers outside the Great Lakes…)

Deb Meredith is excited about her launch party for Posed for Murder on February 17, 2009 at 7PM at Partners & Crime (44 Greenwich Avenue, corner of Charles in the Village) in New York City. She invites everyone who’s in town to swing by and celebrate with her!

Deb Alumna News

Deb Alumna Jenny Gardiner sold her humorous memoir PARROTHOOD: Twenty Years of Caring for a Vengeful Bird Determined to Kill Me (think David Sedaris meets Marley and Me with a ferocious beak) to Simon Spotlight for hardback publication, spring 2010!

Also Jenny’s novel Sleeping with Ward Cleaver is featured all month on Facebook’s Mom Lit page. Please stop by to visit!

News Flash, November 2

Deb Gail is profiled on Literary Mama this month. She is a keynote speaker at the Breast Cancer Recovery Conference on Saturday November 8th in Madison, Wisconsin and will also be conducting a workshop on hope and healing through creative writing. On Wednesday November 5th she will be on NPR “In the Morning with Bonnie Grice.”

Deb Eve is reading graduate Deb Jenny’s SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER. It’s delightful!

Deb Meredith is enjoying reading Deb Gail’s CANCER IS A BITCH, and is watching her husband go by in the New York City Marathon today (on the photo truck, not running this time!).

Founding Deb Mia King’s SWEET LIFE received a lovely review from Booklist: “A truly delightful read by the author of Good Things (2007) that highlights the nontourist Hawaii and incorporates King’s trademark recipes.” The Honolulu Star-Bulletin called the novel “colorful … a breezy, satisfying read.”


News Flash, October 5

We at the Ball were thrilled with the response to Joanne Rendell‘s guest post last week which quoted a frustrated Nathaniel Hawthorne, thus: “America is now given over to a damned mob of scribbling women.” We set up a CafePress store featuring T-shirts and other items that declare our pride in being Damned Scribbling Women (or, for the guys, Equal Opportunity Readers). Thanks Joanne for the inspiration, and the store can be found here. Proceeds will go to breast cancer research.

Deb Gail continues to take the world by storm with Cancer is a Bitch, Or, I’d Rather Be Having a Midlife Crisis. She’s reading tonight at 7 p.m. at Bluestockings Radical Bookstore, 172 Allen St., New York City. Monday at 3:20 p.m. to 3:35 p.m., Gail will be on Westwood One Radio with Dr. Drew for a live interview. Also in New York City Tuesday, Gail will be part of the KGB Bar Non-Fiction Reading Series, at 7 p.m., located at 85 E. Fourth St. Then on Saturday, Gail will be at the Madison, Wisc. Borders store, 3750 University Ave., at 7 p.m. for a reading and at La Brioche True Food Madison, 2862 University Ave., for an 8:30 p.m. launch party.

If you can’t catch Gail any of these places — or even if you can — check out a recent TV interview here.

Deb Meredith will be at Bouchercon, an annual mystery convention, next weekend in Baltimore, MD. She will be on a panel called “Beginnings” with other debut authors on Sunday (October 12) in the morning.

Deb 2008 News
Deb Jenny will discuss her novel, Sleeping with Ward Cleaver, at the James Rivers Writers Festival, October 10 at the Library of Virginia.

And Deb Jenny was thrilled that an entire book club was motivated to start running after having read Sleeping with Ward Cleaver. They trained for and ran a 4-miler last month, and are now training for a 10-miler in the spring!

Deb Danielle’s Falling Under will be featured all week, starting Monday October 6th, for a noon time book chat at two fabulous blogs, J. Kaye’s Book Blog and Literarily. Come each day at noon (or check in later in the day) to participate and see what readers have to say about Falling Under.

Deb Danielle has received two more fabulous reviews. Curled Up With A Good Book and S. Krishna’s Books calls Falling Under “an astonishing debut novel reminiscent of Janet Fitch’s bestselling debut, White Oleander and says “The writing in Falling Under really is amazing, some of the passages so beautiful that they hurt. Younge-Ullman has a talent for turning the shadows of life into a thing of beauty, almost poetry.”

M.J. Hollingshed at Author’s Den and The Compulsive Reader said “Younge-Ullman is a first rate story teller”, called the writing “masterful” and gave Falling Under a rave review.

And check out this interview with Danielle at author (and guest deb) Amy Guth’s blog, Big Mouth Indeed Strikes Again.

Deb Friend News:

Deb Friends
Karen Dionne, founder of Backspace, a wonderful online writing group to which a number of Debs over the years belong, is launching her exciting debut novel this week. Freezing Point, an eco-terrorism thriller, has received ringing endorsements and fantastic reviews across the board. Author David Morrell (whose novel First Blood launched the Rambo movie franchise) calls Dionne “The New Michael Crichton.” High praise indeed.


News Flash, August 31st

We have said it in many ways an with many words over the past few days, but the 2008 Debutantes (Gail Konop Baker, Jenny Gardiner, Lisa Daily, Danielle Younge-Ullman, Jess Riley and Eileen Cook!) would like to thank you, our readers and community here, for a wonderful year. We have experienced untold support and generosity from so many of you and had a wonderful time sharing our debut year(s) with you. Thank you for being a part of it.

We are also thrilled and excited about the 2009 Debutantes, Eve Brown-Waite, Tiffany Baker, Katie Alender, Kristina Riggle and Meredith Cole. We leave The Ball in your capable (gloved) hands and look forward to getting to know you and watching you launch your careers. You’re in for a wild and crazy dance…

Deb News:

Deb Danielle
(about to be Founder Danielle!) has received some great reviews for Falling Under in the past few weeks.

Cheryl, at Cheryl’s Book Nook, says: “Danielle Younge-Ullman definitely did not hold back. She came out swinging to produce a wonderful and amazing book in Falling Under.” See the entire review here.

And from Book Chic: “This debut is absolutely phenomenal and barely reads like a debut novel. It’s an emotional tour de force and very realistic in Younge-Ullman’s portrayal of main character Mara and her life.” Check out the site for both the review and a Q&A.

The inimitable Andrea Frazer at GoodHousekeeping.com wrote a fascinating review/article (“Bad Boy Sex-Why Does Wrong Feel So Right?”) around some of the issues raised in Falling Under, and also called Falling Under “hard hitting and explosive, with a raw energy that left me breathless.”

And in case you missed it a few weeks ago, Writer Unboxed posted a great two-part interview plus excerpt from Falling Under. Check it out, here.

You can also now find Danielle (sort of, and very casually) at her own blog where she has an archive (with links!) to many of her favorite Debutante Ball posts and will be writing about…well…we’ll see.

Deb Lisa Daily adopted a new dog last week: Meet Zeus.

Deb Founders News:

Founder Debutante Mia King is celebrating the release of her second novel, SWEET LIFE, this Tuesday, September 2nd! It’s a featured alternate for the Doubleday, Literary Guild, and Book of the Month Club book clubs. Founder Mia has an amazing give-away going on and is giving away extra entries for people who buy her book on Sept 2nd. Visit her website at www.miaking.com for more details.

Deb Friends:

Some exciting news for Deb Friend and Co-founder of www.writersunboxed.com–she has sold her novel! (BTW, this was happening in the midst of Therese doing her interview with Deb Danielle) Here is the announcement: “Therese Walsh’s UNBOUNDED, about an accomplished professor of languages whose grief over the loss of her twin has isolated her from her friends and family; when she impulsively purchases a keris — a Javanese weapon imbued with legendary powers — she embarks on a mesmerizing journey from New York to Rome, following the mysterious provenance of the dagger, which will ultimately lead her to the truth about her sister’s tragic past, to Sarah Knight at Shaye Areheart Books, in a major deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2009, by Elisabeth Weed.” Woo hoo! Congrats Therese!