Confessions of a Reluctant Debutante by Deb Gail

I have to be perfectly honest, I was a Reluctant Debutante.

Not that I didn’t see the beauty and the brilliance of The Debutante Ball site that Kristy Kiernan master-minded, not that I didn’t read it that first year regularly and love the variety of voices and topics. It was that I was POSITIVE I was not debutante material. I had never even been to a prom (having gone to college at 16), never been in a sorority (having attended a small and VERY liberal, liberal arts college that didn’t have or believe in sororities OR proms), had never joined the Mommy Club no matter where we lived. I didn’t “get” or “do” group things. Group things intimidated me. I was sure I would say or laugh at the wrong things. And debutantes? I was a Yankee. Never wore a ball gown. Had no gloves. No pearls.

So when Kristy called I was flattered but thought there is no way I can do this but what I said was, Yes…

And I’m here to tell you that joining The Debutante Ball has been one of the most valuable experiences of my publishing life. As all of you readers know, my fellow debs are all funny, smart, talented writers, as well as generous and kind-hearted. And while what we have going on ON the site is amazing, what goes on behind the scenes is more than special.

I don’t want to give away all the behind the scenes secrets (I might get thrown out for that!) but I will share that when one of us is worried or frustrated, excited or celebratory we band together like sisters. In between the savvy exchange of publishing knowledge and the “I got your back” support we all offer, we’ve shared red wine and brownie toasts and one red wine night we discussed blow jobs (is it okay I said that, girls??).

That’s it! I won’t share any more except to say that while I still don’t own any pearls or gloves, or a ball gown, joining the debs taught me that sometimes the things I’m most reluctant to do turn out to be the absolute best.

Deb Gail

12 thoughts on “Confessions of a Reluctant Debutante by Deb Gail

  1. You are right about the best part of the Deb Ball.

    I did not expect the sisterhood — I never “got” online communities, never understood how anyone could consider themselves “friends” with a person they’d never actually met. Until I met all of you. I feel so lucky to be a part of this group, and having been through y first non-fiction publishing experience alone, I can tell you it’s been a million times better to share this experience with all of you.

    I have an extra tiara and some emergency opera gloves. They’re yours if you ever need them.

    XO,

    Lisa

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  3. Leave it to Lisa to have the emergency opera gloves LOL. Always at the ready for any emergency, that woman!
    Yes, this has been one fabulous experience, one of the highest of high points of landing a publishing deal, getting to be friends with five other fabulous, fun, bright, witty, and enormously supportive fellow authors. Kristy Kiernan is the bomb, and I feel so honored to have been brought into this sorority. Oh, and Gail–two left feet, can’t dance to save my soul. I far prefer sweats to ball gowns, though I am known to don a tiara at times…

    (it’s sort of hidden by the blue feathers in the feather duster):

    http://www.readthehook.com/stories/2008/03/20/FACETIME-gardiner-A.aspx

  4. Thanks Lisa… do opera gloves go with running tanks and shorts?

    Love the feather duster, Jenny!

  5. Everytime I think I’m going to go sailing off the publishing cliff I know all of you will be there. I feel a real kinship to all of you.

  6. Gail, you wrote: “…sometimes the things I’m most reluctant to do turn out to be the absolute best.” Actually it usually works out to be “almost always.”

    Kristy offered you all such a gift…all of us.

    Oh, btw, it’s the Yankee blueblood society that is truly known for their Debutante Balls.

  7. You’re right about the “almost always,” Larramie!

    should have said, not a blueblood either…

  8. Gail, I’m so happy you overcame your misgivings and joined us because you’re absolutely wonderful as a writer and a person.

    Canadians don’t go in for the debutante thing much either, but this has been a fabulous experience for me and I feel totally bonded to you all.

    Thanks for the great post!

  9. The Debs themselves, as a collective, the first year, and now the second year, have made The Debutante Ball what it is. And I am so proud to have been a part of it. May you all move on to fabulous, fulfilling careers, and launch the third year Debs with as much hope and joy as we– Anna, Jennifer, Tish, Mia, and, lest we forget, Eileen, who’s REALLY put in her time at the dance– did.

    Thank you for such a lovely tribute to us. I foresee many such kind tributes to you all in the near future.

  10. Gail, I loved this! I too am so glad to have met you and the other Debs…I thought having a book published was the best it could get…but now I feel that having a book published while sharing the ride with five other fabulous writers (and friends) tops that. I couldn’t imagine going through this without all of your friendship!

  11. I can’t imagine how isolated debut authors got through the process before the advent of the internet. That the debs–and many of our mutual on-line writer friends are a diverse group with different styles and goals enriches us all.

  12. Hi Patry! Thanks for stopping by. You are so right and I feel lucky to have “met” you through the internet writing community.

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