One last time across the floor, by Deb Katie

PhotobucketOh my goodness, this is the last time I’ll type a blog post and add “by Deb Katie” to the title.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “what it means to be a Deb” as we coach the new class and prepare them for their turn in the spotlight.

I can remember very well when I didn’t know which Deb’s book matched up with which Deb, or what any of them were about, or what to expect. All I knew was that four strangers and I were being thrown together and trusted to carry on The Debutante Ball, a website I’d been visiting as a reader for years.

To have that kind of responsibility seemed a little awe-inspiring.

The Debutante Ball was started by a woman author to focus a little extra attention on women authors debuting their first books. It is that, but it’s also a network, a cooperative, an increasingly-rare example of teamwork and mutual respect and fondness.

I hate to hear people say that “women are catty” and “women are bitches” and “women can’t work together.” Since the first time I had to work with women, I’ve never believed any of that, and my time at the Ball has reinforced what I do believe–women are creative. Women are hilarious. Women are compassionate. Women are resourceful.

The women of the Debutante Ball are a class act, even as they take off their gloves and pack up their pearls and retire their tiaras. In fact, everyone connected with the Debutante Ball is a class act–our commenters, our author friends, and other bloggers who have supported us over the years.

I keep saying to the new Debs, “Just wait. You’ll see.” They don’t know, you see, how much it means to have a soft place to fall, a built-in cheerleading section, a community that understands and wants to be there for you. But they’ll find out.

Sure, there have been weeks when I wasn’t in the mood to write my blog post (usually those were the weeks when I wasn’t in the mood to do anything). There was even one night when I woke up at two in the morning, heart pounding, remembering that I had to have a post up by the start of the morning on the east coast… whoops!

What pulled me through those moments was knowing — feeling, even — that I was part of something bigger than myself.

I guess, last year, I didn’t know being part of the Ball would mean so much.

But what a joy and a privilege to discover that it does.

And now, I suppose, it’s time to go.

Katie Alender
Bad Girls Don’t Die, Debutante Ball Class of 2009

PS – Please stay in touch. You can find me at and Twitter.

PPS – The Debutante Ball’s semi-official fairy godmother, Larramie, is giving sneak peeks at the Deb class of 2010 all week! Check it out!

14 Replies to “One last time across the floor, by Deb Katie”

  1. You are definitely a “class act,” Katie! And it was a pleasure to be one of your fellow debs this year. I hope we’ll have regular reunions!

  2. *sniff sniff*

    I so agree. I was just saying last night how, as I get older, I have more and more appreciation for the classy people in my life, and I’d put the Debs in that category for sure (not to mention the aforementioned bloggers and readers and supporters.)

  3. Thanks for this post. For all the scary stories we sometimes hear about the publishing world, isn’t it great to know that places like the Ball exist? You’ve been wonderful in helping us new Debs figure out how to get started (especially those of us who are, ahem, not quite so deft in with computers). xoxo

  4. Meredith and Kris, there are going to be a lot of “ditto” replies this week! On that note, ditto to both of you!

    Sarah… just wait–you’ll see! 😉 And you’re very welcome. You guys have been a pleasure.

  5. Katie, since we go w-a-a-y back to that first Deb Class, I know your loyalty, friendship, cleverness, thoughtfulness, unbounded creativity and talent. You’re a JOY and what a thrill it’s been for me to watch you bloom and debut. Just promise you’ll find time to join me here this coming season!

  6. You’ve captured what I felt, but expressed poorly. My time as a Deb truly was a safe place to land and made friendships that will last a long time. Women have it going on. Yes, indeed.

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