My dog ate my pearls, by Deb Katie

Deb Katie in the house!The first Debutante book I ever bought was Mia King’s Good Things, back in February 2007. And now here I am, a Deb myself, making my first post on the exact release date of her second novel, Sweet Life. Mia has been knee deep in the crazy/sweet life herself—please drop in and say hi at her beautimous website,

Seriously. It’s so surreal that I was a fan of this blog for so long, and now I’m a part of it!

Let’s see. My name is Katie Alender. My book is called Bad Girls Don’t Die, and it releases next April. For all of you who feel guilty about procrastinating in your writing, take heart. I started writing this book in 2002. I’m pretty sure James Joyce wrote several epics in the time it took me to get this one from concept to print. But that’s the way it goes sometimes.

I grew up in Florida, met my husband in film school, and moved to Los Angeles almost exactly ten years ago. After a couple years’ worth of culture shock, I got used to the freeways (you are NOT allowed to call them “highways” here) and perpetually feeling chubby. Now I’m a committed Angeleno—living in one of those houses hanging off the hills, paying more for annual earthquake insurance premiums than my first car cost. We try to buck the stereotype by walking as much as we can, but I must admit that I did actually go blonde for two years.

What else? I’m a hopeless homebody. I always have fun once I get someplace—it’s just the act of leaving my house I dislike. I’m an avid quilter with a taste for delightfully tacky fabrics. Because of this, I mostly make quilts for dogs and babies, who can’t complain. I’ve also been known to create epically strange pieces of clothing, like dresses made out of pineapple fabric, which I never wear and eventually cut into strips and use for quilt fodder.

I write YA, or Young Adult books, but I like to tell myself that the themes are universal and a reader of any age could enjoy my writing. My characters tend to be normal, flawed girls who find themselves in strange situations, forced to dig a little deeper and find strength inside themselves. If someone would just say my writing is “Sarah Dessen meets Stephen King,” I could die happy.

I love writing. I write for a living—if you’re a fan of televised dog shows, you’ve probably heard my work—though if I’ve done my job, you never knew it was written! (Ho ho ho, it can be our little secret.) I love my job. And I really, really love dogs. Most especially, I love my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Winston. Here’s the thing–I know you’re not supposed to blog about pets or children. But Winston is more than a pet, and in many ways is more trouble than a passel of children. His hobby is racking up vet bills for me to pay. In the plus column, he’s as sweet as sugar, he tends to be a good sport, and he’ll do anything for food (pretty sure he learned that from me).

Let’s just say we both put up with a lot… Winston

I’m looking forward to a wonderful year here with the Debs. I feel so privileged to be a part of this community! I can’t wait to “meet” everybody.

~ Deb Katie

PS – Were you too busy grilling hot dogs and putting away your white loafers yesterday to visit the Ball? If so, check out Deb Kristina’s intro post (click the link or just scroll down two inches!).

27 Replies to “My dog ate my pearls, by Deb Katie”

  1. Yay Katie! So thrilled that you are now an official Deb, after being a devoted Deb devotee 😉 .
    I love your picture of Winston–he looks like a surfer dude. And you and I do share the love of bizarre quilting fabric. One of these days I’ll send you pictures of some of my more freakish ones (like the surfing Santas). Best of luck for a wonderful Deb year!

  2. Are we going to end up with a multi-year, deb quilting bee? (and is that what it’s called? or is it a quilt-a-thon?) I’m starting to think we could have a deb dog show since every single deb from 2008 has a dog as of last week when deb Lisa adopted hers, and many of the founders also have dogs. And Katie, you could write it! (our secret)

    Love the post, love the dog photo and I look forward to witnessing you go through this debut year. Congrats and welcome!

  3. Katie, that dog is cute beyond words! I love the idea of those epically strange items of clothing. I would love to make my own clothes, though if I did so, they would be epically strange, but in an accidental kind of way, which would be markedly less cool.

    (And thanks for pointing people to my post in case they missed it, though I had such a warm welcome it looks like most people remembered I was there after all!)

    I’m so excited for your book and I actually consider myself a young adult and I will continue to do so forever.

    Deb Kristina

  4. I didn’t know if it was cool for Debs to comment to one another on the site. Is that like letting our bra straps hang out or something? But Kris did it, so I figure it’s okay.

    Anyway, bravo to you Katie – and to you too Kris (like I said, I didn’t comment yesterday because of the whole bra thing). There you are – on the dance floor, looking gorgeous!

    Can’t wait to join you. Well, really, I can. I’m nervous as hell. I guess I’ll just hold my nose and jump. Oh, gosh, I’m mixing metaphors, aren’t I?

    Bravo girls! Bravo –

    Deb Eve

  5. Great first post! I can’t wait to see what the Debs have cooked up for this coming year, and I hope to be able to read and review a few on my site!

    Also, yay for YA! If your book is like Sarah mixed with Stephen, that sounds absolutely fabulous to me! 🙂

  6. Eva, we almost always commented on each other’s posts last year and I think that was part of the fun–part of what created a nice, ongoing “conversation” as it were. So, you don’t have to, but it you want to, go for it!

  7. Oh, I’m transplant in southern california as well, though not LA and not for as long as you.

    And I’m a homebody just like you described! 🙂

    Nice to meet you, I look forward to your book!

  8. grats katie!

    way to go… you know me from blogger, so it’s not exactly like we’re total strangers! 😉 lol

    i’m a critter lover, too… but no dogs allowed in my current apartment 🙁

    have a grand ball 😀

  9. Ack! I said “Eva” when I meant “Eve” and now I can’t seem to edit. Sorry Eve!

    Katie, I am also loath to leave the house some days, and the protag in Falling Under REALLY hates leaving her house. We’ll all get along just fine, though we may have trouble ever meeting in person if no one will leave their homes, lol. Though I have a strong recollection of meeting Eileen in San Francisco.

    Okay, I’m starting to look like I have Debutante Withdrawal problems…

  10. Woohoo, Deb #2! Congratulations, Katie 😀

    And don’t worry, I blogged plenty about Niko during my year. Mostly about her insane shedding issues. And yet, people came back.

    I wish you great success this year, and hope you’re as delighted with your Debutante experience as everyone else has been. Looking forward to reading more from you.

  11. Hey, everybody! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    Jenny, thank you! And thanks for all your help in getting us going! I must hear more about the surfing Santas… I have windsurfing cats.

    Danielle, that would be heavenly. And maybe we should set up a Deb Dog photo gallery. Thanks for the warm welcome!

    Kristina, yes, he is many things beyond words. 😉 And let me assure you that most of my epic clothes are pretty much mistakes.

    Eve, haven’t you seen the kids lately? Bra straps everywhere! Thank you for taking a chance on me. You look marvelous jumping around on the dance floor.

    Book Chic, thank you! We’ll have to see about getting a little something sent over to you. I like to think it helps to tell reviewers exactly what you want them to say, LOL. Well, I’ll be happy enough if you sort of agree with me!

    Amy, always happy to meet another homebody. We need to stick together… from the safety of our own houses, of course.

    Laughingwolf, you made it over! Thanks for representing the “home crowd”!

    Jess, you may regret saying that, someday…

    Eileen, I think we are definitely related. We are at least mentally connected, considering that all of the weird news stories I see make me think of you immediately. I constantly have to hold back from sending you every bizarre thing I come across. Only the weirdest make it through!

    Danielle, thanks to the magic of the internet, we can all say we’ve met. Internet relationships are getting a lot of respect these days. And you are always welcome here, so no withdrawal necessary.

    Gail, thank you! I’m happy to be here.

    Kristy, thanks! I’ve been delighted by the Debs consistently for two years, so I think the pressure is on me, not on the Debutante Ball! If I can’t enjoy it, it’ll be all my own fault.

  12. Ooh…another place to keep track of our Katie! Wahoo!

    Great first post..can’t wait to see what you blog in the future! Can’t wait to see your book on the B&N shelves, either–I just might have to bring my camera to record the moment for posterity. 😉

  13. Katie- That’d be great. If you want, you could always just write the review for me. 😛 hehe. We’ll definitely have to chat and work something out. Feel free to email me- bookchicclub at

  14. Welcome to the Ball, Debutante Katie! I can’t wait to read your book and I’m so honored that you mentioned me in your debut post! 🙂

    I’m a hopeless homebody, too, though I don’t quilt and I live in a state full of amazing quilters, so it’s on my list of things to learn and do. You’ll have to give me pointers!

    And I think Winston is adorable, so blog away!

    all best,
    Deb Mia

  15. Are guys allowed to post here? I just don’t want to overstep any boundaries.

    Hey Katie, great 1st post. I look forward every Tuesday now. “Wow, you’re awesome!”. And again, I’m motivated by the length of time it took you to finish your book. It gives me hope.

    I’m not a dog person – I probably shouldn’t have said that – but your pup is pretty cute!

    Enjoy the ball!

    PS: Yikes, you went blonde? I can’t picture you blonde. Why does everyone go blonde in L.A.?

  16. Amber, thanks for coming by! I feel that you’re inextricably tied to every step in my publishing journey, LOL. So it wouldn’t be the same without you.

    Book Chic, you know, I could probably manage that! 😉 I’ll send you an email today or tomorrow (I’m swamped today doing secret things for the dog show!).

    Adrienne, you made it! With your three-inch heels (to church, no less), you should fit right in. Thanks for classing up the joint, as always.

    Mia, thank you! I was so happy to have the opportunity to mention your book. And your website design is breathtaking. (I think we can arrange some Deb quilting lessons for you.)

    JPK, post away! Any chromosome combination is welcome. And are you just saying I’m awesome because that Roland guy put the idea into your head? What if I was impatient for everyone to come say I’m awesome, so I started anonymously posting it on everyone else’s blogs? That would actually be kind of creepy, LOL. I promise I didn’t. It’s okay not to be a dog person–I was a cat person all my life, until I started working on dog shows. And don’t worry about the blonde… I’ll be posting about it pretty soon. Including my lame excuse for doing it.

    Book Chic, I’m glad to know it! Maybe I’ll call you “Book Chico” from now on. 😀

  17. I love my dad (Roland)!

    Thanks ladies – and Book Chic – for giving me the opportunity to dumb down the site a bit…

    Are there any “debutant ball” sites for guys? Maybe the ‘Prince’ ball, or perhaps the ‘Balding’ ball, or how about the ‘Jock’ ball, or even the ‘Couch-potato-writer-who-is-dying-for-the-NFL-season-to-start’ ball… Anyone? 😉

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