About the Debutante Ball

The Debutante Ball, established in 2007, is a group blog for authors making their debut in the literary world. We are now in our twelfth season of celebrating up-and-coming authors. Former Debs include bestsellers in the genres of women’s fiction, mystery, literary fiction, nonfiction, young adult, and more.   Click on any of the photos above to learn about The Debutante Ball Class of 2019 and their books. Read about the bestselling…

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editing

The Path to Publication for The Goddess Twins

What is that thing they say about luck? That it’s when preparation meets opportunity? Then yes, this is the lucky story of how my novel, The Goddess Twins, found its path to publication. When I finished my novel, there was no sudden feeling of completion. I was mentally exhausted and dizzyingly proud, but I knew it needed to be edited. Then edited again. Then possibly another fifteen rounds of more…

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There is no “normal.”

Before I begin, let’s get something straight: there’s no “typical path to publication.” There’s only what happens to you, when it happens to you. Remember, this is a business where the only effective marketing advice are dollar signs and shrug emojis. That said, my journey is actually fairly typical. I call publishing “the eye of Sauron,” because you’ll find yourself living through long stretches of time where nothing much is…

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On Stage with the Sixth Graders: Kathleen’s Path to Publication

We’re writing about paths to publication this week and, on reflection, I think mine began with violin lessons and the Suzuki curriculum my parents foisted upon me as a child. I started playing at age three and stopped abruptly at eleven when I shoved my violin under my bed in a fit of anger. I swore I’d never play again. Let the circle be unbroken, then, because when my own…

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My path to publication required the right shoes

I arrived at the book fair exhibit hall of AWP, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference hopeful that I’d be able to complete my mission: to convince the editors at a small press that they should publish my novel. After a six-hour train ride that took me several states away. I said a silent prayer and slipped into the comfortable shoes I had packed, my burgundy, suede Crocs….

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Interview with Lisa Barr, Author of The Unbreakables PLUS BOOK GIVEAWAY

  Lisa Barr is the author of The Unbreakables (HarperCollins) a delicious, sharp novel about a Chicago woman who jets off to France after her “perfect” marriage collapses, putting the broken pieces of herself back together while rediscovering her own joie de vivre—a lust for life, art, and passion. Artful, feminist, and emotionally gripping, The Unbreakables is a remarkable tribute to a woman’s strength in the face of heartbreak and adversity.        What’s one book that made…

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When The Muse Calls With Inspiration — You Listen

You always hear people talking about muses whispering in their ear, as if in a trance, or their “characters” speaking to them. Well, I’m not a novelist so I don’t have characters to take over the heavy lifting of writing, but I will say that it feels like someone else wrote up my book proposal. I had been working for a while on a memoir about my infertility, based on…

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Black Hermione

The inspiration behind The Goddess Twins

There’s nothing like the feeling of being completely seen by a story. When I was growing up, I loved tales with magic and mystery, self-discovery and danger. My family had a collection of science fiction and fantasy that I gobbled up. Mercedes Lackey and Frank Herbert were some of my first loves. I read anything supernatural I could at my local libraries and was front row for the Harry Potter…

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Irrational Yelling: The Inspiration for Kathleen’s Debut Novel

When I began writing MINOR DRAMAS & OTHER CATASTROPHES, I was in my fifteenth year of classroom teaching, a job I love. In fact, I never deviated in my desire to become a teacher since first having an inkling at age eleven. I idolized my teachers and coaches, desperately wanted to please them, and delighted in the quirks they brought to their work. I couldn’t wait to join their professional…

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The Tears That Helped Inspire My Debut Novel

I can point to many sources of inspiration for my novel, The Talking Drum, but one of the major sources of inspiration was an incident that occurred about 10 years ago at my church, Myrtle Baptist, in West Newton, Massachusetts, during a meeting of the history committee. We were making plans to create a commemorative book on the history of the church in celebration of its 135 years in existence….

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