Don’t Be a Delicate Flower: Advice to a Younger Kathleen

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

This week, we’re sharing what we’d wished we’d known when we started writing. It’s a hard question. While I tell people I didn’t start writing seriously until about age 36, I’m realizing that’s not really true. The first story I remember writing, all the way from start to finish, was a pirate adventure. I wrote it when I was nine, I think. I can’t remember the details, but there was…

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What I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Writing

Monday, November 18, 2019

When I began writing creatively—during the 1990s when I lived in Connecticut—hoping to get some short stories I had written published, I knew nothing about community. I began writing in the days when submissions to literary magazines were sent out by snail mail. I subscribed to a few writers magazines that listed requests for submissions in the back pages. I’d mail in my submissions and wait months for a response….

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Interview with Kristin Harmel, Author of The Winemaker’s Wife

Saturday, November 16, 2019

I am so excited to welcome Kristin Harmel to The Debutante Ball. Kristin’s latest novel is The Winemaker’s Wife, an instant #1 bestseller from The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star. It’s a story of forbidden love, shocking secrets, and devastating betrayal, set amid the champagne vineyards of northern France during the darkest days of World War II. Kristin Harmel is the #1 international bestselling author of The Winemaker’s…

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My Book Pitch Letter

Friday, November 15, 2019

We can discuss pitching and pitch letters till the sky turns green, but what would probably be more helpful is if I show you my book pitch. Unlike fiction and possibly memoir (the debate is out there on memoir) non-fiction, which needs a lot of research to complete the book, is sold on proposal. (I’ll talk proposals another time). But you still need a pitch letter. So here’s mine. Dear…

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Querying tips for the modern writer

Thursday, November 14, 2019

So, you want to query an agent, huh? It’s a gamble, yet an exciting one, dear writing, fishing with your art as bait. You must 1) catch the attention of an agent and 2) entice/persuade them into giving you a longer look as a potential client and money maker. The publishing industry is all about the money, but the more knowledge you have before you dive in, the better off…

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Why are query letters so difficult?!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

In the grand scheme of things, writing the novel is supposed to be the hard part. Compared to writing my query letter, writing the novel felt normal. Easy. It took me just over two weeks of daily hacking at the keyboard (and, let’s be honest, more than a little bit of anguish) to get it right. I ended up running it by twice as many beta readers as my novel…

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Kathleen’s Query Letter!

Minor Dramas
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

So many aspects of being a writer are anxiety-producing. I’ve basically been bathing in cortisol since I finished a first draft of MINOR DRAMAS & OTHER CATASTROPHES in 2016. Finding an agent? Going on submission? Working on revisions? Writing another whole book? To be honest, I’m pretty much red-lining with anxiety all the flipping time. I’m not trying to be a downer (and maybe being an author is different for…

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Crafting the almighty query letter

Monday, November 11, 2019

After I’d put my novel through dozens of revisions over the course of many years, I felt confident enough to take the next step—pursuing representation from a literary agent. I combed through stacks of books at the library for guidance. Here’s what some of those books told me about crafting the almighty query letter: Get the agent’s attention with your introduction Reference comparables (books like my book) in the first…

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When a Purple Rose Blooms – Guest Author Jenee Darden

Saturday, November 9, 2019

When a Purple Rose Blooms (Nomadic Press, 2018), is a collection of essays and poetry about Black womanhood from Jenee Darden’s personal experience. She writes about love, sex, race and mental health with honesty, humor, and insight. This is Jenee’s first book and we are so excited to have her share some of her brilliance with us today. Follow Jenee: Website Twitter: CocoaFly Twitter: JeneeDarden Facebook Instagram *** What is…

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How to Deal with Distractio– Wait is that a Text?

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Hey, let me tell you what I’m trying to do at this very moment: prep for my author marketing meeting, watch videos for learning how to write a TV treatment, upload all the business cards of people I met at a professional conference this weekend, write an article about a conference I attended two weeks ago, photoshop my author photos, upload guest author interviews and write this piece. Oh, and…

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