Interview with Lynne Griffin + a Giveaway of GIRL SENT AWAY

GIRL SENT AWAY by Lynne Griffin
Saturday, March 26, 2016

I’m delighted to feature this interview with Lynne Griffin on The Debutante Ball. I met Lynne last fall, when she was one of my teachers at Launch Lab, a class on sending your book into the world, at Boston’s writing center, Grub Street. The class was phenomenal so I was eager to have Lynne join us here. Lynne is the author of three novels, the most recent of which is…


What Did You Call Me? The Name Conundrum

The evolution of a name
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

For those of you who have not yet met me in person, the name “Jennifer” probably sounds like a perfectly fine name. A bit common, yes, but nothing out of the ordinary. For my in-real-life friends, it causes a great deal of confusion. “Jennifer S. Brown?” I hear. “Who the hell is that?” Since I was old enough to vocalize the words, I have complained to my parents about the…


The Ides of March, aka Three Weeks to Book Launch

MODERN GIRLS by Jennifer S. Brown
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

It’s the Ides of March, the day Julius Caesar was assassinated and the day I give my six-month Deb check-in. Beware! So, what’s going on in my life these days? On no sugar: Utter failure. I made it three weeks before having to make “cameras” for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. It wasn’t the graham crackers nor the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups nor the Hershey’s that did me in. No,…


The Rock Star World of a Writer (Not!)

My daughter's sick day supplies
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I’m a capable woman who spent fourteen years as an independent adult before getting married. I entered into my marriage with my own power drill, mortgage, and system for organizing my book collection. We are an evolved family: my husband does the laundry, I order take-out for dinner, and the kids are learning how to mix Manhattans (okay, not quite, but a mother can dream). Husband travels occasionally for work….


Leaping and Creeping to a Finished Novel

A graveyard of writing
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My entire life has been about taking leaps. I tend to blindly jump forward without a lot of thought. In college, overnight I decided to switch my major from business to film. When I decided to apply for my MFA, I quit my job in New York before I had been accepted, telling my parents, “If I don’t get in, I’m going to move somewhere cheaper, take a part-time job,…


Read My Book! Please!

Baby reading a book
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I’ve had just enough of an odd background that celeb sightings don’t make me weak at the knees. Growing up in Miami Beach, star-spotting was not uncommon. At film school, I had an internship on a Ken Burns documentary and Academy Award-winners teaching my classes and holding Q&As for students. When I worked at Amazon, I interviewed celebs pretty regularly, mostly on the phone (Harrison Ford, Woody Allen, and–my favorite–Jennifer…


Technology for Non Tech Writers

Pinterest board for MODERN GIRLS
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Given how wired I am now, I find it difficult to remember those days when the most technological advancement I made in my writing was switching from a ball point pent to a gel pen (and there was a brief, pretentious time in there when I wrote with fountain pens, because, you know, I was the 1990s version of a hipster, which in those days was simply called “young.”). When…


Embracing Rejection

One of Jennifer S. Brown's rejection slips for a short story
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

We’re such romantics over here at the Deb Ball that we thought “Valentine’s Day” and our mind immediately went to “rejection.” That’s the life of a debut novelist. Look, we experience rejection our entire lives. Not a person alive hasn’t been rejected in some way. For example, in 4th grade, I had to wear a headgear. Twenty-four hours a day. And to make it easy to use, my mother took…


Judging a Book by Its Cover Process

MODERN GIRLS by Jennifer S. Brown
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I’ve heard the horror stories. I’ve been in Facebook groups where writers have bemoaned how much they hate their covers. Titles have been mangled. Everyone is unhappy. In my contract, I was given “consultation” rights, which I was told means basically nothing. The publishing house can consult me and say, “Okay, now we’re going to do what we want.” I was prepared. I would employ my family motto—”Suck it up”—and…


Partnership Publishing: A Guest Post by Connie Mayo + Giveaway

Island of Worthy Boys novel cover
Saturday, January 30, 2016

Connie Mayo is not just a fabulous writer, but she’s an amazing supporter of other writers. Connie and I continually run into each other at readings in the Boston area. I was so impressed by her that I picked up her debut novel, THE ISLAND OF WORTHY BOYS, and was immediately swept away. The writing whisks you away, and as an historical writer, I was especially appreciative of both the…