What’s in your non-negotia-bowl?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Devi Laskar said it best: “It’s tax season and this is a perfect time to remember that unless your last name is GRISHAM or KING, it is difficult to make a living writing books. Don’t let it deter you.” I recently read a wonderful article about how to find a rewarding career path that utilized this graph to help you understand what you really want out of your life: According…


Interview with Maria Kuznetsova & Giveaway of Oksana, Behave!

This week, we are welcoming Maria Kuznetsova to the Debutante Ball. Maria is a debut novelist whose lovely book Oksana, Behave! will immediately become your newest favorite. I first became aware of her work in 2018 after I picked up a copy of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and read an excerpt of the book, which I was delighted to see would be published the following year. Today, Oksana, Behave! has only…

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Dream potions, far-away places & loss: Martine Fournier-Watson’s Dream Peddler

Look out everyone — it’s another book birthday! At the Debutante Ball, we are happily celebrating the publication of Martine Fournier-Watson’s THE DREAM PEDDLER! Reading Martine’s blog posts over the past few months has been such a delight for me. From her clever insights on the pitfalls of building a social media platform (“When I think of branding, I think of cattle”) to her lovely ruminations about how selling her…

Thursday, April 11, 2019

How to do research for your novel in 10 steps

How to do the research required to write a novel: Make friends with a librarian. Some are friendlier than others. Use Google Maps to determine where your characters live. Write the address down. Travel to the place where your story is set. Don’t knock on the door. Read novels that include the themes in your novel. All of them. Read anything that might marginally be related to your novel. All…

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Loan forgiveness, bike rides, and creative hallucinations

My perfect day would consist of turning on the news and learning that all of our world leaders have come together to reduce carbon emissions to save what’s left of the planet. It would also consist of finding out that our president has miraculously turned into a progressive woman of color. This ethereal POTUS will secure reparations, protect reproductive justice, enact appropriate taxes for the wealthy, stop detaining and deporting…

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Interview with Jessica Strawser + Giveaway of FORGET YOU KNOW ME!

This week, we are so thrilled to welcome Jessica Strawser to the Debutante Ball! Jessica has joined us here before, when her book Not That I Could Tell came out last year, and we are so excited to have her back to talk about her newest novel Forget You Know Me. Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary…

Saturday, March 23, 2019

With The Perfect Assassin, K.A. Doore is Only Getting Started

Thursday, March 21, 2019

There are five of us here at the Debutante Ball, each with separate publication dates, which means we don’t get to just celebrate our publication just once. We get to celebrate it FIVE TIMES. And what’s better than one? Five, obviously. It’s like waking up the day after your birthday to find out it’s your birthday all over again! First there was Devi Laskar, who kicked us off last month…


Interview with Toni Kirkpatrick & Giveaway of The Bolero of Andi Rowe

This week, I’m so excited to welcome Toni Kirkpatrick to the Debutante Ball! I first conducted this interview in 2016 back when I was unagented and unpublished, and Toni graciously agreed to answer my eager questions. Then, last summer, I finally had the privilege of meeting Toni when she hosted a writing workshop near me. At the time, I was weeks away from starting the editing process with my publisher…

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Want to write a believable character? Give them a personality test

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Creating believable characters that jump off the page is probably one of the most difficult things for fiction writers to do. Consulting personality tests can help. A personality test can help you determine what guides your character’s inner most motives and thoughts. It can help you streamline your character’s tendencies, fears, and desires. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a Myers-Briggs test, an enneagram test, or a horoscope chart. All…


Hanging Onto Inspiration As You Write Your Book

Many writers will tell you not to wait for inspiration — what really makes a writer is discipline. You need to wake up at a certain time each day and commit that pen to paper. But even though a novel is a slow journey that you complete only by dedicating yourself to the task, there is definitely a little bit of magic involved. For me, inspiration comes in several forms. I’ve…

Thursday, February 28, 2019