Swirling My Launch Party

Friday, July 1, 2016

So my debut novel, UPTOWN THIEF, is a heist book with a romantic arc; it features women of color and has hard-hitting political content, plus it’s gritty and sexually explicit, with a cast of sex workers. It’s a literary/commercial hybrid, genre-straddling, wild concoction of a book. And I didn’t know how to launch it. I dropped into my default position: compartmentalize. I had planned three small launch events. I envisioned…


The Soundtrack to My Writer’s Life

Friday, June 24, 2016

As much as I love music, when it comes to playlists for my writing, I am utterly boring. I have only two songs I listen to while I write: the first is an ambient sound track called “Refreshing Rain.” It came into heavy rotation in my house when I had a baby, and needed noise cancellation sound to keep from waking her up when I would cook and clean. I still…


Adventures in Anxiety and Spirituality

Friday, June 17, 2016

In 2014, I installed a book altar in my home. I’m a clutterer with a young child in a small house, so there wasn’t much room. But here’s what there was: a triangle-shaped piece of wood that had been mounted on the moldings in the corner of the living room to hold a speaker. But we were no longer using that particular stereo, so the piece of wood was empty….


The Many Faces of Food in Fiction

Friday, June 10, 2016

In middle and high school, I was heavily into theater. We did tons of improvisational exercises, most of which I don’t recall. However, one sticks in my mind, and I continue to use it in the spoken word classes I teach. It’s done in pairs, and each partner only has one line that they say to each other over and over again: “let’s have lunch.” The goal of the exercise…


Regrets and Reversals

Friday, June 3, 2016

This week, we’re talking about regrets. My definition of a regret would be an instance in which things are not working out in my life due to decisions I’ve made in the past. For example, some big challenges in my life are due to sexism, but I don’t regret being born female, and I don’t think sexism would have less of an impact if I had done something differently. It’s…


An Interview with Memoirist and Screenwriter Antonia Crane – Plus GIVEAWAY!

SPENT by Antonia Crane
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Since having a kid, I have to confess that I haven’t read a single print book that wasn’t required for one reason or other. As a working mom, I listen to plenty of books in audio format. But if I actually have a free moment, where my hands aren’t busy washing dishes, carrying laundry, or driving the car to schlep my kid around, those free hands are on my computer…


Writing While Female and The Big Freeze

Friday, May 27, 2016

So it finally happened to me last week—the big freeze. People often remark on my high level of productivity, and it’s true. I write a lot; I hustle hard; I get a lot done. But last week, I hit the wall. Suddenly fear, dread, disorientation, and procrastination overtook me like a tsunami of ice at ten weeks from my publication date. People talk about the twin fears: fear of failure…


Putting One Shoe (or Book) In Front of the Other

Friday, May 20, 2016

My daughter is learning to tie her shoes as a kindergartner. This is because, up until now, all her shoes have been closed with Velcro. I think I have unconsciously avoided laces, but this time she went shopping with grandma, and got Hello Kitty sneakers. With laces. I think this is the first task that she is trying to master that I recall so clearly having tried to master myself,…


Urban Womens Fiction, Superheroes, and Power Accessories

Friday, May 13, 2016

This week on the Debutante Ball, we’re talking about superpowers. My main character, Marisol Rivera, is a superhero of sorts. A Latina Robin Hood, her superpower is to rob from the rich and give to the poor. She doesn’t have arrows or a hat, but she does have this pair of “invincibility shoes” that add a certain superhero accessorizing to her life. In the following scene, Marisol is talking with…


Letting My Mom Read UPTOWN THIEF, Sex Scenes and All

Friday, May 6, 2016

I’m really glad that we were talking on the phone when my mom told me what she thought of my book, UPTOWN THIEF. She told me she loved it. She also said, “there’s a lot of sex.” This is an understatement. It’s a book about sex workers, who run a sex work clinic. It depicts all different types of sex: straight sex, gay sex, romantic sex, paid-for sex, addictive sex,…