Let Me Tell You How I Really Feel About… One-Star Reviews

Monday, June 22, 2015

Edit note: This week on The Ball we’re talking about reader reviews and how we feel about them (especially the bad ones). Seeing as how I wrote a post about that very topic for Passionate Reads a few months ago (coupled with the fact that I had way too much pinot noir last night), I’m using my two favorite shortcuts this week: copy & paste. Enjoy! Being a new author is kind…


Sex Scenes— Just Do It?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Oh, the dreaded sex scene. It’s so tough to write on so many levels — mainly because in the back of your mind, you’re thinking how your mom and dad will be reading it at some point and OH The HUMANITY, but also because they can devolve into soft porn/E.L. James scenes where men have “throbbing members” and women have “love buttons” fairly quickly. Which is why the Literary Review created an…


Tips for Tapping Your Creativity

Monday, June 8, 2015

I’m in the middle of three deadlines right now, so I’m going to make this post short and sweet. We’re talking about how to stay creative this week, and I’ve got a few go-to tips that help me when the right-side of my brain isn’t working too well (like now). 1. Always carry pen and paper. I keep a notebook in my purse and beside my bed. You never know…


Barbara Claypole White on THE PERFECT SON + a GIVEAWAY!

I’m thrilled to welcome to the Ball the refreshingly honest and funny author Barbara Claypole White, whose latest book THE PERFECT SON (out July 1st) is the darkly quirky story of a mother fighting for life, a father demanding perfection, and a son struggling with chaos. It’s about women’s health, Tourette syndrome, psycho squirrels, messed-up families…and moonshine. And if that sounds like a whirlwind— wait til you hear about the journey…

Saturday, June 6, 2015

How to Avoid Overwhelmed Author Syndrome

Monday, June 1, 2015

When my book baby was launched into the world on Jan. 6, I was seven months pregnant with two real babies (yes, TWO!) and I already had two kids under the age of four (see: what happens when you get drunk on vacation and throw caution to the wind). It was a busy time, what with the 200+ person launch party I was planning, the umpteen blog interviews I had…


TINY PRETTY THINGS— It’s almost here!!!!

Tomorrow, TINY PRETTY THINGS (a.k.a., the best YA novel of the year) will be released and available for your (and your teen daughter’s, and your teen daughter’s best friend’s) consumption. And trust me, you (and your teen daughter and your teen daughter’s best friend) will want to scoop this one up and devour it immediately. This “Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars” debut by our very own Sona Charaipotra and her friend…

Monday, May 25, 2015

What’s in a (Character) Name? How I Choose ‘Em

Monday, May 18, 2015

This week on the Ball we’re talking about how we pick names for our characters. I’ll be honest: sometimes it’s even harder than choosing names for my own kids (and I’ve been known to dig into baby name books for both). For BEFORE I GO, the name of the main characters Daisy and Jack came pretty easily. Daisy, to me, connotes perkiness, sunshine and flowers — pretty much the antithesis…


The Dreaded First Draft: A How-Not-To

Monday, May 11, 2015

This week on The Ball we’re sharing our tips and tricks for first drafts and how to get them done. But I pretty much buck all convention when it comes to drafting, so you should probably do the opposite of everything I do. First, I start with the idea and then mull it over in my mind — sometimes for four or five years. I live with the characters, write whole…



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Many writers derive ideas for their novels from personal experience, but perhaps none so personal as a husband’s suicide — the tragic event that became the basis (some 17 years later) for Kathryn Craft’s stunning new novel THE FAR END OF HAPPY. Craft’s sophomore effort is the chilling story of one troubled man, the family that loves him, and the suicide standoff that will change all of them forever. We caught…


Where Are They Now? Deb Lori Rader-Day’s Little Pretty Year

Editor’s Note: This week we’re catching up with last year’s Debs and seeing what they’ve been writing, publishing and working on since they were last on the Ball. Today, we welcome back Lori Rader-Day, author of THE BLACK HOUR and the upcoming LITTLE PRETTY THINGS. My last post for the Debutante Ball was in August of last year. That is so strange to me because it seems like yesterday. That…

Monday, May 4, 2015