The BEFORE I GO Playlist

Monday, April 27, 2015

This week on the Ball we’re talking about the music we listen to while writing. Mostly, I listen to silence. Or, you know, the whining of my children asking for more snacks, or iPad time or keeping me updated on their constructive disagreements: “Mommy, she hit me!” “He hit me first!” “WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” Obviously, this is all very conducive to the creative process. However, there were a few times in the…


Nicole Baart’s Secret Superpower + a GIVEAWAY of THE BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A few years ago, an editor sent me SLEEPING IN EDEN by Nicole Baart to review. I started it on a Friday night — and promptly forgot all weekend plans. I carried it around with me, ignoring my family and reading it at meals. “Must be some book,” my husband said. And it was. She’s an expert plotter and creates real, believable characters that you care about and relate to….


Q&A with My Agent Extraordinaire: Emma Sweeney

Monday, April 20, 2015

Editor’s Note: The winner of last week’s giveaway with author Travis Neighbor Ward is Sophie Constable. Congrats Sophie! Also, this week on The Ball is Agent Week, where each Deb is interviewing her own agent. Check back each day for insider publishing tips from some of the best agents in the business! Emma Sweeney has been a champion for me and BEFORE I GO since she first called early one…


Author Andrea Lochen on Her Weirdest Job + a GIVEAWAY of IMAGINARY THINGS

Saturday, April 18, 2015

OK, I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I started seeing the image for Andrea Lochen’s second novel IMAGINARY THINGS a few weeks ago on social media and it caught my eye EVERY TIME. It’s gorgeous! And according to best-selling author Lori Nelson Spielman, the cover fits. She called IMAGINARY THINGS “a beautiful book, filled with vivid scenes, unforgettable characters, and oodles of heart. With…


Travis Neighbor Ward’s 3 Tips for Self-Published Authors + a GIVEAWAY!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is Self-Published Author Week on The Ball! Each day we’ll feature a new self-pubbed author, and a giveaway of their book! I first met Travis Neighbor Ward eight years ago, when I moved back to Atlanta from New York. She was the editor-in-chief of a luxury magazine and I was looking for some extra freelance work. I liked her immediately as a person, and admired her excessively…


It’s a Writer’s Life for Me

Monday, April 6, 2015

This week on the Ball we’re talking about the writing lifestyle as introverts or extroverts — what our personality types are, and the pros and cons of that type as it pertains to our occupation. But here’s the thing: I’m a Gemini. Which means on any given day I can be an introvert or an extrovert — or a crazy person who starts sobbing about a tragic news story one…


Sara Gruen Talks Mythical Monsters and Broadway Musicals + GIVEAWAY of AT THE WATER’S EDGE

Saturday, April 4, 2015

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS changed my life. Not only is it one of my favorite books and love stories of all time, but when I was ready to agent shop for BEFORE I GO, I sent my MS to Sara Gruen’s agent, because who wouldn’t want to have the same agent as one of their favorite authors? It was a shoot-for-the-stars kind of thing, but lo-and-behold, she agreed to represent me, and…


How to Throw a Successful Book Launch Party

Monday, March 30, 2015

The book launch party for BEFORE I GO on Jan. 6 was one of the best nights of my life (really, it was THE best night of my life, but don’t tell my husband that. Or any of my four kids.) Around 200 friends, family and strangers gathered at Room & Board in Atlanta to drink, eat and celebrate my biggest dream come true (Well, second biggest. Ryan Gosling, are…


Writers: Two Questions to Consider Before You Quit Your Day Job

Monday, March 23, 2015

I’ve been a full-time freelance writer for eight years now. In 2007, I packed up two suitcases and a few cardboard boxes, called it quits on my editor position at Marie Claire in New York and moved to Atlanta to be with my now-husband Fred. People called me all kinds of things — mostly out of my mind — for leaving a dream, cush job like the one I had….


Sleepy… Soooooooooo Sleepy

Monday, March 16, 2015

I’m not sure what the topic for this week is. I’m not even sure what week it is. Because, twins. This is a snapshot of what’s going through my brain right now: babiescrying milk bottles diapers hungryagain morecrying morediapers morecrying sleepy sleepy mewantsleep whencanIsleep????sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. So, taking a quick hiatus from the blog this week and hopefully will be back next week with more coherent thoughts in some semblance of…