5 Qs for My Editor: Karen Kosztolnyik

When my agent first told me about Karen Kosztolnyik, the executive editor at Gallery that had acquired my book, she said: “You’re going to love her. She likes margaritas as much as you do.” And she was right, that did make me love her. But Karen also has a million other qualities that make her the perfect editor for me and BEFORE I GO. Namely, that she not only loved…

Monday, March 9, 2015

Talking Science and Superpowers with Karen Bao + DOVE ARISING Giveaway!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

I first met Karen Bao last fall when we both attended SIBA together. We were signing our debut books at tables next to each other and I couldn’t help but think that she was either really young, or knew about some miracle face cream that I needed to get in on. After chatting a little bit, she confessed that she was 19 — NINETEEN! — in college at Columbia in…


How to Deal With Rejection in Three Easy Steps

Monday, February 23, 2015

When my first book — The Book That Shall Never Be Published — was out on submission, it was a soul-sucking, nerve-wracking, difficult time. I’d like to say that I kept my head up, looked for the bright side, pulled my big girl panties on and woke up each morning with hope and optimism and the grand thought that if this book didn’t sell, my next one (that I hadn’t…


Finding the Balance

Monday, February 16, 2015

This week, I’m supposed to be sharing with you fine readers how I find balance between writing and real life. But here’s the truth: I don’t. Or I haven’t. I haven’t is a little more hopeful, like maybe one day I’ll figure it out. But with twins coming any day now, upping my brood from two to four, I don’t think that day will be anytime soon. Here’s what I…


Looking for Love? Try These 5 Books

Monday, February 9, 2015

It’s Valentine’s Day week and on The Ball we’re paying tribute to the books we love — and in writer speak, that really means the books we wish we had written. As a writer, it’s hard to fall in love with a book and not have a little twinge of jealousy at how good it is. So, if you don’t have plans for Saturday (or even if you do), pick…


One Trick to Creating Believable Characters

Monday, February 2, 2015

One of the coolest things about good fiction (to me, anyway, but keep in mind that I’m a pretty big nerd), is that there’s always an element of truth to it. Even the most outlandish stories— for them to be good — have to be plausible when reading them. Take Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. You have to think “yes, reincarnation could definitely happen and it’s happening to this girl.”…


The Making of BEFORE I GO’s Cover

Monday, January 26, 2015

Going through the publishing process of BEFORE I GO was a big learning curve. But the thing I learned about covers, is that I did not miss my calling in designing them. My editor kindly asked me for input (which I’ve heard doesn’t happen all the time at big publishing houses). I studied covers of books I liked and tried to decipher what drew me to the cover. I looked at covers…


Let’s Get Critical!

Monday, January 19, 2015

OK, now I have that Olivia Newton-John song in my head. And I’m sure you do too. You’re welcome. This week on The Ball we’re talking about our critique partners — why we have them, why they’re important, why you shouldn’t choose a friend or family member. Or, maybe why you should. My critique partner is my sister. I’ve mentioned her a few times on this blog, but let me formally…


Procrastination: You’re a Hard Habit to Break

Monday, January 12, 2015

I’m writing this blog post at 8:30 pm on Sunday night (while watching the Golden Globes, of course), and it’s supposed to go live at midnight. Yes, I’ve had a super busy week, BUT there are plenty of times I could have written this post before now and chose not to. In other words: Hi, I’m Colleen and I’m a Procrastinator. This week on the Ball, we’re talking about the…


Deb Colleen Oakley Takes Over The Guest Chair + GIVEAWAY of BEFORE I GO

Saturday, January 10, 2015

I’m in the cushy red chair today! (To be honest, it’s not as comfortable as it looks — but maybe that’s because I’m 7 months pregnant with twins. Nothing is comfortable.) Anyway, I’m THRILLED to be taking the Deb interview today. I found out about The Debutante Ball about four years ago and jealously/admiringly lurked, watching as other writers took the step that I only dreamed about — publishing their…