Top Websites, Conferences, & Tools for Writers

Thursday, May 8, 2014

  This week at The Debutante Ball we’re talking craft. Rather than focusing on one aspect, I thought I’d bring you some of my favorite places to be on the web or otherwise, as a writer. I’d love to see what your favs are in the comments below. I’m always sniffing out new great sites. BEST WRITER BLOGS Beyond the Margins Writers In the Storm…


How Tear-Jerker Books Made Me A Brave Writer

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’m a crier. I cry at just about any kind of movie or TV show if I’m invested in the character’s journey. (Thankfully I’m NOT one of those who cries at Pampers and Tampax commercials.) Therefore it probably comes as no shock that I bawled writing certain scenes in Becoming Josephine, and again while writing Rodin’s Lover. But books for pleasure? In the past I…


5 Life Lessons I Learned From My First Job

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My first job was flipping crusts in the air, oiling pans, and rattling off toppings on the phone to customers hungry for pizza. It was a good enough job for a sixteen-year-old—hustling around, mostly brainless, flexible schedule—and nothing overly exciting or interesting. But what it taught me was monumental. In fact, that first job of mine, I’d say, taught me a few of my most important life lessons that I…


Breaking the Law in Fiction

Thursday, April 17, 2014

As a novice writer, especially one in search of an agent, we swallow every writing and industry rule hook, line, and sinker. It’s understandable when we’re dying to get our foot in the door. And sure, most of those standards exist for a reason, but those books that BREAK OUT, often break the laws of fiction. I’ve stomped all over plenty of rules, just like Natalia. (See her Tuesday post…


Guest Author: HAZEL GAYNOR on Book Launching + Giveaway

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Today we welcome historical novelist Hazel Gaynor to The Debutante Ball. Her debut, THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, tells the story of a young Irish woman, Maggie Murphy, who reluctantly leaves her Irish home and her sweetheart, Séamus, to start a new life in America with her aunt. They travel on RMS Titanic. Seventy years later, Maggie confides in her great-granddaughter, Grace, sharing her experience of the traumatic events of April,…


Cripes, How do I Launch a Book? Multi-Pubbed Authors Weigh In

Thursday, April 3, 2014

No matter which way you slice it, launching a book is tricky and overwhelming. Not only is it overwhelming, but there are so many great books out there! How in the world can we ensure our book is read? It seems we’re constantly learning of new and improved ways to sell our novels–ads, virtual tours, launch parties, blogging, social media…I could go on (and I did here in this post…


A VINTAGE Metaphor, and What Our Clothes Say About Us

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What do our clothes say about us? For the moment, my sweat pants, hoodie, and black glasses say I’m a scrubby writer. A few years ago, my track clothes and stop watch said I was a coach—someone who cheered others on to accomplish their goals. Last week, my suit jacket and heels said I was a no-nonsense professional. But it’s not just my own clothes I notice. I adore watching…


What’s in a Setting? For One, a Vibrant KILMOON

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It probably comes as no surprise that I adore an atmospheric novel entrenched in its place (and often in time). I’d say that’s true of most historical novelists. But it isn’t just about beautiful description to me, it’s about unique detailing that evokes emotion that soaks into the folds of your mind and roots in your memory. Let me share a few examples of how Lisa does this so beautifully…



Saturday, March 15, 2014

We’re thrilled to welcome author Therese Walsh to The Debutante Ball today. Therese’s second novel, THE MOON SISTERS, released in hard cover on March 4th, 2014. Booklist gave it a starred review, saying “This magical, moving tale is not to be missed.” About The Moon Sisters: After their mother’s probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz attempt to move on with their lives. Pragmatic Jazz takes a job in the same funeral home…


Spring Ahead, Renewal, or Just Kersplat?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hope springs eternal. This is the most true phrase there ever was except maybe, “don’t shit where you eat” (for utterly obvious reasons).  I mean, WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE about sunshine that breaks through winter clouds and coaxes buds and bulbs and bunnies to life? Or the twitter of happy birds, desperate to sing a happy song with Snow White herself. Yet despite the blissful side of spring, the season…