Rocking the Writer Conference Circuit

Thursday, March 6, 2014

As an extrovert, I LOVE attending conferences and I’m gearing up (with much anticipation!) for those I’ll be attending this year. I get buzzed meeting all of those talented writers, agents, and editors. This is not the case for some of you. Many writers are introverts and cower at the thought of working a room or being on the spot. How do you beat the conference jitters? 1. REGISTER IN…


The Orange in My Favorite Writing Things

Thursday, February 27, 2014

With “orange” as a writing prompt this week, it leaves room for silliness and wayward discussions. Strangely, though, I found myself looking for some deep psychological meaning associated with the cheerful color–and that’s when it struck me. Orange evokes a few of my favorite writing things (cue Julie Andrews): Sunrise and starting the day fresh, new beginnings. This is a recurring theme in BECOMING JOSEPHINE. The fat highlighter marker I…


Why I Would Suck at the Writing Olympics

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Olympics are about dreams, hard work, and changing the records of human history—what’s not to love? But as we talk about competition and how it fuels our writing at The Debutante Ball this week, I find myself a bit on the outskirts of this discussion.  Let’s use a track and field analogy—a sport I love and coached for years. (I know, I know, that’s the Summer Games, but let’s…


First Loves and Falling All Over Again

Thursday, February 13, 2014

We’ve been sharing our first loves this week and the very FIRST love that popped into my mind was a cooing, spitting, hair-pulling love–my baby sister. I carried her around, pushed her in a stroller, helped tangle gum in her hair. We played dolls and school together, fought over who got to hold the guinea pig or who got to ride in the front seat. We made up our own…


Guest Author Marci Jefferson on The Book I Wish I Had Written + SPECIAL GIVEAWAY

Saturday, February 8, 2014

We are pleased to welcome Marci Jefferson today to The Debutante Ball. Her debut historical, GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN, tells the story of Frances Stuart–the woman who rejected three kings and graced the coin of Britannia forever. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “intoxicating…an exciting, solid debut” in its starred review. On this week’s topic, books we love, Marci says: I’m delighted to be a guest at The Debutante Ball, where debut authors are…


Heather Webb Wishes She Had Written All the Books

Thursday, February 6, 2014

There are a lot of reasons to love a book—simple entertainment, to evoke emotion, to escape our lives. Then there’s laughter, intrigue, or to simply fawn over the beauty of lyrical prose. I kinda wish I had written ALL THE BOOKS (ok, yeah, maybe not all of them), but here’s a teeny tiny sampling of those that make the top of the list:   FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY How…


Opening Lines Come at the End

Thursday, January 30, 2014

As the other debs have mentioned this week, opening lines are special.  Those first words do a lot of things–they reflect the protagonist’s voice, evoke a sense of time and/or place, and may allude to the protagonist’s problem. They’re a promise of what’s to come. Ever a work on progress, my own novel, Becoming Josephine, had four different first lines and four different openings. Draft 1:   “I could never guess how…


7 Steps to a Successful Book Launch

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I’m taking self-promotion in a different direction on the blog today. The whole point in promoting is to have a successful launch so let’s look at how to make that happen. As a debut author and a recently released one at that, I have a lot to say about this topic. It’s been an utter whirlwind of excitement, sobering facts, and unknowns. But within this chaos, I found the best…


Creating Likable Characters

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I’ve been on a character kick across the web lately (see Character Motivation, Action, & Goals and Character Renewal a.k.a. Character Arc), so I thought I’d keep it rollin’. Ultimately, what a good book comes down to for me—a memorable one—is the characters. That isn’t so easy to do, it turns out, but I’ve got a few tips to make it a bit easier. GIVE US A REASON TO ROOT…


Five Secret Hints About Heather Webb’s Next Book

Thursday, January 9, 2014

This week at The Debutante Ball, we’ve been talking about our next projects. Since I can’t officially say much yet, I want YOU to guess what my next topic is. Here are a few hints:   1. It takes place in France 2. It’s not the same time period as Becoming Josephine 3. Many real life people make cameos in the novel, including a certain national French hero 4. There’s lots…