What’s Important

My book is out tomorrow. My book. Is out. Tomorrow. That is a weird thing to say. A weird thing to type. A weird thing to think. Just two years ago, I was writing The Perfect Assassin. I was carefully setting goals and timelines and getting up early and writing during naps and writing in the middle of the night – forget about sleeping when baby sleeps: write when baby…

Monday, March 18, 2019

Interview with Soniah Kamal

Saturday, March 16, 2019

I’m so excited to welcome Soniah Kamal to the Debutante Ball this week! Her novel UNMARRIAGEABLE, has been described as a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan. It’s been an Amazon Best Books Pick, a Library Reads Pick, and featured in People Magazine. NPR said it’s “a fun, page-turning romp and a thought-provoking look at the class-obsessed strata of Pakistani society,” Publisher’s Weekly gave it a starred review…


The World of The Perfect Assassin

Monday, March 11, 2019

As the only fantasy Deb this year, I’ve been looking forward to the topic of worldbuilding since, well, we first started. This is my jam, my butter, my easily spreadable confection of choice. Some people say worldbuilding is hard, but I can’t seem to stop. All it takes is a seed and a little water and it all but grows itself. The seed for Ghadid was a line in a…


It’s Not Personal

Monday, March 4, 2019

There’s a certain allure to personality tests, as if answering a few (or a hundred) questions might just finally crack open the complex mystery that is you. We all know they’re not scientific, not in the least, and yet spending a few minutes and actually thinking about our own tendencies, our own desires, our own framework, can help us understand why we do some of the things we do. Why…


Plot!Walks, Plot!Runs, and Other Sources of Inspiration

Monday, February 25, 2019

Like most writers, everything in my life is a potential source for inspiration. Overhearing a conversation in a cafe. A coworker’s funny story about Alaska. A 12 hour drive through the backwoods of Florida at night after a hurricane, where the roads are covered in debris and your friend in the passenger seat keeps talking about that time their friend tried to drive through a puddle and it turned out…


I’m Not Really a Fancaster

Monday, February 18, 2019

How am I going to get around fancasting, I thought to myself when I saw this topic months ago. Surely I will think of something clever. Fancasting is the fun daydreaming that some writers do where they mentally cast a certain actor or actress as their characters in a maybe someday movie. Fancasting can be a convenient way to solidify what your character looks like, or what kind of mannerisms they might…


Love Letters to Fictional People

Monday, February 11, 2019

This week we have the choice to talk about what we love about our debut novels or what we love about writing in general. I’ve already gone on at length about why I love writing, but I’ve rarely confronted what I love about my own book – at least not in such a blatant and forthright way. Since it’s just a little over a month until publication now, this would…


The Atlas of Reds and Blues: A Gorgeous Punch to the Gut

Monday, February 4, 2019

This book. This gorgeous book. This gorgeous and painful and always-too-timely book. I was lucky and got to read an advanced copy of The Atlas of Reds and Blues way back in October on my plane to Sirens and it’s stuck with me all that time, in snippets and phrases and impressions, all lingering like a really good book should, making me pause, stop, think and see the world in a slightly different light….


Self-Promo for the Anxious

Monday, January 28, 2019

This week we’re talking about self-promotion and boy, do I have some words to say about this. Granted, most of them are “aaaaah!” and “please anything but” and “oh god why,” but what better way to start this week than at the absolute bottom? I’ve mentioned my anxiety a few times on this blog already, so it should come as no surprise that self-promo and everything related to it fills…


Comp Titles or How I’m Terrible at Them

Monday, January 21, 2019

I’m going to admit it outright: I’m kinda the worst at comp titles. Comp titles aka comparable titles are the titles of books or even (sometimes) movies or TV shows that, taken together, help to better explain and sell your book. I can give a dozen different pieces of advice – look for specific aspects to highlight, go for feel, make it recent, make it this meets that – but…