Go deep to beat distraction

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

You’re going to get some really great advice from my fellow Debs this week. Anyone who writes a book while living a normal human life has already won the productivity game. I wish I had some good answers to the question of how to be a less distracted writer, but I don’t, because there’s no one solution that fits every writer out there, or even most writers. Lives are just…

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Fight or flight, fear and failure

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Do you want to know my number one writing fear? Writing this blog entry. Ha, ha. I’m mostly kidding. I have panic disorder, so “confronting my fears” is something I do with a lot of preparation and self-care. However, I feel like I might share my number one writing fear with pretty much every debut author who ever waltzed on to the scene, so I don’t feel alone in this….

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How To Work With An Editor

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

I’ve had a lot of really, really good editors in my career. The student news editor at my high school newspaper—not my English teacher!—taught me grammar. My first pro newspaper editor showed me the ropes and guided me away from dozens upon dozens of stupid errors. The fiction editors I’ve worked with recently have strengthened my novels and stories immeasurably; they’re generally always better at pacing and structure than I…

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Interview with Valerie Valdes, author of CHILLING EFFECT

Saturday, October 19, 2019

I am thrilled to welcome Valerie Valdes to The Debutante Ball. We attended Viable Paradise together in 2016. Valerie will be giving away a copy of her novel, Chilling Effect, with an absolutely adorable fridge magnet — see below! Valerie Valdes lives in an elaborate meme palace with her husband and kids, where she writes, edits and moonlights as a muse. She enjoys crafting handmade bespoke artisanal curses and admiring…

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Let’s go back. All the way back.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

When I think of the books and authors that have influenced me, I think back. Way back. Back further than that. All the way to the beginning, really, because there’s nothing like the high you get from reading when you’re young. I think that’s one of the highs we chase as adult readers—the feeling we got way back when while staying up late, hiding under the sheets with a flashlight,…

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Interview with A.J. Hackwith, Author of THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN

Saturday, October 12, 2019

I am so excited to welcome A.J. Hackwith to The Debutante Ball. We attended Viable Paradise together in 2016.  A.J. Hackwith is a magpie of plots, bad ideas, and spite. She is a queer speculative fiction writer who writes contemporary fantasy as A. J. Hackwith and sci-fi romance as Ada Harper.  Her writing has appeared in Uncanny Magazine and various anthologies, and she’s an alumni of Viable Paradise workshop. She’s…

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Oh, how I love the bracket trick.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

I love revisions. (I know, you’re about to ask—which demon rose from depths of hell and is currently wearing a writer coat?) I just think it’s incredibly fun to take a rough piece of coal and polish it into a diamond. But first drafts have their charms, too. You don’t have to impress anyone — not even yourself. In a first draft, you can just knock the firehose to full…

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Rejection is a teacher.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Rejection is a great teacher. When I was a journalist in upstate New York, I’d often have to ask tough questions of people that were not entirely excited to speak to me. The problem is, as a journalist, you can’t really go along with rejection. If someone says “no,” you have to continue to say “yes.” You have a responsibility to the story and to your readers, so you have…

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I don’t do balance.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

I don’t do balance. I mean, I wish I did. I’d like to. A balanced life seems appealing, in its own special way—tranquil and well-ordered, like an apartment lovingly curated by Marie Kondo. I’m not being clever or facetious. I’d love to live in a place like that. Life would unfold in shades of delightful Instagram pink, in eustress rather than stress, in coffee mugs on back porches, in variations…

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There is no “normal.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Before I begin, let’s get something straight: there’s no “typical path to publication.” There’s only what happens to you, when it happens to you. Remember, this is a business where the only effective marketing advice are dollar signs and shrug emojis. That said, my journey is actually fairly typical. I call publishing “the eye of Sauron,” because you’ll find yourself living through long stretches of time where nothing much is…

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