Being unrealistic for my debut year

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

My problem, friends, is that I’ve spent too much time being a realist. I was realistic about my prospects when I graduated college, and instead of throwing myself into writing novels, I became a journalist. Instead of going out to LA to pursue a film career, I took the more realistic path of starting a local company that produced weddings, corporate video and commercials. I’ve been a realist all my…

Read More >>

Pay the writers

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The most challenging part of being a writer is the fact that there’s not a lot of money in it. I wish I had a better answer. I wish I could wave my hand and fix capitalism so that the authors of my favorite novels could do things like eat and drive and pay the mortgage. I wish there was a more equal spread of author pay, instead of it…

Read More >>

All the things you can (and can’t) control

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, just like some of the other Debs. “Lose weight” usually ends three weeks in when I twist my ankle on the treadmill and remember that pasta exists. “Spend less” makes me shriek with laughter, since I’m a homeowner. I’d love to “learn a new hobby,” except that between keeping the baby alive and keeping my career alive, I barely have time to…

Read More >>

My favorite books of 2019

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

It’s Christmas Eve, which means I’m type type typing, attempting to finish my long list of deadlines before I put on my Santa hat and artfully arrange presents around a tree for my baby daughter who doesn’t even know who Santa is quite yet. Anyway, here’s a short list of the reads that made my 2019 delightful and fun. I firmly believe that we are absolutely, completely, one hundred percent…

Read More >>

How to write when you’re not writing

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

In 2009, I left my job as a high school English teacher and ran right smack dab into the Great Recession. It hurt. Nobody was hiring. I couldn’t get an interview, much less a job. After a few months of false starts and throwing myself at the wall, I harnessed what was left of my entrepreneurial spirit and started a wedding videography business. Wedding videography was something I had done…

Read More >>

Abandon your darlings

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Imagine, if you will, the author in her very early twenties. She’s two months out from her college graduation, completing her second or third week as a real journalist at a real newspaper. She’s wearing a suit that’s far too fancy for the newsroom around her, but that’s just because she only owns the one right now. She’s so new she hasn’t been out shopping for business casual clothes yet….

Read More >>

Eyes on your own paper.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

I can’t remember who told me this first, but here’s the piece of writing advice that changed my life: Eyes on your own paper. I can’t tell you how many careers Comparison and her brother Jealousy have ruined. And they’re vicious. They’ll roll right into your house, take your remote, crack open a soda and put their feet up on your ottoman before you even know what’s happening. They’ll ruin…

Read More >>

Thankful for a game well-played.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

If you hadn’t guessed already, I’m a little bit of an extrovert. That’s not always a plus in the writing world—sure, having “chatterbox” as an honorary added middle name helps when I’m hanging out in the hotel bar at a book festival or at a coffee place with my writing besties, but it sure doesn’t help when I’m back home alone, staring at the blank cursor with silence rapping on…

Read More >>

New writers: It’s okay to start somewhere.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

At the beginning, it’s perfectly okay to have no idea what you’re doing. It’s okay to spend hours at a bookstore, running your fingers over the spines of new releases and dreaming. It’s okay to imagine your book sitting on a shelf there, even if you’re years away from your first query letter. This is how you learn what sells. It’s okay to write fanfic until five in the morning,…

Read More >>

Why are query letters so difficult?!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

In the grand scheme of things, writing the novel is supposed to be the hard part. Compared to writing my query letter, writing the novel felt normal. Easy. It took me just over two weeks of daily hacking at the keyboard (and, let’s be honest, more than a little bit of anguish) to get it right. I ended up running it by twice as many beta readers as my novel…

Read More >>