I loved The Talking Drum.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Are people for their cities, or are cities for their people? Is this a question you think about a lot? Lisa Braxton has. I grew up in upstate New York, near Albany, where the grand and massive towers of the Empire State Plaza loom over the South End of the city. As an 80’s child, I took it for granted that the plaza had always been there. When you’re a…

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Get ready. I’m adding to your TBR today.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

I’m writing this entry on #blackouttuesday, when white artists are asked to stop centering themselves and make space as possible for black artists, writers and musicians in the community. So I’m going to get on with doing just that. Here’s a list of brilliant recent YA and adult speculative fiction by some of the best in the business. Go! Purchase! Get reading! The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull For five years the…

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Interview with Sarah Kozloff, author of A QUEEN IN HIDING & the Nine Realms series

Saturday, May 30, 2020

I’m so pleased to welcome Sarah Kozloff to the ball today! Sarah and I met through our editor at Tor and I was amazed at her journey — from film & TV professor to fantasy author, with her entire series released earlier this year by Tor! That’s right, Sarah debuted with FOUR books! THE NINE REALMS series, beginning with A QUEEN IN HIDING, is the kind of epic fantasy fans…

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Do it. Apply for the 2021 Debutante Ball.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

I’m going to be honest with you, 2021 debutantes. I almost didn’t apply for the Debutante Ball. I was working on my sequel, over a year away from going through the pre-publication shuffle that is copyediting and publicity and galley review. I felt like I wasn’t a “real author” at all. I remember staring at the Debutante Ball website, at blog entries from debutantes like Layne Fargo and K.A. Doore…

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Submit Your Application to Become a Member of the Class of 2021 Debutante Ball!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Every year since 2007, five debut women authors have taken part in The Debutante Ball, a group blog for authors making their debut in the literary world. Former Debs include bestsellers in the genres of women’s fiction, mystery, literary fiction, nonfiction, young adult, and more. It’s time for the Class of 2020 to pass on our tiaras. We’re looking for female or non-binary writers who have not previously had a book…

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Hooray for The Goddess Twins!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

I love books with voice. Books where you can hear the characters talk in your head, where they’re serious and witty and believable and bold. The Goddess Twins has a lot going for it, but one of its major triumphs is the voices of its teenage protagonists. I had twin acquaintances in high school—twins who dressed differently, acted separately, took different classes, had divergent interests. One played sports. The other…

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Make Your Own MFA

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

I’m going to cut to the chase. I firmly believe that there are only two things you really need to become a great writer: 1) lots of practice, and 2) good critique partners. That’s it. Everything else is mirrors and glitter. Practice is simple. Practice makes you better. Critique partners are a little more complicated, but you can still find them online and in your local town: good ones help…

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Novels arrive precisely when they mean to.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

I’m turning forty this year. And when you’re a middle-aged mom writing science fiction at four in the morning, it’s hard to look at all the startling young ingenues in their adorable city apartments, writing life-changing novels, getting MFAs, doing interviews with Lithub— —Let’s just say that I’ve been there. I understand. I thought my life was over in my early thirties when I turned out a truly awful epic…

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Just a couple Easter eggs left, and none of them chocolate, alas.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Okay. I have a confession to make. I’m going to be the disappointing Deb this week because I don’t actually have a whole lot of easter eggs in Architects of Memory. Some authors love leaving easter eggs hither and yon, but I’m just not in that group. Some of the names can be tracked to real people, literary figures, and characters on shows I’ve watched, but any connection more than…

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My favorite indie bookstores

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

I love independent bookstores. Who doesn’t? The curated selection! The friendly booksellers! The atmosphere! I miss a lot about life outside my house, and dawdling through a bookstore with a coffee and my baby in a stroller ranks pretty high on my list. (I’m gonna cry through writing this one, aren’t I). It’s only natural that some of my favorite indies are in Baltimore, where I currently live. There’s the…

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