Distraction? There’s an app for that!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

We’re tackling the problem of distractions this week, and like many of us, I’m an expert at finding reasons to not write. Laundry to be folded? Dishwasher to be unloaded? Twitter to be checked for the fiftieth time in an hour? I’ve succumbed to all of these and a million more. Luckily, I’ve got a pretty simple and low-level hack to share. This works for me, given my oft-discussed proclivity…

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Kathleen’s Daily Specials: Irrational Terror and Crippling Self-Doubt

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

I’m rolling my eyes at myself as I begin my “Writing Fears” post. I’m an anxious sort. I’m afraid of tons of things. In fact, my daily specials include irrational terror and crippling self-doubt.  Yesterday, Lisa wrote about her fear of losing her work. I’ve got that fear-base covered, too. Will I spill tea on my computer and fry it before I can back it up? Will the cloud implode?…

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Interview with Farah Heron, author of THE CHAI FACTOR

Saturday, October 26, 2019

I am so excited to welcome Farah Heron to The Debutante Ball this week. Farah’s debut, THE CHAI FACTOR released in June from HarperCollins Canada, and she’s one of my favorite people on Twitter. Check her out for a perfect blend of writing truth, political and equity truth, and straight-up humor. Farah is one of those writers you at once root for and want to be friends with it.    After…

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3 Tips for Working with an Editor

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Kathleen here with three tips for working with an editor. I think the aim of our prompt this week is to discuss our work with editors at publishing houses, and I’ll get there. But, really, my book (and all other books I know of) went through multiple rounds of editing before it was acquired for publication.  Here’s what I think you should do to get ready for those last rounds…

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“I Want to Write Like That”: The Authors that Inspired Kathleen’s Debut

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

After I read Celeste Ng’s debut, Everything I Never Told You, I started thinking about writing fiction for real. It wasn’t that I had any delusions about writing quite as beautifully as Ng does. It was more that the story she told–of family members who loved each other, but didn’t really know each other–moved me so intensely. So, after I finished it, I started writing my own multi-generational (and highly…

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6 Signs You’re Writing A First Draft

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

You wake before your alarm, stretch, and just start typing. The words flow like melted caramel! Writing is easy and fun for you! You can’t believe the extent of your own genius. The euphoria lasts until the next morning when you re-read the trash-fire drivel you produced. You would delete it all–and you totally should–but then you’d be going backward in your word count. You drag yourself out of bed…

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You Can’t Win the Game If You Don’t Play

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Real talk: I’ve spent most of my life as a fixed-mindset perfectionist who is afraid to take any risks.  Also real talk: I don’t think you can become a published author if you are a fixed-mindset perfectionist who is afraid to take any risks. I wrote last week about trophy-chasing. I’ve been both trapped in and fueled by this “must win” mentality. I have generally asked myself: “Why do it…

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Balance? What Balance?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

We’re writing about balance this week, and, gosh, I sure hope no one clicked through today hoping for an advice column.  The unfortunate truth is, I have very little sense of balance. I go-go-go, basically until I have some kind of health problem or mini breakdown. This has been a life-long pattern, and though it’s occurred to me many times to try to be different than how I am, I…

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Interview with Meghan Scott Molin, Author of The Frame Up and The Queen Con

Saturday, September 21, 2019

I am so excited to welcome Meghan Scott Molin to The Debutante Ball! Meghan and I share an agent (the excellent Joanna MacKenzie), and I was on the preorder train for both of Meghan’s published novels, The Frame-Up and The Queen Con. These books truly have something for everyone: smart writing, clever mysteries, swoon-worthy romance, and the most wonderful nerdy bad-ass main character, MG Martin. Meghan promises a third book…

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On Stage with the Sixth Graders: Kathleen’s Path to Publication

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

We’re writing about paths to publication this week and, on reflection, I think mine began with violin lessons and the Suzuki curriculum my parents foisted upon me as a child. I started playing at age three and stopped abruptly at eleven when I shoved my violin under my bed in a fit of anger. I swore I’d never play again. Let the circle be unbroken, then, because when my own…

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