Introducing Author and Debutante Contest Maven Greta Kelly!!!!!

Monday, August 24, 2020

It is an exciting week here at the Debutante Ball. It is the time in which we 2020 Debs “pass the tiaras” onto our successors. I am delighted to introduce from The Class of 2021 Greta Kelly, who will take on the role of Contest Maven that I have managed for the past Debutante season. Her debut novel, The Frozen Crown, is forthcoming from Harper Voyager. She currently lives in…

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The Diversity Gap in Publishing

Friday, August 21, 2020

I am new to the publishing world, my debut novel, The Talking Drum  was published at the end of May, and I didn’t have a sense of the publishing landscape in terms of the value placed on works by black versus non-black authors. That is, until the arrival of the hashtag #PublishingPaidMe. The hashtag was created by the fantasy novelist L.L. McKinney to highlight the disparities. I now know that…

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5 Things I Learned Writing The Talking Drum

MARRIAGE THERAPY DOESN’T HAVE TO INVOLVE A THERAPIST, JUST THE RIGHT KIND OF DOCTOR My husband and I were having a tough time. I had been working on my novel for years, grinding out one draft after another, sending out sample pages to literary agents, getting no response, or getting the canned response email rejection or a few nibbles in which an agent asked to see additional pages and then…

Monday, August 17, 2020
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Interview and Book Giveaway with Author Yaffa Santos!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

It is my pleasure to welcome Yaffa S. Santos, author of A TASTE OF SAGE to The Debutante Ball!  Let me tell you a little about her. Yaffa was born and raised in New Jersey. Her debut novel, A TASTE OF SAGE, combines her interests in the romance genre with her love of cooking and its singular ability to bring people together. Yaffa lives in Florida with her family. A…

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What One Book Review Means to Me

Friday, August 14, 2020

I toiled on my first novel for years, endured years of rejection and even more years of rewriting. I wore down the soles of my shoes walking the aisles of book expos and conferences trying to generate interest in my manuscript from small presses, this after emailing every literary agent it made sense to contact to no avail. After so many “no’s” I finally get the one “yes” that I…

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The “highlight reel” of my year as a Debutante

Monday, August 10, 2020

  Greetings and salutations and welcome to the Debutante Ball! I was so excited when I read the first words of the email I received on a Sunday morning in early August of 2019 informing me that I’d been chosen as one of the 5 debut authors who would chronicle her “big dance” toward publication. I had been following the Debutante Ball blog for more than a year and eagerly…

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2020 Debutante Lisa Braxton receives Outstanding Literary Award

Thursday, August 6, 2020

For Immediate Release: August 6, 2020­­­—Debutante Lisa Braxton, author of the debut novel, The Talking Drum, is a recipient of an Outstanding Literary Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. The award was announced today at the organization’s virtual convention where she was interviewed about her book during The Author Showcase. The Showcase selection committee considered The Talking Drum compelling and socially relevant and notable for its inclusion of…

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Launch Party and Swag: What Worked and What Didn’t

Monday, August 3, 2020

Six months before my book launch, I went shopping. I purchased all that I thought I would need to exhibit and sell The Talking Drum at book fairs and other events: ethnic table cloths, miniature djembes, a bowl handwoven by West African women operating micro-businesses. Then the pandemic happened. There would be no in-person events. Everything would be virtual. I tucked away the tablecloths and bowl in my cedar chest,…

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What’s Next for Me?

Monday, July 27, 2020

Now that The Talking Drum has launched with great fanfare, I’ve been able to spend some noodling with the draft of my second novel, a historical piece taking place in Boston in the mid-1800s, but I’m not quite ready to make a full pivot to Manuscript Number 2. The Talking Drum only hit the virtual bookshelves on May 29th. I’m hoping to generate additional attention for the book in the…

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Interview and Giveaway with Author Ava Home, Author of DAUGHTERS OF SMOKE AND FIRE

Saturday, July 25, 2020

We are excited to welcome to The Debutante Ball Ava Homa, who is the critically-acclaimed of the novel DAUGHTERS OF SMOKE AND FIRE which is hailed by the Independent in the UK, the Globe and Mail in Canada, and the Reader’s Digest as one of the best new fictions. Her collection of short stories ECHOES FROM THE OTHER LAND was nominated for the Frank O’Connor International Prize. She holds a…

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