Sona Needs A (New) Resolution

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Given today’s date, it’s an appropriate time to talk about new writerly beginnings, don’t you think? I mean, blank slate, resolutions and all that. (And also: FREAKING OUT. Debut year is here!) So let me say this: I don’t have a problem with beginnings. I love the first smitten stages, when you’re exploring the possibilities of a new idea, spinning characters and seeing the whole thing take shape. It’s endings…



Saturday, December 27, 2014

I first met the lovely Kristin Harmel — author of the internationally bestselling THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING — about a million years ago when we were both working for People magazine. I was in awe of the fact that she managed to balance magazine work with her passion for fiction — publishing several novels over the years. We reconnected when I took a Mediabistro class with her — she’s an…


The Agony of The First Line

Thursday, December 25, 2014

How do I hate writing first lines? Let me count the ways! Actually, I even hated coming up with the first line of this very post. But as the other Debs have noted, I know first lines are super important. Critical, in fact. They immediately reveal so much about your characters and their worldview. Which is why, while working on TINY PRETTY THINGS, we had to think four times as…


3 Writerly Gifts That Involve An F-Word (And One Bonus S Word!)

From The Rumpus
Thursday, December 18, 2014

Okay, so some of the goodies the other ladies here at the Ball have gathered for your holiday shopping (and drooling) pleasure have definitely gone right to the top of my currently coveting list. But here are a few more fun and super-writerly trinkets and treasures to make you want to ensure you’re on Santa’s nice list this year (even if you’ve been a bit naughty about missing deadlines and…


Life Lessons from Hollywood, With Love

Thursday, December 11, 2014

People say book publishing is a hard game. Heck (haha, heck!), I’ve said it myself, right here on this very site. And I won’t deny it. But think publishing is hard? You should try Hollywood. That, there, is a true pit of despair. Because in LaLaLand, you can do everything right and still fail big time. And in fact, chances are 99.99 percent that you will. Case in point? This…


3 Writing Tricks That Actually Work for the Master Procrastinator

Thursday, December 4, 2014

This week’s post is all about ways to stay the course and get the words on the page. And reading all the tips from the other lovely Debs, I expected that light bulb moment. That “oh yes, here’s how I get through” genius. And then I realized something. I truly am a Master Procrastinator. Because while I’ve learned a few tricks here and there, I still have long stretches of…


On Thanksgiving, A Reminder That the Rest Is Gravy

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of talking to newly-minted National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson, about her prize-winning memoir, BROWN GIRL DREAMING. Along with being an amazing writer, Woodson is a loving partner and parent. And she said something during our chat that stuck with me: “This is the moment, this is the now, and we don’t get this back. With writing, it’s so much what I love…



This week at the Ball, we welcome a Deb alum — the wonderful Mia King, who is a graduate of the first class! Mia King is the national bestselling author of seven novels, including three written under the name Darien Gee. Her books have been translated into 14 languages and are selections of the Doubleday, Literary Guild, Rhapsody and Book of the Month Club book clubs. Mia lives with her family…

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Shameless Self-Promotion? A Lesson Learned, Not Once But Twice

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Way back when I was just a young thing, fresh out of college and braving the wilds of New York, I got a job at a magazine that shall remain nameless here (but if you know me, you know which one — and it’s not hard to figure it out). I worked my ass off at that magazine. I fact-checked, I researched, I interviewed people, I reported, I wrote, and…


Advice for Writers Who Are Also Parents: “Everything is copy.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

So you may have noticed that my post this morning was late. Here’s why: life. More specifically? Kids. My whole life as a “real,” soon-to-be published author, I’ve also been a real, extremely sleep-deprived parent. It’s been really intense – lots of skin of our teeth moments and exhaustion. But you know what? I’ve realized that I wouldn’t have it any other way. My kids (and husband!) are what motivate…