Beyond The Ball

I have so enjoyed catching up with my fellow founders this week! How lucky we were to have found such talented women, and how amazing that they’ve all gone on to be so successful. I’ve also had a great time following the 2008 Debutantes, the second class, the one the future of The Ball hinged on. And what a wonderful job they’ve done, not only growing the original concept to include fabulous guests, but also increasing readership and managing to get together in “real life” the way the Founders always wanted to but didn’t seem to be able to manage!

Perhaps one day we’ll do a big Debutante Reunion and ALL the classes can attend?

Ah, future plans. I love thinking about the future. And I’m looking forward to the 2009 Debs taking over, finding their dancing legs, and bringing new ideas and energy to The Ball. Congratulations to Debs past, present, and future. I think we’ve built a lovely dance here.

As for what I’ve been doing over the past year, well, I’ve mostly been wrestling with my e-mail in-box. Why will it NEVER empty?

I, like the other Founders, initially felt a relief at not being responsible for a weekly blog post, but as time went on I also found myself missing the opportunity to cast off some extra words and ideas clogging up my creativity. Does it fit in my book? Will it fit in a future book? No? Then get out of my head! Be gone, word demons!

Ahhh, I thought, perhaps I should blog again?

So, yes, I’ve continued to blog. I blog for “A Good Blog Is Hard To Find,” which is a blog made up of something like 32 Southern authors, so I only pop up there once every six weeks or so. I also blog over at Red Room, where I can blog as little or as much as I want and there are hundreds of authors there, also blogging whenever they feel like it. I tend to be slightly more “out there” at Red Room for some reason.

And then I started my own personal blog, mostly as a way of keeping people updated on my books, and that blog rolls over to my Amazon pages. Aside from all this blogging, I’ve also been Facebooking, Twittering, and SlingPaging. Yeesh, I’m everywhere!

I’ve also written another book, Matters of Faith, which came out a couple of weeks ago. It has received lots of exciting reviews, but you can see all that stuff on my website (and blog!). I’ve done things a little differently with Matters of Faith than I did with Catching Genius.

With a first book I think you just have to throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. Later on, after everything has calmed down, you check out the wall, sweep up what fell, and toss it away. So with Matters of Faith I am not doing nearly as much travel, which turned out to be absurdly expensive once totaled up.

I also learned that not all events (that you likely paid to go to) are created equal, and I think I’ve learned how to separate the wheat from the chaff so that I can make better decisions. There are some events at which you are simply an entertainer. I could have stood up there and juggled, told jokes, or simply made funny faces and it wouldn’t have mattered. But I didn’t get into this industry to entertain people with ME, I want to entertain them with my BOOKS. If I wanted to be a personal entertainer I would have been on Last Comic Standing.

So, you learn your lessons, and you make changes. And now I’m entering that part of the whole process again, and I’ve learned to politely decline (*gasp* I know, “decline” was NOT in my vocabulary as a debutante) some things, and to go after others. I’ll keep you posted on how all that works out for me!

In September Matters of Faith will be an IndieBound Notable Title, which, considering my unnatural love for indie bookstores is especially exciting for me.

I’m also writing a new book. I’ve been stuck at about 80,000 words for a month, mostly because I found it very difficult to work as the Matters of Faith publication date neared, and now that it’s out, I’m finding it just as hard! However, this is the nature of the career when you get past that debut year. You’re promoting one, editing one, writing one. And, oddly, that first thing never goes away. Just because a new one comes out doesn’t mean the first one disappears. So, to make this career work, you just keep adding on, so now I’m promoting two books, writing one, outlining one.

It’s an interesting transition to make, and I think I’m slowly getting a handle on it.

Home life hasn’t changed much. The husband is as adorable as ever and still incredibly supportive of the whole writing thing. The troll is still around, though going distressingly white on her muzzle, and shedding just as much as she ever did. We added a second Roomba to our family, and now we have dueling Roombas trying to keep up with the dog fur.

All of my orchids have officially come out of their pots and are thriving with zero help from me in trees around our home. Oh!! I do have some exciting news! I’m a brunette again! That’s right, I got tired of futzing with it and am back to my natural color. Well, as close as I remember it anyway. I still get it colored in order to cover up the white (not gray, startling white) hair. I’m not a savage after all.

Wow, the past year, distilled down to 900 words. Huh. Seems like it should take at least 1,200.

So, bring on the new Debs! I wish you all great luck, be kind to each other, you’ll be amazed at how your paths will continue to cross through the years.

Founder Kristy, continuing to work the dream, signing off…

10 Replies to “Beyond The Ball”

  1. Kristy, Kristy, Kristy…What can I say? I owe you SO much for your giving me the nod to come on as a Deb this year. It’s one thing to have your first book birthed into the world, but then to be able to do it alongside such a phenomenal group of authors has been even more magical. Seriously, the Debutante Ball has been an amazing launching point, and having the Debs (both present and past) to lean on has been enormously helpful. It’s been awesome getting to “e-know” so many of our readers/posters and overall I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to be propelled into the publishing world, so thank you. Your book is staring at me from my huge TBR pile and I can’t wait to sit down with it–I’ve already warned a lot of friends with book clubs that they definitely need to check it out 😉

  2. Kristy,

    This has been a crazy, wonderful experience and I am tremendously grateful to all the debs–past, present and future, but particularly to you for having the idea in the first place, choosing such fabulous women for the first and second year and being our guide and “mama” for those first couple of deb months last summer and fall. Not only did you help us get up and running, but you were incredibly generous with your time. Many of the things I did “right” this past year are because I followed your advice.

    You are a powerhouse of talent and the epitome of graciousness…and I’m so happy to know you.

  3. You know I adore you. However I am annoyed there is no photo attached with this new brunette you. You are an amazing writer and an even better person. These two don’t always go together- this makes you even more special and unique.

  4. Kristy, you amaze and inspire me. Thank you SO MUCH for starting this wonderful blog, which has turned into so much more for all of us.

    I am also very happy to know you! Thank you for the guidance, friendship, and showing us that sharing this crazy ride is so much better than going it alone.

  5. Aw, hey ladies! Thanks for stopping in on a Saturday 🙂 I know it’s blog no man’s land.

    Jenny, thank you for mentioning the book to friends! Now go put them in headlocks and march them into a bookstore, if you don’t mind. You owe me nuthin’, you were a wonderful steward of the Ball, and I hope you’re proud of what you’ve all accomplished this year.

    Danielle! Damn, would you please be my PR person?! As a southerner, to hear that I’m the “epitome of graciousness,” well, I hardly know what to say! You’re an easy woman to be gracious to.

    Eileen, my Mutual Adoration Pal, I don’t even HAVE a brunette pic yet! I’ll get on it. Thank you, you always make me sniffy.

    Pricila. My goodness. Oooiii, indeed. Right backatcha. Okie-dokie…

    And Jess, thank YOU so much, and it’s always better with amazing friends to support you, isn’t it? I’m truly honored to know you all, and look forward to many more years of friendship and support.

  6. Here’s to Kristy! A sheer genius writer, who with every bit of her faith, chose ten Debutantes during the past two years…all winners! Ah, the pride you must feel for them and the love you must feel from us who are honored to call you “friend.”


  7. Kristy!!! What can I say other than if not for you I probably never would have written CIAB? Remember that crazy essay I sent you? And if not for you I wouldn’t have had this amazing year with these amazing women. You’ve taught me so much and talked me off of the edge and made me laugh when I needed it. I think we should commission an artist to make a marble bust of you or something. Am I gushing too much? I could keep going… but for now I’ll end with a thank you from the absolute bottom of my heart.

  8. Kristy, we all (heart) you! Thanks for making the Ball a reality, and for inviting all of us to dance. It really hit me this year how grateful I am for all of the wonderful things that happened during my debut year, The Deb Ball notwithstanding. So look for a shout out in my acknowledgments for TABLE MANNERS when it’s out next year.

    And I LOVE your natural hair color – you are on gorgeous Deb!


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