A Word About Our New Sponsor

I am pleased to announce that, effective as of today, The Debutante Ball is sponsored exclusively by Amazon! We didn’t want to announce the sponsorship decision until all the details were set, but we’re very excited to usher in the brand-new Debutante Ball. In the coming weeks, you can expect to see some fantastic new features here at the Amazon Ball.   Among the highlights: – Special guests selected by…

Monday, April 1, 2013

Deb Susan Begrudgingly Admits She Needs to Wait.

I loathe waiting. I have no patience. And this isn’t a new development. All my life, I’ve tried to hurry the milestones … but after more than four decades of rushing, I’ve finally realized that the hurried thing never turns out as well as the one that comes along in its proper time. Hurry the cupcakes? You’d better like cupcake soup. (But it sounds kind of nasty.) Hurry a coral?…

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Deb Susan’s Dialogue Has a Limp and an Eyepatch

In his book, Save the Cat!, Author and screenwriter Blake Snyder advised all writers to give every character “a limp and an eyepatch” – an easily identifiable characteristic that sets the character apart from all the others in the scene. I love this advice, and take it to heart – and I use it with dialogue too. When creating characters, I write a journal entry in each character’s voice –…

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Deb Susan Gets Crabby About the Green

The topic is green, so today we’re talking: EMERALD CRABS. I’ve always had a thing for crabs. Perhaps it’s my birthday (July, in the sign of ‘Cancer – the crab’), or possibly the fact that I share the crustacean’s crotchety temper and its tendency to eat everything in reach. More likely, it’s just that I find them awfully cute. Emerald crabs, in particular, are favorites of mine. They’re reef safe…

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Deb Susan Chooses Joy

IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a creative person in possession of a good story must be in want of a book. And a publisher. And readers to share it with. It is also a truth, universally known, that writers are balls of writhing insecurity held together by caffeine, lemon cupcakes, and unquenchable dreams. (Booze and chocolate may also be involved. Your mileage may vary.) Before publication, we worry…

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Deb Susan’s Fishy Habits

As usual, this week’s topic offered me many options. I’m a wriggling ball of bad habits, from procrastination to worrying to drinking far too much coffee and eating far too many french fries. But one habit in particular costs me more money – and more of my time – than any other. Yes, I’m dragging out my aquarium again. I visit the fish store once a week (at minimum). I…

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Deb Susan Revised This Blog Post … and Her Title

I love revisions, and couldn’t wait to write about the revision process – how many drafts I write, and how my novels change from start to finish. But when I looked at it seriously, I realized that topic called for a lot of explanation, and Emperor Maximus Angryfish disapproves of lengthy blog posts: Back to the drawing board. I thought I’d write about how I revise – first drafts on…

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Deb Susan Loves the Egg Rolls

I love food, so when I saw that this week’s topic was “cooking” and noticed that everyone else was sharing recipes, for once I had no doubt about my post. Because though I love to  cook, and do it often, there’s one dish in particular that brings people to my house from miles away. Oh yes. It’s true. MY EGG ROLLS BRING ALL THE BOYS TO THE YARD. But then…

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Deb Susan’s Crazy Ninja Dream Come True

When I first started writing, I focused on historical fiction. I’ve always loved history, and Asia, and writing about those things seemed natural. It also seemed slightly crazy, considering that as a reader I gravitate toward mysteries, thrillers, and narrative nonfiction – but I didn’t think I had it in me to orchestrate a plot as complex as mysteries required. Writing a mystery? That was my dream, but it seemed…

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Deb Susan’s Obligatory Coffee Post

Technically, the topic is guilty pleasures, but when it comes to THINGS I WILL NOT SURRENDER no matter how good or bad they may be for me, Coffee heads the list (at least where inanimate objects are concerned). Calling me a “coffee drinker” seriously underestimates the situation. I drink, on average 12-14 8-oz cups per day. No, that’s not an exaggeration. I drink the coffee, in part, to control a…

Thursday, January 17, 2013