Into the Dark: The Time a Writer Needs Their Tribe Most

Thursday, December 19, 2013

There have been many times on my journey to publication that I’ve needed my tribe. After a grueling day at the keyboard when every sentence misbehaved, when a rejection with a capital R showed up in my inbox (or several), and especially when the self-doubt grew so big it tried to suffocate me. And now, as I stare down the last week and a half before my debut novel launches…


You Can Judge a Book by Its Cover

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I don’t care what the old adage says, in my opinion, you can tell a lot about a book (a person) by its cover. This is precisely why, when a book isn’t packaged properly, sales fall flat. Each genre has a set of rules—themes, colors, and styles—that are common to the category. Of course these rules are broken from time to time, just as authors break genre rules. But the…


News Flash: Reviews, Marketing, and Website Redesign

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Congrats to Sheena, who won the copy of Rosemary Harris’s THE BITCHES OF BROOKLYN last week!   From the 2014 Debs… Lori Rader-Day‘s book The Black Hour was included as a “first fiction” choice in a marketing insert directed at librarians across the country. Gulp. This is getting real. Natalia Sylvester experienced a bit of pre-pub, pre-sale excitement when Chasing the Sun briefly climbed to #11 in Hispanic-American fiction in the…


Thanksgiving…and Other Disasters

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving and Other Disasters is the theme of this week for us here at The Debutante Ball. Thing is, short of a frozen, raw turkey I served six hours later than I expected one year, I don’t really have any disasters to speak of. Well, until this year. A dear family member is ill, as in, living-in-the-hospital-ill and it gives me a tremendous amount of perspective (not to mention a deluge of…


5 Social Media Techniques to Grow Your Writing Community

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I’ve spoken quite a bit about how much I love my writing community. They’ve been so much more to me than colleagues. They’re true friends, my champions—they’re warriors—and I am theirs. I’ve found much of my community the same way the other Debs mentioned: conferences, writing groups, going to writing events, lending a hand whenever I possibly can. Rather than repeating the Debs’ pearls of wisdom, I thought I would…


News Flash: Book Clubs, Conferences, and Connecting

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Congrats to Amy, who won the copy of Laura Hemphill’s BUYING IN last week! From the 2014 Debs… Heather Webb presented to a wonderful group of three hundred eighth graders this week who have begun a unit on historical fiction in their English classes. A local book club invited Lisa Alber to visit and discuss KILMOON! Four months away yet but she’s already excited. Susan Gloss is in the home stretch on…


Wisdom of the Veteran Writer

Thursday, November 14, 2013

So much of what I have learned in publishing and about the craft of writing I have learned from other writers; from their blogs, their Twitter and Facebook links, and their generosity. It seems like the natural order of things is to pass on what you know to those less experienced or new to the profession. Today I have gathered quotes from just a few of the many who have…


5 Most Important Things I’ve Learned About the Writing Business

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I could write a book about all that I’ve learned over these last four years, but let’s cut to the chase and hit the most important.  1. Don’t Submit Your Work Too Soon This is true whether we’re talking about critique partners, agents, OR editors. Remember that not all feedback (or readers) are created equal. I’ve seen crit partners destroy a work and also those who do nothing but gush…


News Flash: Invitations, Noir at the Bar, and NaNoWriFUN!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Congrats to Ellie, who won a copy of Lynn Cullen’s MRS. POE! From the 2014 Debs… At the very last minute, Natalia Sylvester decided to do NaNoWriMo after all. She has no notes, no outline…just an idea that she’s really, really excited about. And did she mention that she’s never done NaNo before? She’ll be checking in throughout the month on Twitter using hashtags #NaNoWriMo and #WordMarathon–hope you’ll join! Heather Webb was…


Fear in Writing and in Life

Thursday, October 31, 2013

In honor of Halloween, we’re talking about what we’re afraid of here at The Ball. I suppose we should begin with fear. Fear is a disease. It starts off in one tiny little cell and blooms like black mold feeding on its host, consuming cell after cell until your body is racked with it and you are crippled. Once you let it in, it’s hard to stop it. I’d like…