Day Is Done, Gone the Sun*

Monday, May 26, 2014

A few weeks ago I was in the D.C. area for Malice Domestic. A new mystery friend, Sherry Novinger Harris, who is local, offered me a ride to the airport. Not only did I get to the airport without having to descend into D.C.’s highly Soviet-esque underground system, complete with bunkers for train stops, but I got a guided tour of the town as we drove. Sherry called it a…


News Flash: Copy Edits, Travel Plans and Love from Booklist

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Congrats to Rhiann, who won a signed copy of one of Jenny Milchman’s books! From the 2014 Debs… Heather Webb spent the week poring over copy edits for her next book RODIN’S LOVER. She’s REALLY glad this is the final time she will have to read it, despite how much she loves the story. Lisa Alber is finalizing her travel plans for the Killer Nashville conference in August, plus she’s going to…


First Readers Make Life Better, True Story

Monday, May 19, 2014

First readers are gods. Maybe the other Debs will have tips for finding good first readers or about how to take their feedback, but I’m not going to be instructive at all today. I’m going to tell you a story about a first reader for THE BLACK HOUR. I don’t like to show pages to anyone too early because a lot of good stuff happens for my projects during the…


Setting Up Book Events, a List in Progress

Monday, May 12, 2014

For this week’s topics—book events—I had to take a breather from…setting up book events. I plan events as part of my full-time job, so you’d think I would know how to do this, but I’ve learned some things along the way. Here are just a few. You have to identify your audience. Bookstores will publicize your event on their websites and perhaps in the store windows, but let’s be honest:…


News Flash: Box o’ Books, Bestsellers, Radio Shows, and Launch Events!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Congrats to Karen A, who won a signed copy of FOAL PLAY and MURDER ON THE HOOF from Kathryn O’Sullivan! From the 2014 Debs… Lori Rader-Day received a box of THE BLACK HOUR! The cover is kitten-soft. They aren’t on sale until July 8, but production was moved up so that she’ll be signing them (and giving them away, natch) at BEA in New York at the end of the month!…


Craft Week: Giving Your Story the “Right” Point of View

Monday, May 5, 2014

Welcome to Craft Week at The Debutante Ball! No, put your potholder bands and knitting needles away—this is the writing craft we’re talking about, the best craft there is, because what you’re making is BOOKS. Class, I’d like to talk to you about point of view. No GROANING now. Point of view isn’t just about whether or not your story is told from the first person “I” or the third…


News Flash: Conferences, Reunions, & All That Deb Love

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Congrats to Sheila, who won a signed copy of Death of an Irish Diva from Mollie Cox Bryan! From the 2014 Debs… Lori Rader-Day is at her very first Malice Domestic this weekend, moderating a panel on sleuthing duos (THE BLACK HOUR relies on a duo), but the big news is that she got her first real review: Booklist gave The Black Hour a starred review! They called it an “unputdownable…


Dogs, Loneliness, and Peanut Butter Sandwiches: Books that Made Me Cry

Monday, April 28, 2014

Books that make me cry? Frankly, it’s the one I’m writing right now. Where are the WORDS? But really… A friend of mine, Chicago writer Lee Reilly, did a project for her master’s of fine arts program about books that made people cry. She researched among her friends and colleagues, among friends of friends on Facebook, etc., and found the same books came up again and again. Few writers might…


News Flash: Road Trips and a Stack of Books

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Congrats to Maggie, who won a signed copy of REAL HAPPY FAMILY from Caeli Wolfson Widger! From the 2014 Debs… Lisa Alber had a reading on Saturday night, “Books and Beers” at the Three Mugs Brewing Company. She loosened herself up with a nice pint of amber before she read from Kilmoon. Susan Gloss  was interviewed about VINTAGE by The Huffington Post this week. Read the interview here. Lori Rader-Day is taking…


Opportunities for Greatness, Averted

Monday, April 21, 2014

At the Debutante Ball, we’re really into firsts. We’re first-time authors, you see. And the work we’re doing in the labor of our first novels is, while overwhelming at times, a labor of love. If you’re lucky in life, maybe all the work you do is a labor of love. But most of us didn’t start out that way. My first job, ever, was babysitting. Typical. And then I had…