On slow days, I write the least

It’s been a long time since I’ve been here, sadly, and it seems very relevant that we’ll be talking about time this week, given that I’ve spent so little of it here. I just came back from a nice, eight-night-vacation far away from New York, and it was only after disconnecting from all the apps and emails and browsers (not entirely willingly–I had zero cell phone service in the woods…

Thursday, May 16, 2019
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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Writing Time

Aloha. I started writing poetry when I was nine years old. I remember writing in bursts. I had a wonderful teacher that year, and she was encouraging us to write beyond what the class assignments required us to do for the poetry unit. I first learned about haiku and sonnets and I was hooked! I wrote anywhere and anytime, and on any surface — from napkins to spiral notebooks. By…

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: easter eggs

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

I had a few inside jokes in my debut novel, The Atlas of Reds and Blues. The former title, When the Dolls Leave the Dollhouse, was an inside joke — and a nod to the Model Minority Myth. But Counterpoint Press did a comparative title search, to make sure there were no other recently published books with the words doll or dollhouse in them – in competition. And it turns…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Southern belle

Aloha. This week we are to write about where we live and how this influences our writing. Although I’m in California these days, I was born and raised in North Carolina. Prior to moving out west, I’d spent sixteen years in Georgia. The first time I wrote the story that eventually became The Atlas of Reds and Blues, I still lived in an Atlanta suburb — and I wrote about…

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
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Interview with Danya Kukafka + giveaway of bestselling novel GIRL IN SNOW!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

This week, I am so excited to welcome Danya Kukafka, whose debut novel GIRL IN SNOW (Simon & Schuster, 2017) was not only a national bestseller, but a book I was blessed to read when it was still in the editing stage! Danya and I once worked together at a time when I knew nothing about what it was like to actually publish a book. As I watched Danya work…

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I love bookstores, but I also love honest conversations about money

Bookstores are great. There is nothing more satisfying than walking into your neighborhood bookstore and reading all the wonderful staff recommendations. Bookstores honor and create space for needed conversation in a society that generally does not value the production of art. But as much as bookstores contribute to a richer human culture, I think sometimes we, especially us authors and book industry people, end up romanticizing bookstores a tad too…

Thursday, April 25, 2019
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Interview with Kirstin Chen and Giveaway for BURY WHAT WE CANNOT TAKE

Saturday, April 20, 2019

  I could not be more thrilled to welcome this week’s guest, Kirstin Chen, to the debutante ball! Kirstin Chen’s second novel, Bury What We Cannot Take, was named a best book of the year by Entropy, Popsugar, and Book Bub, and a top pick of the season by Electric Literature, The Millions, The Rumpus, Harper’s Bazaar, and InStyle. She is also the author of Soy Sauce for Beginners. She has received awards from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Sewanee, Hedgebrook, the…

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What’s in your non-negotia-bowl?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Devi Laskar said it best: “It’s tax season and this is a perfect time to remember that unless your last name is GRISHAM or KING, it is difficult to make a living writing books. Don’t let it deter you.” I recently read a wonderful article about how to find a rewarding career path that utilized this graph to help you understand what you really want out of your life: According…

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Interview with Maria Kuznetsova & Giveaway of Oksana, Behave!

This week, we are welcoming Maria Kuznetsova to the Debutante Ball. Maria is a debut novelist whose lovely book Oksana, Behave! will immediately become your newest favorite. I first became aware of her work in 2018 after I picked up a copy of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and read an excerpt of the book, which I was delighted to see would be published the following year. Today, Oksana, Behave! has only…

Saturday, April 13, 2019
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Dream potions, far-away places & loss: Martine Fournier-Watson’s Dream Peddler

Look out everyone — it’s another book birthday! At the Debutante Ball, we are happily celebrating the publication of Martine Fournier-Watson’s THE DREAM PEDDLER! Reading Martine’s blog posts over the past few months has been such a delight for me. From her clever insights on the pitfalls of building a social media platform (“When I think of branding, I think of cattle”) to her lovely ruminations about how selling her…

Thursday, April 11, 2019
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