Let’s Support Black Writers and Black Books

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

We’re writing about community this week, and my community is burning. I live in Minneapolis where George Floyd was murdered by police a week ago. Since then, citizens have put their bodies in the streets demanding safer and more equitable spaces and systems. The University of Minnesota ended its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department. The Minneapolis Public Schools followed suit. One of the four officers responsible for Floyd’s death…

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I Can Hardly Believe It’s That Time Again…

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

I remember last year when the application window opened here for the Debutante Class of 2020. I was finishing up my teaching job for the year, and the whole prospect of publishing a novel in the next twelve months still seemed like a surreal dream. I’d been a long-time reader of this site, and I’d fangirled over many of the previous writers in the days before I’d even queried an…

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Getting to Wear the Pearls is Worth It

Monday, May 25, 2020

One of the best decisions I made when I began my journey to publication for The Talking Drum was applying for a spot as a debutante. I had been following the Debutante Ball Blog for more than a year and marked my calendar so that I wouldn’t miss the application window. I was ecstatic when I got the email that I had been chosen as one of the five Debs….

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Interview and ARC Giveaway with A.H. Kim, Author of A Good Family

Saturday, May 23, 2020

I’m so pleased to welcome A.H. Kim to the ball today! I met Ann in a Facebook group for debut authors, and I quickly became her Instagram fan. This month, she’s featuring a book recommendation per day in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Check out her feed here, and get your TBR ready. Ann’s debut novel, A GOOD FAMILY, releases in July, but we’re teaming up for an…

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Three Cheers for The Goddess Twins

Friday, May 22, 2020

When we Debutantes took up shop here last August, one of us was delayed in her arrival because of her storytelling obligations at the Burning Man Festival. Immediately, I knew that one of these women was not like the others. I mean, Burning Man?! My daily adventures consisted of Target runs and maybe, on a good day, a few episodes of The Office with the family after dinner. Meanwhile, Yodassa…

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Drum roll please!! It’s launch week for Yodassa Williams

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

It’s finally time! Yodassa Williams is the next of this year’s Debs to step out onto the ballroom floor!  The Goddess Twins launches for publication today, May 19th. Foreword Reviews calls the book “an impressive, commanding novel about black girl magic,” and “an emotive and powerful feminist novel that inspires the innate goddess in every girl.” Kirkus Reviews says, “Continuous revelations keep the optimistic tale humming, and the cast is…

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Interview with Nicole Kronzer, Author of Unscripted

Saturday, May 16, 2020

It’s such a treat today to welcome Nicole Kronzer as our guest. I first met Nicole ten or twelve years ago at a teaching conference, and we reconnected last year when we realized via Twitter that we had debut novels coming out in the same season. She has quickly become one of my very best friends, and I wrote much of my second novel in her beautiful backyard studio, which…

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Guest Post: Anika Scott on Managing Expectations in a Pandemic

Friday, May 15, 2020

I’m so happy to welcome a guest blogger today. Anika Scott, author of THE GERMAN HEIRESS (the same novel is called FINDING CLARA, in the UK), writes about the release of her highly anticipated and bestselling debut, which coincided with the global pandemic. I met Anika in an online group for debut writers. She’s generous, empathetic, and kind–overall, just the type of person I love to root for. I couldn’t…

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I Don’t Have an MFA, But You Should Get One if You Want To

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

This week, we’re talking about a writing education. Do you need an MFA from a prestigious program in order to write and sell a novel? I mean, no. I don’t have an MFA, and I have sold and written a couple of novels. The truth is, I didn’t even consider a degree in creative writing when graduate school was on the table for me. In teaching, you do need to…

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Your Path Is Perfect

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

We’re discussing age this week. What’s the perfect age to write a novel? For me, this wasn’t really a choice, per se. I have been an aspiring novelist for basically my whole life, and I penned several books in elementary school. I don’t want to brag, but my mother said they were quite good. What happened later was typical and predictable. I didn’t do all that well in my college…

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