A Party for THE DREAM PEDDLER

Friday, August 16, 2019

  I considered not having a launch party for my book. I’m not a big fan of being the center of attention (which is funny, because when I was ten years old this was my favorite thing ever), and I didn’t want to hand sell books to close friends. I was excited for them to buy it—I just didn’t want to be the one selling it. But publishing a book…

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Interview with Lana Wood Johnson and Giveaway for TECHNICALLY, YOU STARTED IT

Saturday, August 10, 2019

  I am beyond thrilled to be hosting my agent sister, YA author Lana Wood Johnson, on the ball today! Lana was born and raised in Iowa in the time before the internet but has spent the rest of her life making up for that. After years working in wireless communication for companies of all sizes, she now works doing the same for a local youth shelter. Lana lives in Minnesota…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: What Happens Next

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Aloha! Six months since the publication of The Atlas of Reds and Blues. It’s so hard to believe. I’ve loved every moment since the whirlwind began on publication day — a cool Tuesday in February. I’m so grateful for the warm welcome my debut has received, and for all of the support it continues to get. I’ve been so lucky in the past six months, with the publication, too, of…

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They Could Have Named Her Anything

Friday, August 2, 2019

  Stephanie Jimenez’s astonishing debut novel follows the evolution of a friendship between Maria and Rocky, two seventeen-year-old students at a private girls’ school. In order for this youthful friendship to take center stage, both characters need to be incredibly rich and real, and I was so impressed with how well Stephanie pulls this off. The two teenagers felt so real, to me, in fact, I found they reminded me…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: They Could Have Named Her Anything!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

I’m thrilled that Stephanie Jimenez’s debut, They Could Have Named Her Anything, is out in the world this week! I had a chance to snag an advance copy and I was not disappointed — this novel has it all: a young but strong protagonist who tackles racism, loyalty, classism; she slingshots between poverty and privilege and learns the hard way of the bittersweet nature of love. Beautifully written and well-realized….

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Bluebeard’s Drawer

Friday, July 26, 2019

    I have two manuscripts in the drawer. Although they’re not actually in a drawer, and I have no idea where they went. They are so old now that I know not if any current software could even read them, so I’ve pretty much abandoned the idea of ever looking at them again. This may be for the best. The first time I wrote a book, I sat down…

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Why Can’t I Name Characters Not After Famous People

Friday, July 19, 2019

  Let’s see, hilarious mistakes. There is no doubt in my mind that I made far more of these than I can remember right now. Actually, I can remember a lot of mistakes I made, and I even caught a lot of them myself before we went to copy edits (that woman missed NOTHING I tell you), but they’re not particularly funny. One of the things I had to be…

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Interview with Christine Hyung-Oak Lee and Giveaway for TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU DON’T REMEMBER

I am so pleased to welcome debut author Christine Hyung-Oak Lee to The Debutante Ball! Lee is the author of the memoir Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember, which was featured in The New York Times, Self Magazine, Time Magazine, and NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Zyzzyva, Guernica, The Rumpus, and BuzzFeed, among other publications. She is a…

Saturday, July 13, 2019
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Cutting Room Floor

Friday, July 12, 2019

    When I finally felt as though I had a reasonable draft of The Dream Peddler, the one I began sending out to agents, it came in at right around seventy-nine thousand words. This was a nice length for a debut literary book, as in, appropriate to the genre and not so long as to be scary. I had cut many things, because I tend to go on and…

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Green-Eyed Writer

Friday, June 28, 2019

  Beware of jealousy. It creeps up on a debut writer like that unexpected knife-wielding plot twist that she threw into chapter sixteen just for fun, never considering how it might feel if the knife was suddenly plunged into her sensitive debut heart. Or something like that. When I first noticed that we were going to cover the topic of jealousy this week, I pictured my post being thousands (and…

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