No longer such a perfect day

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Back in August, we Debutantes got together over video-conferencing to work on the list of topics we wanted to talk about this year. Some of these topics were developed in previous years by other Debs. Some, we came up with on our own. None of them were developed with a global pandemic in mind. This week’s topic is “A Perfect Day,” which I’m finding hard to talk about now that…

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The World of The Talking Drum: Real Places Versus the Fantasy World

Monday, March 2, 2020

In The Talking Drum, one of my main characters, Omar Bassari, reminisces about the day in 1965 when his father, Ibrahim, sat him down in their Senegalese village and told him that The Festival of the Black Arts was coming to the capital city, Dakar. Kings, emperors, and presidents from all over the world would be coming to the festival. Ibrahim’s musical hero, composer, pianist, and orchestra leader Duke Ellington,…

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When in doubt, consult Buzzfeed quizzes.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Let’s just be honest, here. I’m having a lot of trouble composing this week’s article—on how my personality affects my writing—because I’m not honestly sure what my personality is. I mean, I’m a little serious, I’m an extrovert, and a bit of a workaholic, but “I write a lot” does not a Deb article make. So. I took a bunch of Buzzfeed personality quizzes. “This Sorting Quiz Will Tell You…

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Interview with Leah Garriott, author of Promised

Saturday, February 22, 2020

I am so happy to welcome Leah Garriott to the Deb ball this week! Although she earned degrees in math and statistics, Leah Garriott lives for a good love story. She’s resided in Hawaii and Italy, walked the countryside of England, and owns every mainstream movie version of Pride and Prejudice. She’s currently living her own happily ever after in Utah with her husband and three kids. We’ll be giving…

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Not-So-Minor-Dramas: Why I Love Kathleen’s Book

Friday, February 7, 2020

There’s something you should know: I have absolutely no chill when it comes to books I love. This is why I never tried to be a reviewer—because I enjoy nothing more than to get completely lost in a book. So I’m going to spend the Deb release weeks less reviewing my colleagues’ fabulous works than losing my chill over them, because—wow. These are seriously good books. So you can guess…

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Drum roll please!! It’s launch week for Debutante Kathleen West!

Monday, February 3, 2020

It’s finally time! Kathleen West is the first of this year’s Debs to step out onto the ballroom floor!  Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes hits shelves Tuesday, February 4th. The book is a wry and cleverly observed debut novel about the privileged bubble that is Liston Heights High—the micro-managing parents, the overworked teachers, and the students caught in the middle—and the fallout for each of them when the bubble finally…

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Self-promotion: what not to do.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

I’ve been dreading this week. The truth is, I have no idea how to self-promote. I’m seven months away from my book launch, the idea of “building my personal brand” makes my face do the quizzical thing usually found in bad stock photos, and I definitely don’t have any money for “swag.” So, instead, I’ll talk about some things to not do when you’re self-promoting. Don’t: … only talk about…

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Simple Ways to Self-Promote and Build Your Personal Brand

Monday, January 27, 2020

Promoting your book is a must, but it can be very time-consuming. It is important to have in your toolkit, easy methods to bring attention to yourself and your work, in addition to the more labor-intensive efforts. Here are some of the simple, quick to orchestrate ways that I have promoted The Talking Drum and helped build my personal brand. Signature line—On the signature of my email account, I include…

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Comp titles are fun. Seriously.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

I’m probably the only writer in the world to think developing comp titles is a fun prospect. When else do you get to read a bunch of books that are just like yours and call it “for work?” Lounging on the couch for hours reading space battle salvager books? I’m totally in! It might feel a little strange when you’re done with your book to have to compare it to…

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Comp titles: What I Used When Querying/Pitching My Novel and Why

Monday, January 20, 2020

In the publishing world, comp titles (comparative titles) are very important. The comps help editors make acquisition decisions to figure out who the audience will be for your book and how well your book will sell;. Editors also examine the sales records for those books. Comp titles can also put a literary agent or reader in the right mindset when trying to pitch a book. The overarching theme of my…

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