Interview (and book giveaway) with Jeni McFarland, author of The House of Deep Water

Saturday, June 27, 2020

It is my pleasure to welcome Jeni McFarland to the Debutante Ball today! Jeni and I have met virtually through our fellowships at Kimbilio, a national residency for fiction writers of the African diaspora. The House of Deep Water has been described as a stunning and perceptive debut perfect for fans of The Mothers and Olive Kitteridge. It made Bustle’s 23 Debut Books That Are Too Good To Ignore, Salon‘s…

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The worlds my parents gave me

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

One of the most exciting things about becoming a mom was buying all the books. Seriously! Other people might concentrate on things like onesies, baby wipes, bouncers and cribs. I did enjoy putting all of that together—my daughter’s nursery is outer space-themed, because I’m just that predictable. For me, though, good parenting also involved making sure that my daughter had the proper reading material. Like I said. I’m predictable. My…

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Toss the green-eyed monster.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

It’s so easy to be jealous. To let the green-eyed monster into your mental house, allow it to sit at the kitchen table in your cerebellum and tell you stories about how things could be so much better if your life was just like that person’s over there. And this is especially true if you’re a writer trying to make it in this often-cruel world. After all, things aren’t fair….

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Do it. Apply for the 2021 Debutante Ball.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

I’m going to be honest with you, 2021 debutantes. I almost didn’t apply for the Debutante Ball. I was working on my sequel, over a year away from going through the pre-publication shuffle that is copyediting and publicity and galley review. I felt like I wasn’t a “real author” at all. I remember staring at the Debutante Ball website, at blog entries from debutantes like Layne Fargo and K.A. Doore…

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Submit Your Application to Become a Member of the Class of 2021 Debutante Ball!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Every year since 2007, five debut women authors have taken part in The Debutante Ball, a group blog for authors making their debut in the literary world. Former Debs include bestsellers in the genres of women’s fiction, mystery, literary fiction, nonfiction, young adult, and more. It’s time for the Class of 2020 to pass on our tiaras. We’re looking for female or non-binary writers who have not previously had a book…

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Make Your Own MFA

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

I’m going to cut to the chase. I firmly believe that there are only two things you really need to become a great writer: 1) lots of practice, and 2) good critique partners. That’s it. Everything else is mirrors and glitter. Practice is simple. Practice makes you better. Critique partners are a little more complicated, but you can still find them online and in your local town: good ones help…

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Novels arrive precisely when they mean to.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

I’m turning forty this year. And when you’re a middle-aged mom writing science fiction at four in the morning, it’s hard to look at all the startling young ingenues in their adorable city apartments, writing life-changing novels, getting MFAs, doing interviews with Lithub— —Let’s just say that I’ve been there. I understand. I thought my life was over in my early thirties when I turned out a truly awful epic…

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Just a couple Easter eggs left, and none of them chocolate, alas.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Okay. I have a confession to make. I’m going to be the disappointing Deb this week because I don’t actually have a whole lot of easter eggs in Architects of Memory. Some authors love leaving easter eggs hither and yon, but I’m just not in that group. Some of the names can be tracked to real people, literary figures, and characters on shows I’ve watched, but any connection more than…

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My favorite indie bookstores

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

I love independent bookstores. Who doesn’t? The curated selection! The friendly booksellers! The atmosphere! I miss a lot about life outside my house, and dawdling through a bookstore with a coffee and my baby in a stroller ranks pretty high on my list. (I’m gonna cry through writing this one, aren’t I). It’s only natural that some of my favorite indies are in Baltimore, where I currently live. There’s the…

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Cash money non-millionaires

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

I don’t often like to talk about money. I’m from an upstate New York yankee-type culture where discussing how much money one makes is like tossing a pair of underwear up in a tree and starting a discussion with your neighbors of who it might belong to. (Everyone thinks you’re a weirdo.) Writer culture, too, treats money as a hands-off topic, and in a way, I think it should remain…

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