Thankful for a game well-played.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

If you hadn’t guessed already, I’m a little bit of an extrovert. That’s not always a plus in the writing world—sure, having “chatterbox” as an honorary added middle name helps when I’m hanging out in the hotel bar at a book festival or at a coffee place with my writing besties, but it sure doesn’t help when I’m back home alone, staring at the blank cursor with silence rapping on…

Read More >>

What This Writer Gives Thanks For

Monday, November 25, 2019

This upcoming holiday season many of us will gather around tables with food lovingly prepared and spend precious time with loved ones. We’ll reflect on what we are thankful for. Family, friends, community, and good health, will likely top the list. As a writer, I have an additional list of items to include. As the months wind down and I move ever closer to publication—I have six months to go—it…

Read More >>

New writers: It’s okay to start somewhere.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

At the beginning, it’s perfectly okay to have no idea what you’re doing. It’s okay to spend hours at a bookstore, running your fingers over the spines of new releases and dreaming. It’s okay to imagine your book sitting on a shelf there, even if you’re years away from your first query letter. This is how you learn what sells. It’s okay to write fanfic until five in the morning,…

Read More >>

What I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Writing

Monday, November 18, 2019

When I began writing creatively—during the 1990s when I lived in Connecticut—hoping to get some short stories I had written published, I knew nothing about community. I began writing in the days when submissions to literary magazines were sent out by snail mail. I subscribed to a few writers magazines that listed requests for submissions in the back pages. I’d mail in my submissions and wait months for a response….

Read More >>

Interview with Kristin Harmel, Author of The Winemaker’s Wife

Saturday, November 16, 2019

I am so excited to welcome Kristin Harmel to The Debutante Ball. Kristin’s latest novel is The Winemaker’s Wife, an instant #1 bestseller from The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star. It’s a story of forbidden love, shocking secrets, and devastating betrayal, set amid the champagne vineyards of northern France during the darkest days of World War II. Kristin Harmel is the #1 international bestselling author of The Winemaker’s…

Read More >>

Why are query letters so difficult?!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

In the grand scheme of things, writing the novel is supposed to be the hard part. Compared to writing my query letter, writing the novel felt normal. Easy. It took me just over two weeks of daily hacking at the keyboard (and, let’s be honest, more than a little bit of anguish) to get it right. I ended up running it by twice as many beta readers as my novel…

Read More >>

Crafting the almighty query letter

Monday, November 11, 2019

After I’d put my novel through dozens of revisions over the course of many years, I felt confident enough to take the next step—pursuing representation from a literary agent. I combed through stacks of books at the library for guidance. Here’s what some of those books told me about crafting the almighty query letter: Get the agent’s attention with your introduction Reference comparables (books like my book) in the first…

Read More >>

Go deep to beat distraction

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

You’re going to get some really great advice from my fellow Debs this week. Anyone who writes a book while living a normal human life has already won the productivity game. I wish I had some good answers to the question of how to be a less distracted writer, but I don’t, because there’s no one solution that fits every writer out there, or even most writers. Lives are just…

Read More >>

5 tips for successfully tackling distraction

Monday, November 4, 2019

I read once that air traffic controllers must be able to concentrate in a room where multiple conversations are going on simultaneously. For example, in a large airport tower, the room could be filled with the sounds of controllers speaking with several pilots about all manner of clearance, changing frequency, taxiways, takeoff, etc. Controllers must be able to make quick decisions and not be distracted by the conversations of their…

Read More >>

Fight or flight, fear and failure

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Do you want to know my number one writing fear? Writing this blog entry. Ha, ha. I’m mostly kidding. I have panic disorder, so “confronting my fears” is something I do with a lot of preparation and self-care. However, I feel like I might share my number one writing fear with pretty much every debut author who ever waltzed on to the scene, so I don’t feel alone in this….

Read More >>