All (well, some) of the Cuts from Kathleen’s Debut

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

We’re talking about deleted scenes this week, and there were so many iterations of Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes that I don’t know where to start. Here are a few of the major and minor cuts I made during the four years I worked on the novel: A very minor character named Erin Warner used to be a POV character. In fact, the chapters that are now Tracy’s were originally…

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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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Let the Children Read Whatever They Want

Friday, June 26, 2020

I was just chatting with my sixteen-year-old son yesterday about reading. “Remember how everyone loves reading when they’re in second, third, and fourth grades?” he asked. I mean, yes. I remember this quite well. My little cherub was a voracious reader, downing series after series — Percy Jackson, The Secrets of Droon, Warriors, My Weird School, and a million other things. “What happened?” I asked him. Because now, he reads…

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Keeping Jealousy on the Outside

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Between Lisa’s insightful and lovely post yesterday about creating a sisterhood and Karen’s epic piece from December about keeping your eyes on your own paper, I’m not sure I have much to add about dealing with professional jealousy. I’m a competitive and ambitious person by nature, but I’m happy to note that jealousy hasn’t been in my top five or ten challenges in the debut year. I think that’s mostly…

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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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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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All Hail the Independent Bookseller

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

In this time, readers and writers everywhere are concerned with helping independent booksellers survive the pandemic. Indies matter for many reasons, and here are a few: Indies create community. The curate and promote events. They support local and debut authors. They take part in book festivals and literary soirees put on by other organizations. They’re generally good local citizens. Booksellers leverage their individual tastes to keep our reading diverse. It’s…

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Some Truth About Money and Writing

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

This week, we’re tackling the financial realities of being a writer. As I thought about what to say, Karen’s post from January kept popping into my head. She wrote it during our “biggest challenge of being a writer” week, but it could be cut-and-pasted right here. I recommend you read that piece first. It’ll tell you that it’s almost impossible to make a living as a writer. That’s true for almost…

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Happy Pub Day to Amy Klein, Author of The Trying Game!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Today’s the day for our own Amy Klein, Friday blogger on this very website and author of The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind. Amy’s book is the perfect blend of memoir and manual, and I know it’s going to be an invaluable resource for thousands of women as they traverse the sometimes rocky path to having a baby. Shot through with empathy and…

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The Creativity Club: What Inspires Kathleen

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

What inspires me to write? Well, it’s not global pandemic, danger, distraction, and fear. But even in these bizarre and unsettling times, I have been inspired, and pretty much on the daily. I’ve been delighted by my friend Lee’s wry, understated, and often hilarious blog posts. She’s been writing on her site for sixteen years now, so there’s plenty of material to explore. I’m awed by the expert storytelling over…

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