[News Flash] August 23, 2020

Sunday, August 23, 2020

We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s interview and book giveaway with Carole Stivers. RETWEET OR SHARE for a chance to win a copy of THE MOTHER CODE. #DebBallGiveaway #giveaway #author We are so excited to host Carole Stivers. RT for a chance to win THE MOTHER CODE. #DebBallGiveawy #giveaway #authors #writing #writingcommmunity #readers https://t.co/3wn0pOYlTs pic.twitter.com/Fup2W86VGx — The Debutante Ball (@DebutanteBall) August 22, 2020 Interview with Carole Stivers, author of The Mother…

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What One Book Review Means to Me

Friday, August 14, 2020

I toiled on my first novel for years, endured years of rejection and even more years of rewriting. I wore down the soles of my shoes walking the aisles of book expos and conferences trying to generate interest in my manuscript from small presses, this after emailing every literary agent it made sense to contact to no avail. After so many “no’s” I finally get the one “yes” that I…

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The “highlight reel” of my year as a Debutante

Monday, August 10, 2020

  Greetings and salutations and welcome to the Debutante Ball! I was so excited when I read the first words of the email I received on a Sunday morning in early August of 2019 informing me that I’d been chosen as one of the 5 debut authors who would chronicle her “big dance” toward publication. I had been following the Debutante Ball blog for more than a year and eagerly…

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2020 Debutante Lisa Braxton receives Outstanding Literary Award

Thursday, August 6, 2020

For Immediate Release: August 6, 2020­­­—Debutante Lisa Braxton, author of the debut novel, The Talking Drum, is a recipient of an Outstanding Literary Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. The award was announced today at the organization’s virtual convention where she was interviewed about her book during The Author Showcase. The Showcase selection committee considered The Talking Drum compelling and socially relevant and notable for its inclusion of…

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Launch Party and Swag: What Worked and What Didn’t

Monday, August 3, 2020

Six months before my book launch, I went shopping. I purchased all that I thought I would need to exhibit and sell The Talking Drum at book fairs and other events: ethnic table cloths, miniature djembes, a bowl handwoven by West African women operating micro-businesses. Then the pandemic happened. There would be no in-person events. Everything would be virtual. I tucked away the tablecloths and bowl in my cedar chest,…

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“Late” is a Relative Term

Friday, July 24, 2020

Television news is a young person’s game. I first heard that assertion from my broadcast journalism professors and class advisors, and then later from workshop presenters at national industry conferences. The statement was an undercurrent that gradually grew into a drumbeat for us who toiled as young reporters at stations in small town America. We were encouraged by our colleagues and mentors to keep our resumes and news clips up…

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The Books That Inspired Me to Be a Writer

Monday, July 20, 2020

When I look back at my elementary school years, some of my fondest memories were the days when the teacher received that box in the mail from the Weekly Reader Book Club. She’d open it in front of the class and distribute what we had ordered weeks before. It was like having Christmas and my birthday rolled together month after month. I’d bring my books home and binge on Nancy…

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Interviewing One of My Main Characters

Monday, July 13, 2020

This week’s topic is “The Manuscript in the Drawer.” But I have no manuscript in the drawer. The Talking Drum was my first manuscript, and thank goodness I got it published. For this week’s blog post I am interviewing one of my characters. Sydney was in my head for such a long time and is finally on the printed page. She’s been itching for an interview since The Talking Drum’s…

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A Deleted Scene from The Talking Drum

Monday, June 29, 2020

I deleted so many scenes from The Talking Drum over the years in which I was revising it that I had a hard time choosing which one to feature in this blog. I finally settled on a scene in which my character Sydney, who co-owns The Talking Drum Bookstore and Cultural Center with her husband, is desperate to unload a set of encyclopedias her husband purchased. She doesn’t think anyone…

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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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