The Purge! (or, Getting that first draft out of your system)

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Ernest Hemingway famously said all first drafts are garbage, except he used a way more *effluent* term instead of garbage. This is something that I’ve, at various times, thought was completely true, completely false, and now believe is somewhere in the middle. First drafts are your best effort at the time, and I hate to say anyone’s best effort at the time is no good. I’ve also read lots of…

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Interview with Olivia Blacke, author of KILLER CONTENT and NO MEMES OF ESCAPE

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

This week’s interview is with Olivia Blacke, a fellow Berkley author of Deb Lyn Liao Butler. We are so excited to have Olivia here, as she’s one of the first millennial cozy mystery writers! Her debut, KILLER CONTENT, is so much fun, and set in Brooklyn, NY. Olivia is also a great person and supporter of other authors, and her humor and grace is such a welcome breath of fresh air…

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A Plotter’s Guide to First Drafts

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

To plot, or not to plot? It’s the perennial question writers everywhere eventually face. The internet is rife with articles waxing poetic about the virtues of Plotting vs. Pantsing. It’s the Empire vs. Rebellion of the writing world. Do you plan out your story before you write? Then you’re a Plotter. Do you let the muse guide you along the journey without a plan, or maybe with an end-point in…

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First Drafts: How to get them done!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Much has been written about the soul-crushing, trauma-inducing terror of the blank page. How does one stare it down and get through the first draft? Here are some things that have worked for me: 1. Start with an outline. I know that dedicated pantsers may vehemently disagree. But for me, one of the things I love about an outline is its inherently imperfect format that removes the need for flawless…

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Interview with Antoinette Walker, Co-Founder of The Chaptr

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Chaptr is an exciting new monthly book subscription box and book club rolled into one that is launching this week! Today, we talk to The Chapter’s co-founder, Antoinette Walker about where the idea came from, how The Chaptr works, and what else we can expect from this new venture.   THE INTERVIEW Tell us about your self. I was the kid who read everything in sight.  Cereal boxes were some…

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Lyn’s Favorite Indie Bookstores

Friday, April 23, 2021

April 24, 2021 is National Independent Bookstore Day. To honor indie bookstores, I’m posting about my favorite ones. For me, there’s nothing like browsing in the aisles of a bookstore, surrounded by so many books and possibilities. I love books. So much. I’m so honored that the bookstore in the town where I grew up, is going to be selling signed copies of my book for my launch. The Village…

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Bookstores!!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

In honor of National Independent Bookstore day, I am thrilled to talk about some amazing bookstores that I love. First up is Books, Inc. with a genealogy going back to 1851, making it the oldest independent bookstore in the West. Books, Inc. currently has 10 branches throughout the Bay Area. The Campbell branch was incredibly supportive of A DOOR BETWEEN US, providing books, folding chairs and other items for an…

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Interview with Amanda Skenandore, author of THE SECOND LIFE OF MIRIELLE WEST

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

This week’s interview is with dear friend and author Amanda Skenandore, whose award-winning historical fiction explores painful episodes in the American experience with great sensitivity and insight. Her forthcoming book, THE SECOND LIFE OF MIRIELLE WEST will be out in July and was inspired by the true story of a Louisiana leprosy hospital where patients were forcibly quarantined. Below, Amanda talks about the research she did at the national leprosarium,…

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My favorite bookstore: East Bay Booksellers

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Independent Bookstore Day is on April 24th, and so we’re celebrating our favorite indie sellers here at the Deb Ball. I’ve loved many bookstores in my life, starting with Half Price Books in my hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas, to The Raven in Lawrence, Kansas where I attended graduate school, to Green Apple Books in San Francisco. But my favorite favorite of all my favorites has to be East Bay…

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Celebrating Indie Bookstore Day at Blue House Books

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

April 24th is Indie Bookstore Day and to celebrate, I wanted to shine a light on my favorite local indie, Blue House Books in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blue House Books is everything you want from a local bookstore: not only filled with amazing books from every genre you love to read, but owned and operated by a warm and welcoming bookseller. Samantha Jacquest is a one-woman small business maven who started…

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