Do It: Apply to The Debutante Ball Class of 2022

Monday, July 19, 2021

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 2021 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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What a Year! Apply to be a Debutante!

Monday, July 5, 2021

It feels like it was only last month that Lisa Braxton, author of THE TALKING DRUM, recommended applying to The Debutante Ball. I was immediately interested. Everything I’ve ever done in my life – writing a dissertation, raising kids, finding jobs, working to influence politics – has been richer and more satisfying when done in the company of other amazing women. So I was really excited about the prospect of…

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Wisdom from the Masters via Podcasts.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Today’s topic is tips and writing advice from teachers, mentors, and other inspirational figures. I’m going to start with a tip for how to find this advice: Podcasts! I may be late to the party but I only recently learned that you can use the search function on most podcast listening apps to find episodes featuring those authors you most admire. You just type, say, Tommy Orange, into the search…

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A Deleted Scene from A Door Between Us

Thursday, June 10, 2021

When I first read the prompt for this week’s blogpost, I thought, “deleted scenes? Do I have deleted scenes?” As a dedicated plotter who outlines and re-outlines every beat and scene of every story I’m working on, my editing is more about paragraph and sentence structure than the actual story. But then I went back and looked at an early version of DOOR and right there in the first chapter…

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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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Self-Promotion, Branding, and the Bicycle Book Tour!

Saturday, March 20, 2021

If you’re looking for some real pro tips on author branding and promotion, I’m going to point you to Lainey Cameron who has some of the best advice out there. I especially recommend the panel she moderated at AWP 2021 called Debuting During a Disaster with four other incredible authors and marketing geniuses including Lisa Braxton (a Former Debutante!), Eddy Boudel Tan, Barbara Conrey, and Linda Rosen. As for me,…

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Books I loved as a kid

Thursday, February 25, 2021

During this year of being a Deb, I’ve gotten to interview a ton of authors. One thing a lot of folks have in common is being avid readers as kids. And by avid, I mean flashlight-under-the-covers, reading-while-walking and will-read-cereal-boxes-if-nothing-else-is-around sorts of readers. Me too! One of my funniest childhood reading memories is being suddenly startled to realize I was all alone in our school library. I’d become so engrossed in…

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Favorite writing books, blogs, podcasts? So many to choose from!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

First, a few classics: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is what helped me turn off my internal critic and editor so I could write, freely, every single day. On Writing by Stephen King is a refreshingly honest look inside the life, practice, and experiences of one of our most prolific writers. It includes tons of straightforward advice about what works and what doesn’t. Save the Cat by Blake Snyder….

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Launch Party!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

I’m all about milestones and celebrations! Life can be hard and is always too short so sneaking in as much joy as possible sometimes feels like an important part of resistance. Birthdays in my household start with breakfast in bed. April Fools Day pranks have included cars believed stolen, fake notices of academic failure, and flocks of Barbies invading the office. And for added fun and pleasure, I started the…

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My favorite scenes? I love them all!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

This month, we’re talking about favorite scenes to write and, honestly, it’s hard to choose. I love writing so many scenes and all for different reasons! First of all, I love writing about real live places that I miss because it’s a way of visiting. My current WIP includes a chapter set in the Kahrizak Charity Foundation in Iran where I spent many hours among its wonderful doctors, social workers,…

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