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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Hemingway, Proust, and the Authorial Brand

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Sooner or later every aspiring author is going to be told that they need to work on building their brand, improving their platform, increasing their presence. I grate at these terms. I don’t like to think of myself as a brand. I’m a person. I have a personality. I have interests and quirks and an aesthetic and a manner of speaking, and these things transmit through my writing and my…

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Ray Bradbury is my homeboy

Thursday, March 4, 2021

The most formative moment of my childhood, and probably the event that influenced me most as a writer was, ironically, when my parents bought me my own TV when I was 6. And not only did I have my own TV but we had glorious, glorious cable, beamed straight into my bedroom. I watched so much TV when I was a kid that it’s actually amazing my rotted brain didn’t…

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The autodidact’s reading list

Thursday, February 11, 2021

I’ve written previously about how I have an MBA, not an MFA. And how that didn’t work out so great for me. So when I was unemployed and stuck in a tiny apartment while raising a newborn baby, it wasn’t a great time to contemplate going back to school for yet another masters degree. Plus, I reasoned, I’d always been told I was a great writer. How hard could it…

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Celebrating the small stuff

Thursday, January 28, 2021

It feels a little funny to be writing about milestones and celebrations before my book comes out. It almost sounds like the kind of article I’d write 30 years from now, when I’ve got a shelf full of bestsellers, a trophy case jammed with awards, and a desk built to look like my celebrated novels. What’s that last thing, you ask? I’m sorry, has no one shown you what Danielle…

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I left my heart in Corpus Christi

Thursday, January 14, 2021

My fellow Debs and I are blogging this week about our favorite types of scenes to write, and it made me think of something George Saunders said once about how you should always write into your strengths. Saunders claims he’s not great at plot (methinks he’s being a touch humble), and so when he writes, he emphasizes his characters, or setting, or whatever, in order to make up for the…

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[News Flash] December 20, 2020

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Nancy Johnson joined us this week to talk about her upcoming novel, THE KINDEST LIE, coming out in February. Read Denny’s interview with Nancy here. Also this week, Lyn interviewed Denise Williams, author of HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING. Watch the interview at our Instagram page. And finally a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Denny. O the Oprah Magazine named WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES one of 2021’s most anticipated historical novels….

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Demons and Daydreams: How Hieronymus Bosch Got Me Writing

Thursday, December 10, 2020

I had a really hard time choosing a major in college. I went from Business Administration to Retailing, to Fashion, and finally landed in Art History – a perfect place for people like me who love art, but lack all artistic ability. Art History was a really fun major, and I enjoyed my classes tremendously. We’d scrutinize paintings, paying attention to style, technique, and symbolism, and listen to stories our…

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Finding Your People: A guide for new writers

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A funny consequence of having a book coming out is that friends and family (and the occasional stranger on the internet) now come to me for advice on writing and publishing. It’s weird to give advice because I feel like I’m still learning these things myself. I don’t have an MFA – I literally just learned about the concept of negative capability this summer!     But when I’m asked…

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The Jackhammer in the Basement: On writing (or not writing) through distractions

Thursday, October 29, 2020

“It’s a black fly in your chardonnay. It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late.” Alanis Morissette was kind enough to give us many definitions of irony in 1995, and to those I would like to add, “It’s a jackhammer in your basement when you’re trying to write a blog post about writing through distractions.” We’re getting our house earthquake-retrofitted — a project that was initially supposed to take…

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