In the Face of Illness, Balancing Writing, Work, and Life

Monday, September 23, 2019

On May 1st I entered a diagnostic imaging center to undergo a biopsy. For the procedure, I had to lie face down in a tunnel MRI machine and not move for close to two hours. I was rolled in and out of the tunnel throughout the procedure and had to endure the obnoxiously loud screeching and honking noises of the machine’s magnetic fields as well as the whirring motor of…

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There is no “normal.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Before I begin, let’s get something straight: there’s no “typical path to publication.” There’s only what happens to you, when it happens to you. Remember, this is a business where the only effective marketing advice are dollar signs and shrug emojis. That said, my journey is actually fairly typical. I call publishing “the eye of Sauron,” because you’ll find yourself living through long stretches of time where nothing much is…

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My path to publication required the right shoes

Monday, September 16, 2019

I arrived at the book fair exhibit hall of AWP, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference hopeful that I’d be able to complete my mission: to convince the editors at a small press that they should publish my novel. After a six-hour train ride that took me several states away. I said a silent prayer and slipped into the comfortable shoes I had packed, my burgundy, suede Crocs….

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Introducing Amy Klein: Author of THE TRYING GAME

Friday, August 30, 2019

I’m beyond thrilled to introduce you all to your new Friday blogger, Amy Klein! Amy is the author of The Trying Game: How to Get Pregnant and Get Through Fertility Treastment Without Losing your Mind (Ballantine, 2020) based on her New York Times Fertility Diary column. As soon as I read her application, I knew I wanted her to be on the Debutante Ball, and now I’ve got my wish. It…

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Year’s End

Friday, August 23, 2019

  In many ways my debut year was full of surprises. I received so many wonderful gifts that I hadn’t planned on—a blurb from one of the writers I most admire, positive reviews in outlets that still terrify me (can you say Kirkus, anyone?), pictures of my book purchased by friends old and new, near and far. I was truly surprised by how many friends not only bought the book…

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A Party for THE DREAM PEDDLER

Friday, August 16, 2019

  I considered not having a launch party for my book. I’m not a big fan of being the center of attention (which is funny, because when I was ten years old this was my favorite thing ever), and I didn’t want to hand sell books to close friends. I was excited for them to buy it—I just didn’t want to be the one selling it. But publishing a book…

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Interview with Lana Wood Johnson and Giveaway for TECHNICALLY, YOU STARTED IT

Saturday, August 10, 2019

  I am beyond thrilled to be hosting my agent sister, YA author Lana Wood Johnson, on the ball today! Lana was born and raised in Iowa in the time before the internet but has spent the rest of her life making up for that. After years working in wireless communication for companies of all sizes, she now works doing the same for a local youth shelter. Lana lives in Minnesota…

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They Could Have Named Her Anything

Friday, August 2, 2019

  Stephanie Jimenez’s astonishing debut novel follows the evolution of a friendship between Maria and Rocky, two seventeen-year-old students at a private girls’ school. In order for this youthful friendship to take center stage, both characters need to be incredibly rich and real, and I was so impressed with how well Stephanie pulls this off. The two teenagers felt so real, to me, in fact, I found they reminded me…

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Bluebeard’s Drawer

Friday, July 26, 2019

    I have two manuscripts in the drawer. Although they’re not actually in a drawer, and I have no idea where they went. They are so old now that I know not if any current software could even read them, so I’ve pretty much abandoned the idea of ever looking at them again. This may be for the best. The first time I wrote a book, I sat down…

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Why Can’t I Name Characters Not After Famous People

Friday, July 19, 2019

  Let’s see, hilarious mistakes. There is no doubt in my mind that I made far more of these than I can remember right now. Actually, I can remember a lot of mistakes I made, and I even caught a lot of them myself before we went to copy edits (that woman missed NOTHING I tell you), but they’re not particularly funny. One of the things I had to be…

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