Self Promotion—Awkward Yet Necessary

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

I love talking about my book. I love posting on social media about my book. Having my book come into the world is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. What I don’t love is feeling as if I’m a show-off, or begging my friends for help. Every time I post about my book, I’m secretly ducking the negative anti-promotion vibes I’m sure are headed…

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Writing Programs, MFAs, and What to do if You Can’t Afford Any of Them

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

When I started writing in a serious, dedicated way, I had 95 undergrad credits and three active student loans. I didn’t have a bachelor’s degree or an MFA and had never been to a writers’ workshop,  but I believed in my stories. As a gift, my parents paid for me to take a week-long writing workshop at the Chautauqua Institution, and more importantly, volunteered to babysit my boys (one of…

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The Quotes That Got Me Through Publishing my Memoir

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

This was my laptop’s wallpaper through out the months of crafting my memoir:   I have posted it on Facebook too many times to count. When I wake in the middle of the night short of breath from anxiety, when the idea of my memoir coming into the world seems too much to bear, I chant it over and over. Your silence will not protect you. I had first read…

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Creative, or Just Odd?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

My mother always told me that I was creative, by which I think she meant peculiar. I couldn’t draw, paint, or dance very well. Lord help me, singing was not my strong suit either. Writing made my hand cramp, my arm forming the awkward spiral common to left-handed children everywhere. I liked to make sculptures but I wasn’t very good at that either, and I showed no real talent for…

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The Best Kind of Editing

Monday, April 10, 2017

This week, instead of doing our taxes, the Debs are talking about auditing, err, editing.  In the fall of 2007, I took a novel-in-progress class at Grub Street with instructor and author, Lisa Borders. It was the first time I was showing anyone the novel I was working on, which turned out to be the early drafts of FEAST OF SORROW.  It was there that I met Anjali Mitter Duva,…

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An Old Knives Tale

Monday, March 27, 2017

This week the Debs are sharing deleted scenes, shifts in their books and all sorts of behind the curtain tidbits.  When I began writing FEAST OF SORROW, I was writing a very different book, about a celebrity chef with a special set of magical knives. I wanted an origin scene for those knives and this is what happened. I kept some of this in the book, but most of it…

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Invoking the Muse

Monday, October 17, 2016

This week the Debs are talking about how they torture their characters, make choices for them, or how their characters lead the way.  One of the most wonderful things about writing is how the mind seems to unravel the story from a place hidden deep inside. I can’t tell you how many times I have stopped writing after a few hours and sat back to re-read the words and thought,…

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Guest Blogger Adria Cimino on Character Likability

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Author Adria Cimino is the author of several novels, including her latest release, THE PERFUMER’S SECRET. The quest for a stolen perfume formula awakens passion, rivalry and family secrets in the fragrant flower fields of the South of France… Perfumer Zoe Flore travels to Grasse, perfume capital of the world, to collect a formula: her inheritance from the family she never knew existed. The scent matches the one worn by…

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Louise’s Big Leap

Monday, February 29, 2016

Publishing is full of big leaps. You sign with an agent after a twenty-minute phone call. You sell your book to an editor you most likely have never met in person. When your book comes out there are all sorts of leaps—giving public readings, doing interviews, writing essays and op-eds—endless opportunities to do things you have never done before. But what I consider to be my biggest jump happened many…

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Recipe for an Unfinished Novel

Monday, December 14, 2015

This week on the Debutante Ball, in celebration of the winter solstice, we are writing about the dark times of writing–moments when we thought about quitting or let our doubt get in the way.  Recipe for an unfinished novel Ingredients 1 work in progress 1 workshop, preferably your first one 1 bag of peanut M&Ms 1 famous author/instructor 1 bullying workshop attendee 8 other workshop students Instructions 1. Read aloud…

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