Escaping the Friendzone… Or Not

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

This week’s Debutante Ball topic is dedicated to deleted scenes. We all have them. It’s an inevitable part of the editing process. There’s even a tried-and-true writing adage about it: kill your darlings. Many, many darlings were ruthlessly murdered throughout the drafting process of THE FROZEN CROWN. At the time it was painful, culling these scenes from my still-maturing manuscript. We all have ideas of what our books are, but…

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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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Stepping Past the First Gate with The Old Kingdom Series

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

There were—and are—many stories that inspired me to dive into writing, and specifically writing fantasy. From THE LORD OF THE RINGS to THE WHEEL OF TIME, these are expansive universes filled with heroes and villains, wild magic and desperate battles. But few stories made me feel like writing was an actual thing I could do than the Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix. I first discovered Garth Nix in high…

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Back to School: My Favorite Writing Resources

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

This week’s topic is all about highlighting the resources that helped me along the way to publishing. The websites and podcasts I’ve listed below were (and are) all invaluable sources of information and support in a journey that can often be a lonely one. So saddle up and read on for my favorites: First Draft with Sarah Enni There is so much here to love about Sara Enni’s podcast. She…

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Inspiration or Just Some Books I’ve Read and Loved

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Inspiration is difficult to pin down. At least, that’s the position I’m sticking with. So, I decided to go back in time, not literally (not a time traveler :), but I started thinking about what has inspired me to write—and my answer is writing. Now, I’m not talking about my writing. Although, I wrote my first story when I was seven years old, inspired by Charlie’s Angels, which is not…

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Tips for Navigating the NaNo Blues

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

We’re sharing our best writing tips this month here on The Debutante Ball, and since this happens to coincide with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short), I thought I’d tailor my advice for the NaNo folks out there. November is quickly running out and for many writers it’s make or break time. So what do you do if you still have 10-20k left on your word count…

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Time Management–Reflecting on the Before Times and Strategies for The New Era

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

When I sat down to brainstorm ideas for this article, it was hard not to think of all the B.C.’s invoiced. Before COVID-19, yes, but on a personal level– Before Children. When I was writing The Frozen Crown, I was working a full time job as well as remodeling an 1850’s farmhouse. (And I mean– remodeling— it needed a lot of work!) At the time I thought I was juggling…

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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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World Building in the Real World

Thursday, October 8, 2020

When writers talk about “world building” they mean more than just setting. Setting is where a story takes place. But a fictional world is setting, history, the special rules of that particular place, the people who inhabit that world, as well as the general tone or atmosphere that sort of floats over every page. The setting of the Harry Potter books is England, but in order to build her fictional…

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What’s next for my writing career?

Thursday, August 20, 2020

I have had such a ride this year in publishing The Goddess Twins! There’s no way I will ever forget this journey of launching my debut novel – it has stretched me more than I ever thought possible in a multitude of directions. Out of all the highs and lows, I feel most grateful for the reader feedback. After years of work and insecurity and secret hopes about what this…

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