What Inspires me to write, even in a pandemic

internal monologue not for everyone
Thursday, April 2, 2020

Recently, I read a post on someone who found out that not everyone has a running inner dialogue in their minds. I was as shocked as the original poster at this discovery. My mind has always been a chatterbox; I just assumed it was the same for everyone! My inner world is constantly questioning, observing, judging, apologizing, and taking stock. I’m like a ringmaster, struggling to bring peace to a…

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If The Goddess Twins was made into a movie…

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Oooh, I love this game! If they made The Goddess Twins into a film, here’s my dream for who would work well with casting, directing and rating: Director – Ava DuVernay – I loved what she did with A Wrinkle in Time, and I feel confident she could reflect the goddess dynasty vibes from behind the lens through to the big screens. Rating – PG13 (it is YA after all!)…

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The Most Challenging Part of Being a Writer (Apologies to Elsa)

Friday, January 10, 2020

Would you think me a bad parent if I told you my four year old has seen Frozen 2 three times? (Does that make it Frozen 6?) Well, I only saw it once. And at first the new anthem didn’t catch my gut the way “Let It Go,” did; I heard that anthem waaay before I became a mom and I knew it could be belted out ferociously even then. (Another…

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What This Writer Gives Thanks For

Monday, November 25, 2019

This upcoming holiday season many of us will gather around tables with food lovingly prepared and spend precious time with loved ones. We’ll reflect on what we are thankful for. Family, friends, community, and good health, will likely top the list. As a writer, I have an additional list of items to include. As the months wind down and I move ever closer to publication—I have six months to go—it…

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3 Tips for Working with an Editor

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Kathleen here with three tips for working with an editor. I think the aim of our prompt this week is to discuss our work with editors at publishing houses, and I’ll get there. But, really, my book (and all other books I know of) went through multiple rounds of editing before it was acquired for publication.  Here’s what I think you should do to get ready for those last rounds…

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The Author Who Makes Me Cry the Most

Monday, October 14, 2019

It is not very often that a work of fiction makes me cry, but that’s what happened when I read Langston Hughes’ “Cora Unashamed,” a story in one of Hughes’ short story collections, which was made into a television film as part of the Masterpiece Theatre American Collection starring Regina Taylor and Cherry Jones. Cora is an African American housekeeper in the early 1900s isolated in an all-white town in…

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Completing My First Draft Required Some Unspooling

Monday, October 7, 2019

I never would have gotten through the first draft of my novel without the low residency MFA (Master of Fine Arts) program at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). For years I wrote, rewrote, and then wrote again a seven-page scene in which a man and woman meet up in a bookstore years after their relationship has ended. She’s interested in rekindling the romance and finds out when he’s likely to…

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Interview with Rion Amilcar Scott, Author of The World Doesn’t Require You

Saturday, October 5, 2019

I am so excited to welcome Rion Amilcar Scott to The Debutante Ball. Rion and I are both Kimbilio fellows. Kimbilio is a national residency for fiction writers from the African diaspora. Rion Amilcar Scott is the author of the story collection, The World Doesn’t Require You (Norton/Liveright, August 2019). His debut story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and…

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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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Introducing Kathleen West: Author of MINOR DRAMAS & OTHER CATASTROPHES

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

I’m delighted to introduce the new social media maven for the Debutante Ball, Class of 2020! Please welcome and meet Kathleen West, whose debut novel Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes will be out from Berkley (Penguin Random House) on February 4, 2020. Kathleen is a writer, teacher, reader, and semi-professional minivan driver. A life-long Minnesotan, she holds degrees from Macalester College and the University of Minnesota. She currently lives in Minneapolis…

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