When The Muse Calls With Inspiration — You Listen

Friday, September 13, 2019

You always hear people talking about muses whispering in their ear, as if in a trance, or their “characters” speaking to them. Well, I’m not a novelist so I don’t have characters to take over the heavy lifting of writing, but I will say that it feels like someone else wrote up my book proposal. I had been working for a while on a memoir about my infertility, based on…

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My second spin around the ballroom

Monday, September 2, 2019

Is it possible to be a debutante more than once? In my case, the answer is yes. When I was 17 years old I was selected as a debutante for the cotillion sponsored in my hometown, Bridgeport, Connecticut. Dressed in a white ballgown, white elbow gloves, white pumps, pearls, and with my hair in an upsweep, I waltzed with my dad, did a modern dance with my escort, and had…

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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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A Tale of Two Launches

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

I had two launch parties for Girlish—one in my hometown of Rochester, NY, and one in my current town, Cleveland. Old Hometown Launch Venue: Writers and Books (a writing center) Food: Beautiful appetizer and dessert trays, which remained largely uneaten. Two kinds of wine + bottled water, most of which remained largely undrank. Agenda: chatting, signing, and general milling about. I did a 10-minute reading from Girlish. Takeways: People don’t care…

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Interview with Book Publicist Andrea Kiliany Thatcher 

For Industry Insiders week, I wanted to introduce you to Andrea Kiliany Thatcher of Smith Publicity, whom I worked with in the months leading up to the release of my memoir,  Girlish: Growing Up in a Lesbian Home.   Andrea Kiliany Thatcher is a Marketing Manager and a Book Publicist at Smith Publicity. Andrea has a long relationship with the independent bookselling community having been a bookseller and social media manager for…

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
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Navigating Failure is Easier Than Navigating Success

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Trigger warning: depression, anxiety.   People who have experienced trauma may associate the excitement of success with the same physiological reactions as trauma. They avoid subjecting themselves to excitement-inducing circumstances, which causes them to be almost phobic about success.  Psychology Today  This week’s topic (navigating failure) isn’t hard or scary for me, because I’ve chosen failure for so much of my life. Navigating failure is historically pretty comfortable for me….

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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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Querying and Authors.Me

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

  First of all, when I was shopping Girlish, I went with the “wallpaper the internet with queries” technique. I queried editors and agents and entered emerging writers’ contests—I tried to put my manuscript in front of as many people as humanly possible. One agent I really liked only took submissions through something called authors.me, so I checked it out. Authors.me is basically a dating service for agents, editors, and…

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Writing Books and Chasing Dreams—But First, Survive the Diaper Years

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I sat in my very first writer’s workshop the week after I left my soon-to-be-ex-husband.  I was going to chase my dreams, damn it, along with raising two boys in diapers and finding a job and a place to live.  The presenter said something along the lines of, “you can’t write a memoir before you are forty,” or maybe it was, “no one wants to publish a memoir by someone…

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