News Flash: Exciting News On The Debs, Past and Present, and Future!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Congratulations to Lisa Romeo, winner of our #DebBallGiveaway of COTTONMOUTHS by Kelly J. Ford. If you haven’t already, enter the #DebBallGiveaway of a signed, not-yet-released paperback of SMALL ADMISSIONS or enter to win a copy by sharing our post on Facebook and/or retweeting the following tweet: RT to Enter! Win a shiny new paperback of #SmallAdmissions by @AmyPoeppel! #BeachReads https://t.co/CFPXWCfpXN pic.twitter.com/K8U6L7pEcY — The Debutante Ball (@DebutanteBall) June 24, 2017 Calling all debut authors! Want…

Read More >>

Launch Week! Give it Up for Heather Young and The Lost Girls!

THE LOST GIRLS by Heather Young
Monday, July 25, 2016

I have the great honor of kicking off Heather Young’s launch week, celebrating the publication of her debut novel THE LOST GIRLS. But before I tell you about THE LOST GIRLS, I just want to say what a joy it has been to share this year with Heather. She is one of the funniest people I have ever met, and she never fails to make me laugh at myself. She…

Read More >>

The Two Kinds of Story

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

John Gardner, the author of one of the greatest craft books of all time, THE ART OF FICTION, once said there are only two kinds of stories in the world: “a person goes on an adventure” or “a stranger comes to town.” I thought this was a gross generalization when I heard it quoted at a writer’s workshop, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized he…

Read More >>

The Memory of Water

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

THE LOST GIRLS was born of water. Not just any water, but the very particular lake water of my childhood. I first saw the ocean as a teenager, and its grandeur made me so dizzy it knocked me off my feet. But the water of White Earth Lake – fecund and drawn close with mystery – was a part of my life before I could walk, and it always seemed…

Read More >>

The Five Things I Can’t Stop Talking About

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

This week’s topic is “favorite things”, but since Louise and Jennifer already wrote clever lists of favorite things, I’m not going to do that. I hate to compete in games I know I’m going to lose. It’s a character flaw, and I’ll never change. So instead,I spent the past two days listening to my own endless blather and coming up with a list of my favorite things to talk about….

Read More >>

Who’s Your Role Model? A Long Overdue Homework Assignment

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

When my kids were in elementary school, every couple of years they’d get an assignment that asked, “Who’s your role model?” I always wanted them to pick me. Me, their mother. You know, the one who wiped their noses and packed their lunches and drove them to soccer practice and found their cleats at the bottom of the laundry bin. They never picked me. They always picked their dad. Well,…

Read More >>

Joining the Hive to Write Book Two

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A month ago, I wrote a post about how difficult it was for me to write a new novel during this anxious period before my first book launches. I hadn’t looked ahead on the Debutante Topics Calendar, obviously, because “writing book two” is the assigned subject of this week’s posts. Fortunately, I don’t need to rehash that earlier lament, because — though progress on Book Two is still glacial and…

Read More >>

AWP Junior High School: A Survivor’s Tale

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tomorrow I’m flying to Los Angeles for my third foray into the overpopulated slushpile that is the Conference of American Writers and Writing Programs, or AWP. This time, I might actually get it right. The first time I went to one of these things was in 2012, in Chicago. I’d gotten my MFA the year before, and I was muddling through my novel. It was right about the time when,…

Read More >>

Being an Author, Not a Writer

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Something horrible happened to me the day I became an author: I stopped being a writer. I spent six years working on THE LOST GIRLS. It was the great pleasure of my life, second only to raising my children. Each morning I woke up and immediately started figuring out how I could avoid as many of my obligations as possible so I could spend more time writing. Days when I…

Read More >>

Leaping Into a Story By Accident

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Louise stole my idea for this topic. The biggest leap I’ve made as a writer was, by far, becoming a writer in the first place. But as I think about writing itself, I recall that I did make a fairly big leap in the writing of this book: I killed my protagonist. That’s not a spoiler. Lucy, one of the two women whose stories intertwine in THE LOST GIRLS, is…

Read More >>