THE LOST GIRLS, Found By…..?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This week on the Ball, we’re letting our wildest author fantasies run amok. By day we’re stressed-out, excitable writers who are trying to write our next book while selling our first book. We’re simultaneously afraid we’ll never write another book as good as our first and convinced our first is gutterslop nobody will buy. The Imposter Syndrome has its claws in deep, and we wonder if our book deals were…

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In Defense of the Luddites

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I’m not the youngest girl in the room, but in most things I like to think I’m younger than my age. I’m reasonably fit, and my body doesn’t feel like it’s 50 when I ask it to do things like run or bike or ski. I watch a bunch of TV shows that target a demographic I haven’t been part of for over a decade (Crazy Ex Girlfriend! The New…

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The Politics of Rejection

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I’m writing this post while watching live coverage of the New Hampshire primary returns, and as this bizarre passion play unfolds on my television screen I’m struck by how relevant it is to this week’s topic of rejection. We writers moan about how we’re cursed with near-constant rejection, and it’s true: even the most successful writers receive dozens, even hundreds, of “we regret to inform yous” for every accepted submission…

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The Evolution of a Title: THE LOST EVANS GIRL SISTERS OF STILLWATER BROKEN ARROW LAKE WHO WERE LIGHT ON THE LAST DAY OF SUMMER ONCE

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

When you sell your book to a traditional publisher, it quickly becomes apparent that the story you lavished for years with the meticulous attention of a cat licking its fur doesn’t belong wholly to you any more. It’s now the foster child of an entire consortium of professionals whose sole purpose is to bring it into the world and sell as many copies of it as possible. Of course, this…

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This is My Brain on the Internet

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Social media is killing me. It’s rotting my brain from the inside. Not just social media, actually, but the entire internet. That may seem like hyperbole, but right now I’m feeling pretty damned overwhelmed by the vast rabbit-hole-ness of what’s flying around on invisible waves of data and crashing into my consciousness every time I turn on my computer. Right now I have the following tabs open on my toolbar:…

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News Flash: Firsts and Lasts Edition

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Congratulations to Jacky McFadden, winner of WHITE WALLS by Judy Batalion! Check back next week, where we will announce the winner of this weeks giveaway–BELLWEATHER RHAPSODY BY Kate Racculia! From the 2016 Debs: Louise Miller is finishing up reading (and tinkering) with her last-pass pages, which has made her a little weepy. And writing her acknowledgements. And her dedication. It’s been an emotional week! Jennifer S. Brown is having a caffeinated week. She…

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Envy, the Vast Literary Cognoscenti, and Me

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ah, envy. What a complicated topic, especially for writers. And now comes my turn to examine the green eyed monster. First I have to distinguish envy from jealousy (sorry; writers are word nerds).  Envy is when you covet what someone else has. For example, when I go to Book Passage to hear debut novelist Garth Risk Hallberg read from CITY ON FIRE as part of his publisher-funded national book tour and…

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How I Survived Terminal Computer Malfeasance While Editing My Novel

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

It’s interesting to me how varied our editorial processes have been here on the Debutante Ball. Louise had the more conventional experience, with an extensive edit letter and line edits. Jennifer had two conversations that made an edit letter unnecessary. Mine? Well, mine was nothing less than a gothic horror story — albeit one with a fairytale ending. Allow me to explain. When my editor bought my book it was…

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Heather’s Favorite Books of 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

This week, we’re discussing our favorite reads of 2015. Here are mine! THE END OF THE POINT: Finding a writer you love who’s been around for a while is like finding candy in your coat pocket. I picked up this novel in paperback — it was a New York Times Notable Book in 2014 — and was instantly swept up in the lilting cadence of Elizabeth Graver’s prose and the verisimilitude of…

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Criticism and the Impostor Syndrome

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I was a lawyer for almost a decade, and every brief I wrote was edited by other lawyers. This never bothered me. Once, my boss crossed out a paragraph in which I’d explained, in multiple dependent clauses, not unlike this sentence, that the plaintiff — while perhaps well-meaning and confused — was, unfortunately, operating under several sadly incorrect assumptions. He replaced it with four words: “The plaintiff is wrong.” I…

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