The autodidact’s reading list

Thursday, February 11, 2021

I’ve written previously about how I have an MBA, not an MFA. And how that didn’t work out so great for me. So when I was unemployed and stuck in a tiny apartment while raising a newborn baby, it wasn’t a great time to contemplate going back to school for yet another masters degree. Plus, I reasoned, I’d always been told I was a great writer. How hard could it…

Read More >>

Celebrating the small stuff

Thursday, January 28, 2021

It feels a little funny to be writing about milestones and celebrations before my book comes out. It almost sounds like the kind of article I’d write 30 years from now, when I’ve got a shelf full of bestsellers, a trophy case jammed with awards, and a desk built to look like my celebrated novels. What’s that last thing, you ask? I’m sorry, has no one shown you what Danielle…

Read More >>

I left my heart in Corpus Christi

Thursday, January 14, 2021

My fellow Debs and I are blogging this week about our favorite types of scenes to write, and it made me think of something George Saunders said once about how you should always write into your strengths. Saunders claims he’s not great at plot (methinks he’s being a touch humble), and so when he writes, he emphasizes his characters, or setting, or whatever, in order to make up for the…

Read More >>

Finding Your People: A guide for new writers

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A funny consequence of having a book coming out is that friends and family (and the occasional stranger on the internet) now come to me for advice on writing and publishing. It’s weird to give advice because I feel like I’m still learning these things myself. I don’t have an MFA – I literally just learned about the concept of negative capability this summer!     But when I’m asked…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

Writing Through Distractions: What Distractions? (Add insane laugh, here:)!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Good morning! First, I’m writing this post at 5:30 AM. That’s about the time I rise this time of year…I’m a seasonal creature, so my sleep pattern shifts. I am an early riser in the fall and winter and am down for the count around eleven o’clock. But my sleep habits aren’t the topic today. The question before me is how do I deal with distractions and such. Well, here…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

[News Flash] September 27, 2020

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Diane Zinna was our guest author this week, talking about her novel, THE ALL-NIGHT SUN, available now. Tune in to our Instagram account this Wednesday, September 30 at 2pm ET when Elizabeth Gonzalez James will interview Zinna about her novel, Ari Aster’s Midsommar, and her path to publication! Early reviews are coming in for Greta Kelly’s THE FROZEN CROWN and they are glowing:   Ehsaneh Sadr has two great events…

Read More >>

Interview and Book Giveaway with Author Yaffa Santos!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

It is my pleasure to welcome Yaffa S. Santos, author of A TASTE OF SAGE to The Debutante Ball!  Let me tell you a little about her. Yaffa was born and raised in New Jersey. Her debut novel, A TASTE OF SAGE, combines her interests in the romance genre with her love of cooking and its singular ability to bring people together. Yaffa lives in Florida with her family. A…

Read More >>

Interview with Alia Volz, author of Home Baked (and Giveaway!)

Saturday, August 8, 2020

I’m so pleased to present Alia Volz, our guest blogger this week! She is the author of Home Baked, a humorous memoir of a ‘sticky’ family business, which launched April 20th. I met Alia at AWP, pre:pandemic, and her energy and storytelling talent have burned bright in my mind since. I’m honored she will share some stories with us. About Alia Volz: Author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and…

Read More >>