The World of The Talking Drum: Real Places Versus the Fantasy World

In The Talking Drum, one of my main characters, Omar Bassari, reminisces about the day in 1965 when his father, Ibrahim, sat him down in their Senegalese village and told him that The Festival of the Black Arts was coming to the capital city, Dakar. Kings, emperors, and presidents from all over the world would be coming to the festival. Ibrahim’s musical hero, composer, pianist, and orchestra leader Duke Ellington,…

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Interview and Book Giveaway: “Strung Out” Guest Author Erin Khar

I’ve never done drugs. I don’t know how it feels, although I can imagine the appeal, the longing and the holes in fills in your life. Reading Erin Khar’s stunning memoir, Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me, takes me into the heart of an addict and shows me the highs and lows of turning your life around. In this deeply personal and illuminating memoir…

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How my personality type informs my writing

I grew up very introverted, completely over sensitized to the world on a daily basis and retreating inside my head to cope. From ‘Baby Yoda’ me, till I was around 17, my personality type could be very easily summed up by the words “bookworm”. Books were my escape, my safety blanket, and my deepest friends. Looking back, it was my own form of obsessive coping mechanism. I was a depressed…

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When in doubt, consult Buzzfeed quizzes.

Let’s just be honest, here. I’m having a lot of trouble composing this week’s article—on how my personality affects my writing—because I’m not honestly sure what my personality is. I mean, I’m a little serious, I’m an extrovert, and a bit of a workaholic, but “I write a lot” does not a Deb article make. So. I took a bunch of Buzzfeed personality quizzes. “This Sorting Quiz Will Tell You…

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Kathleen’s Personality Flaws. That’s One Way to Look at It.

This week’s topic is how our personalities impact our writing. I wrote quite a lot about my personality when we discussed balance, or in my case, lack thereof.  It’s funny, though. I’m feeling a little different than I did five months ago when I confessed my unrelenting anxiety and quest for perfection. There’s no doubt I’m still myself–driven and compulsive–but to be honest, I feel a little less aggressively so….

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What My Writing Revealed About My Personality

I never realized that my personality influenced my writing until I had an agent take a look at an early version of The Talking Drum. The agent read it through several times and gave me an in-depth critique. One remark she made stands out from the others. She said that every time my characters came close to having a conflict I would have them retreat and resolve matters quietly. She…

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Interview with Leah Garriott, author of Promised

I am so happy to welcome Leah Garriott to the Deb ball this week! Although she earned degrees in math and statistics, Leah Garriott lives for a good love story. She’s resided in Hawaii and Italy, walked the countryside of England, and owns every mainstream movie version of Pride and Prejudice. She’s currently living her own happily ever after in Utah with her husband and three kids. We’ll be giving…

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Where do I find the most inspiration?

I am so very into being inspired. I love being exposed to new experiences, ideas, art, stories, sounds, tastes. I used to feel I could only be inspired by things when I felt safe. I felt like I needed to shut out others to find inspiration from within. While this is still true, as I can find inspiration in quiet contemplation, I’ve also found I can be very inspired when…

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Inspiration from everywhere

So, my book revisions are due today, so I’m hoping you–kind reader!–don’t mind if today’s entry is a little short. I get my sources of inspiration from everywhere. My stories and novels are magpie nests, full of shiny bits and dark corners, lit on fire by deadlines. Architects of Memory alone needed nearly twenty years to form; it includes a cast I originally thought up during a college exam week in…

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Finding Inspiration Through the Work. Or, Kathleen’s Third (?!) Book.

It’s two weeks post-publication of Minor Dramas, and I’m writing from my bed at home, prepping for the second leg of my tour. (Are you in Texas?! I’m in Dallas tomorrow and Houston on Thursday and Friday, and I’d love to see you.)  Anyway, It’s been a whirlwind, and the best advice about surviving publication I’ve gotten so far is from my friend Laura: “Spend at least one hour per…

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