Kathleen’s Debut Year Roses, Thorns, and Buds

Many years ago, our family stole a page from the Obama playbook and added roses, thorns, and buds to our family dinners. It’s the high, the low, and the something we’re looking forward to. Here are a few from my debut year: Roses: So many times, I shook my head in disbelief that I was actually launching a real live novel I wrote myself. Like, what?! How did this even…

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The “highlight reel” of my year as a Debutante

  Greetings and salutations and welcome to the Debutante Ball! I was so excited when I read the first words of the email I received on a Sunday morning in early August of 2019 informing me that I’d been chosen as one of the 5 debut authors who would chronicle her “big dance” toward publication. I had been following the Debutante Ball blog for more than a year and eagerly…

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

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…

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Launching The Goddess Twins during a Pandemic

Yo, this year has been full of surprises to say the very least. I had absolutely no inkling that when I was given my publication date of May 19th 2020 it would mean my book launch would sit in the midst of a global pandemic! Last year, I envisioned my launch as a fury of flights and book signings and interviews and readings. I had planned to do a 6…

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2020 Debutante Lisa Braxton receives Outstanding Literary Award

For Immediate Release: August 6, 2020­­­—Debutante Lisa Braxton, author of the debut novel, The Talking Drum, is a recipient of an Outstanding Literary Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. The award was announced today at the organization’s virtual convention where she was interviewed about her book during The Author Showcase. The Showcase selection committee considered The Talking Drum compelling and socially relevant and notable for its inclusion of…

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It’s Your Book; It’s Your Party

Well, our official topic this week is lauch parties and swag. I think I’m the only member of our 2020 class who got a launch party. Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes released on Feburary 2nd. Covid was front-page news at that point, but it still seemed awfully far away. No one here in Minneapolis fully grasped the threat. At my launch, 150 people jammed into my local indie. Gretchen Anthony…

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Launch Party and Swag: What Worked and What Didn’t

Six months before my book launch, I went shopping. I purchased all that I thought I would need to exhibit and sell The Talking Drum at book fairs and other events: ethnic table cloths, miniature djembes, a bowl handwoven by West African women operating micro-businesses. Then the pandemic happened. There would be no in-person events. Everything would be virtual. I tucked away the tablecloths and bowl in my cedar chest,…

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Interview (and Giveaway!) with Elizabeth Penney, author of Hems and Homicide

We’re so excited to introduce you to Elizabeth Penny, author of Hems and Homicide! Elizabeth Penney is the author of the APRON SHOP SERIES and the forthcoming CAMBRIDGE BOOKSHOP SERIES for St. Martin’s Press. Elements that often appear in her novels include vintage summer cottages, past/present mysteries, and the arts. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where she pens novels and tries to grow things. Follow Elizabeth…

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What is next from the author of The Goddess Twins?

There really is not a single word that can describe the feeling of knowing readers of The Goddess Twins have been loving the book. I really wish I knew that word and I could just say it – blissful, overwhelming, gratitude, excitement, pride – but something that combines those feelings would be about in the ballpark. To know I have taken even a single mind on a ride, into my…

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The Debutante Who Didn’t Deb.

This week, my fellow debutantes are all talking about what they’re doing next. I’m still waiting for my release week. In fact, I might be the first woman in the history of the Ball to not actually debut during her Deb year. It’s the pandemic’s fault, really. Between printing closures and hundreds of books from earlier in the year that needed to shift their own print dates, various plot twists…

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