Deb Class of 2008

Danielle Younge-Ullman

Debut Novel: Falling Under (Penguin, July 2008; ISBN: 9780452289659)

Read Danielle’s Debutante Ball posts.
Visit Danielle on the web.

Danielle Younge-Ullman became addicted to fiction at an early age. Despite her tendency to disappear into a book for days at a time, she somehow managed to finish high school and graduate with a BA in English from McGill University.
After a few colorful and character-building years as an actor, Danielle turned her focus to writing and has now completed three plays and two novels. Danielle lives in Toronto with her husband, her daughter and their dog. She is currently at work on a third novel.


Debut Novel: Cancer is a Bitch (Perseus, October 2008; ISBN: 9780738211626)
Read Gail’s Debutante Ball posts.
Visit Gail on the web.

Gail Konop Baker’s work is published or forthcoming in Literary Mama, Talking River Review, The Potomac, Mota, The Danforth Review, Madison Magazine, Yankee Pot Roast, Wisconsin Trails, Xanadu, Womansong, Pudding Magazine, Glass Review, and an anthology funded by the Ohio Arts Council. Her Literary Mama column “Bare-breasted Mama” made its debut in October of 2006.

Gail’s memoir, Cancer is a Bitch: Reflections on Midlife, Mortality, Motherhood and Marriage was published by Da Capo Press, October 2008.

She has also written two novels, Waitress Of The Month and Paris Smells Like Rotten Eggs. Her short story, “My Religious Education,” won third place in the Madison Magazine Short Fiction Contest, chosen by Jane Hamilton, was also a Glimmer Train Top 25 Fiction Open Finalist, a finalist in the 2006 New Millennium Fiction competition and a semi-finalist in the Boston Fiction Festival 2007 contest.

She is a graduate of Simon’s Rock Early College, and the University of Toledo with honors, and did graduate work at Hunter College, CUNY, and Dartmouth College. Gail has worked as an advertising executive, a stand-up comic, a waitress, a high school teacher, and a journalist.

JennyGardiner#10546Jenny Gardiner

Debut Novel: Sleeping with Ward Cleaver (Dorchester, January 2008; ISBN: 9780505527479)
Read Jenny’s Debutante Ball posts.
Visit Jenny on the web.

Jenny Gardiner’s work has been found in Ladies Home Journal, the Washington Post and on NPR’s Day to Day. She likes to say she honed her fiction writing skills while working as a publicist for a US Senator. Other jobs have included: an orthodontic assistant (learning quite readily that she was not cut out for a career in polyester), a waitress (probably her highest-paying job), a TV reporter, a pre-obituary writer, and a photographer (claim to fame: being hired to shoot Prince Charles–with a camera, silly!). She lives in Virginia with her husband, three kids, two dogs, one cat and a gregarious parrot. In her free time she studies Italian, dreams of traveling to exotic locales, and feels very guilty for rarely attempting to clean the house.

jess rileyJess Riley

Debut Novel: Driving Sideways (Random House, May 2008; ISBN: 9780345501103)
Read Jess’s Debutante Ball posts.
Visit Jess on the web.

Wisconsin native Jess Riley spent much of her childhood sitting at her desk during lunch hour for lying and/or passing notes during class, both of which qualified her for a possible future as a novelist. She won her first short story contest in 1992 for a tale told through the point of view of a seven year-old black boy living in Cabrini Green because as a middle-class white teenager, she knew a lot about that kind of life. Jess graduated from Campbellsport High School in 1993, and because she received a partial scholarship to UW-Oshkosh, decided to matriculate there to study pre-dentistry and make poor dating decisions. Jess has been a waitress, a blue cheese packager, and worked at a mall-based toy store during the Tickle Me Elmo craze of 1995 and lived to tell about it. She has also worked as a teaching assistant at a medium-security men’s prison, which was much less stressful. Jess graduated from UW-Oshkosh in 1998 with dual degrees in English and history, which means she narrowly avoided a career selling burial plots through cold calls. She will never be a dentist, but that’s fine with her.

When she isn’t writing fiction, Jess works as a Grant Writer for a nonprofit educational service agency, writing over 120 grant proposals in the last ten years and netting more than $16 million for Wisconsin schools in support of projects designed to improve the quality of public education. She continues to work with dozens of rural, suburban, and urban school districts across the state, alternately pulling her hair out and feeling honored to hear that a project she worked on helped a group of kids stay in school. She lives in a drafty old house in Wisconsin with her husband and a neurotic dog that despises public radio.

Lisa Daily, getting primpedLisa Daily

Debut Novel: Fifteen Minutes of Shame (Penguin, March 2008; ISBN: 9780452289130)
Read Lisa’s Debutante Ball posts.
Visit Lisa on the web.

Lisa Daily is a real-life TV relationships expert who appears every week on Daytime, a syndicated morning TV show. She’s the author of the bestselling non-fiction dating advice book, Stop Getting Dumped! : All you need to know to make men fall madly in love with you and marry “The One” in three years or less, a syndicated relationships columnist and a popular media guest – she’s made hundreds of television appearances from iVillage Live to MTV to Entertainment Tonight and been quoted everywhere from Cosmopolitan and US Weekly to the New York Times. Lisa lives in Florida, Fifteen Minutes of Shame is her first novel.

Eileen CookEileen Cook

Debut Novel: Unpredictable (Penguin, February 2008; ISBN: 9780425213964)
Read Eileen’s Debutante Ball posts.
Visit Eileen on the web.

Eileen is a transplanted American living in Vancouver Canada with her husband and two dogs. Her first novel, Unpredictable (formerly known as In the Stars), will be published as a lead title by Berkley in February 2008. Her short humor pieces have appeared on CBC Radio (Canada’s version of NPR), Writers Digest, Woman’s World Magazine, First Line, The National Post, and The North Shore News.