Interview with Rachel Howard + THE RISK OF US giveaway

Saturday, January 26, 2019

We are thrilled to have Rachel Howard as our guest author this week at The Debutante Ball! Rachel Howard’s novel THE RISK OF US, described by Jenny Offill as “an emotionally complex and amazingly suspenseful novel about love and fear,” will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on April 9th. Rachel earned her MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson College and is the author of a memoir, The Lost Night….

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The Comp I Kept

Friday, January 25, 2019

    I know you’ll all be shocked when I announce that I did not use comp titles in my query. I did not. I don’t think I was taking any particular stance in this; it’s just that I had a very hard time to come up with any, and very few agents actually required them. I described my book and sent my query off without them, and that seemed…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: compare and contrast

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

I don’t have any magic formulas for the books I selected and used as comparable titles — except if you consider reading, as I do, as a superpower. A few years ago I wanted to start sending out my own book.  I attempted to take stock of what I loved to read and re-read, the books I kept returning to for inspiration and solace: The House on Mango Street by…

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A Year or a Career

Friday, January 18, 2019

    Before writing this blog post, I never really gave much thought to a bucket list for this year. Or a career bucket list, for that matter.  I daydream about miraculous debut and career events all the time: I see my book in O Magazine. Terry Gross wants to interview me on Fresh Air. I make the NYT bestseller list. Wait, they get bigger: eventually, I win the Pulitzer…

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Interview with Barbara Ridley + WHEN IT’S OVER giveaway

Saturday, January 12, 2019

We are so excited to welcome Barbara Ridley to the Debutante Ball this week! Barbara was born in England but has lived in California for more than 35 years. After a successful career as a nurse practitioner, which included publication of academic articles in peer-reviewed journals, she is now focused on creative writing. Her work has appeared in journals such as Writers Workshop Review, ArsMedica, The Copperfield Review, Blood and Thunder and Stoneboat.  WHEN IT’S…

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Interview with Nicole Chung + ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW giveaway

Saturday, January 5, 2019

We are thrilled to welcome Nicole Chung to the Debutante Ball this week! Nicole Chung is the author of the memoir ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW, which has been long-listed for the PEN Open Book Award and named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, The Boston Globe, TIME, Newsday, Library Journal, BuzzFeed, Real Simple, Paste Magazine, Chicago Public Library, and Seattle Public Library, among many others….

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Does a Ladder Matter?

Friday, January 4, 2019

      It’s coming home to me how often I start these posts with some comment about how I “don’t really do” whatever the topic of the week happens to be. I don’t live life with balance, I don’t dispense advice, I don’t blah blah blah. So let me hit you with a big surprise: I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Truly, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Resolutions and Resolve

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy 2019. I could get very specific and that may actually help in the long run. But I think I’m going to play it fast and loose in 2019 — well, more free than in years past. I’ve been working for several decades now, and I’ve been disappointed in myself a lot of those years. I always have good intentions. And I always set good intentions. But my expectations get…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things….

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

These are some of my favorite books of 2018 (in no particular order): Heart Berries by Marie Terese Mailhot. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez. There There by Tommy Orange. The Carrying by Ada Limon. Dear Current Occupant by Chelene Knight.  Still Lives by Maria Hummel. All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung. Crave: A Memoir of Food and Longing by Christine O’Brien. Feeding a Thousand Souls by Vijaya Nagarajan. Old…

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Am I The Only Deb Who Likes To Relax?

Friday, December 21, 2018

        I am practically rubbing my hands together with glee right now, because this has got to be one of my favorite writing topics of all time. There is so much emphasis in writing culture on how much time one spends writing, how quickly one can write, how many words one can churn out in a day. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I do…

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