So Much to Be Grateful For (And Yet…)

Friday, November 29, 2019

“You have a book coming out. Aren’t you excited!” “Excited” is not the word that I or anyone around me would use. A chicken running around without her head, is more like it. Others wouldn’t be so kind. But the run-up to a book can be very fraught. You have to get blurbs, those advanced praise quotes you see on the back of books and on websites like Amazon and…

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6 months to publication and I am so thankful…

Thursday, November 28, 2019

I just had my first call with my publicity team to discuss marketing and touring for my book. Yo, that sentence is WILD! After the call, I had to sit for a minute, my head swimming in the glow of gratitude. The fact that there have been so many people, including seasoned professionals, who have thrown in their passionate support for my novel has me gob smacked. I know they’re…

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My Book Pitch Letter

Friday, November 15, 2019

We can discuss pitching and pitch letters till the sky turns green, but what would probably be more helpful is if I show you my book pitch. Unlike fiction and possibly memoir (the debate is out there on memoir) non-fiction, which needs a lot of research to complete the book, is sold on proposal. (I’ll talk proposals another time). But you still need a pitch letter. So here’s mine. Dear…

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When I Want to Crawl Up in a Ball from Rejection

Friday, October 4, 2019

I can’t say I’m good with rejection. Outwardly, I think I project an uh, okaaaaay attitude when I get rejected, but inwardly, a part of me wants to crawl up in a ball and die. Or at least CRY. But no, I keep calm and carry on….Or do I? Sometimes I think it would be better to cry and rail and rant against the gods of rejection because then I’d get it out…

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My Bumpy Path to Publication

Friday, September 20, 2019

When I was pregnant and so nervous about it — I’d had previous losses — the doctor told me I wouldn’t be happy until I have the baby in my arms. And so it will be with publication. I am “pregnant” now — with a baby ready for publication, but this baby’s a book. I suspect I won’t really believe it until I am holding it (her?) in my hands….

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There is no “normal.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Before I begin, let’s get something straight: there’s no “typical path to publication.” There’s only what happens to you, when it happens to you. Remember, this is a business where the only effective marketing advice are dollar signs and shrug emojis. That said, my journey is actually fairly typical. I call publishing “the eye of Sauron,” because you’ll find yourself living through long stretches of time where nothing much is…

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My path to publication required the right shoes

Monday, September 16, 2019

I arrived at the book fair exhibit hall of AWP, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference hopeful that I’d be able to complete my mission: to convince the editors at a small press that they should publish my novel. After a six-hour train ride that took me several states away. I said a silent prayer and slipped into the comfortable shoes I had packed, my burgundy, suede Crocs….

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Writing Finances

Friday, April 19, 2019

      I am not a finance person. When I think of the words “financial” and “realities” in the same sentence, my brain tries to make a little symbolic dive under a sofa. All I can do with this post is just lay it out there and be honest. I have no problem telling everyone exactly what my book finances have been so far, because I think it’s important…

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I Thought Branding Was Only For Livestock

Friday, February 1, 2019

    Publishing my first book in 2019, I often find myself daydreaming about what it must have been like to do this a hundred years ago when there was no internet, no blogosphere, no Twitter or Facebook or Instagram to manage. I don’t know why, because I have absolutely nothing in common with him, but I always picture F. Scott Fitzgerald, scribbling away at his writing desk, blissfully ignorant…

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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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