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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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: Gratitude

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. — Albert Schweitzer I’m so grateful to so many this past year, for lifting me up when I was feeling low. Writing is often a lonely venture, and this time last year, I was discouraged….

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Tips for Querying (or as I like to call them, Q-tips)

Friday, November 16, 2018

  You know how they say you should never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear? I know why. It’s because if you poke around in there with something that actually fits, like a q-tip, you might slip up and accidentally jab yourself in the eardrum. Which is really painful. Much like querying. You can see where I’m going with this. I’ve been racking my brain to come…

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