Choose Your Own Adventure: Two Stories About the Querying Process

Thursday, September 20, 2018

This week for The Debutante Ball, we’re sharing our journey to getting a literary agent, so I dug through the archives of my email outbox so you can experience truly and authentically the real realness of my querying process, before I landed the book deal for THEY COULD HAVE NAMED HER ANYTHING. WARNING: THERE ARE TWO PARTS OF THIS BLOG POST. THIS IS STORY #1. Read this story to be…

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Carlos Santana Got Me To Write A Novel, Basically

Thursday, September 13, 2018

I remember listening to Santana’s “Maria, Maria”, and wondering what the hell kind of Latina I was for not being more like HER. In college in Southern California, I even used to think: she’s not far from me now. She’s out there, falling in love in East LA, and here I am, earning a college degree and making passes at men outside my family’s income bracket.  That gap between me and…

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Anzaldúa & I write from our core, eat every danish

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Hi, I’m Stephanie and guess what? I’m a Virgo. September 1st was my birthday and a bunch of us rented an apartment by the sea. A friend of a friend offered a tarot card reading for the occasion, but I was nervous, so I asked several questions–how long does it last? Who asks the questions? When we drove back home to the city, I was relieved that I had escaped…

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My Love-Hate Relationship With First Drafts

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

First drafts are my favorite drafts. I love the immersion in the story and the constant internal pressure to write and write until it is all out. When I’m writing a first draft I don’t screw off much on social media, don’t return emails promptly, and often drive by my exits on the expressway without noticing. During my first draft, I’m definitely a fly by the seat of my pants…

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Telling Myself the Story: Composing a first draft

Monday, November 27, 2017

It’s fortuitous that this topic falls here, at the end of November, as I’ve spent the past 26 days frantically drafting Book 2 of the Aven Cycle as my NaNoWriMo project (with intermittent work on two other projects at the same time). It’s also a bit unfortuitous — I’ve been so busy drafting that I haven’t had a lot of time to think about how I draft. What leaps to…

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Running Down a Dream

Thursday, October 26, 2017

When my first book is published, I will be forty-seven years old. This dream has been cyclical—one I’ve embraced and abandoned multiple times throughout my life. I wrote my first story in the sixth grade. It was depressing: An old, lonely widow (who loves celery) visits the grave of his wife. I gave it to my dad for his birthday, and was baffled by how hard he laughed after he…

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Writing Books and Chasing Dreams—But First, Survive the Diaper Years

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I sat in my very first writer’s workshop the week after I left my soon-to-be-ex-husband.  I was going to chase my dreams, damn it, along with raising two boys in diapers and finding a job and a place to live.  The presenter said something along the lines of, “you can’t write a memoir before you are forty,” or maybe it was, “no one wants to publish a memoir by someone…

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My Long and Winding Path to Representation

Thursday, September 28, 2017

In 2013 I wrote a book called A SMALL LIFE. I revised it and by the fall, began querying it (much too soon). I scoured Janet Reid’s archives on Query Shark, I read through Query Tracker, researched who represented my favorite books, and assembled a list of agents to query. On that initial list was Mollie Glick, who was then at Foundry. She wasn’t a new agent, but as I…

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The Long Road to Finding Balance

Thursday, September 21, 2017

  Once upon a time, I was a single, childless, 27-year old teacher who lived alone with only a dog and eleventy-billion hours of free time to do whatever I wanted. I’d go to the gym every day. For hours! I’d go out with friends. At night! I’d get ready, grab my purse, put the dog in the house and then walk out the door, without even a thought about…

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A Tribute to the 2017 Debs: My Highlight Reel

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

With gratitude, sadness, excitement, and pride, I say good-bye to The Debutante Ball. I have so much respect for the incoming 2018 Debs, Cass, Kimmery, Kaitlyn, Lara, and Julie, so it feels wonderful to hand the Deb Ball over to these accomplished, smart women writers. I wish them all the very best. And I send my thanks once again to the 2016 Debs for allowing me the honor of participating…

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