Finding the Perfect Comp. (This isn’t my favorite part of being a writer, FYI)

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

There are certain things about publishing that I find tricky, and as far as I can tell, they’re more or less the same things that other people find tricky. Here’s a non-comprehensive list of tricky things and a rating on a scale of 1-10 on how tricky I find them, 10 being the most tricky. Query letters: 9 Waiting: 5 Rejection: 7 First Drafts: 8.5 “Clean Up Edits”: 4 Synopses:…

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Kathleen’s Favorite Books of the (Half) Decade

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

I’ve been scanning the lists popping up recently of favorite books of the decade. I can’t do a full decade because I didn’t “reclaim my reading life” and resolve to read 52 books per year until 2014. But, since then, I’ve been recapping my reading in a series of year-end blog posts. I thought it would be fun this week to choose the five novels from my own personal “best”…

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“I Want to Write Like That”: The Authors that Inspired Kathleen’s Debut

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

After I read Celeste Ng’s debut, Everything I Never Told You, I started thinking about writing fiction for real. It wasn’t that I had any delusions about writing quite as beautifully as Ng does. It was more that the story she told–of family members who loved each other, but didn’t really know each other–moved me so intensely. So, after I finished it, I started writing my own multi-generational (and highly…

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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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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Chronicles of an X-American (part 1)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

  Chronicles of an X-American (part 1) The best training is to read and write, no matter what — Grace Paley I’ve always been a poet, and it’s always some tributary of poetry that I return to when I have my teeth, metaphorically, kicked in. I started writing poems, mostly nature poems, when I turned nine. I was fast with my first drafts and slow to revise. Only my fifth-grade…

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My Favorite Books of 2016 (So Far)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

2016 has been a delicious year for reading, a state of perfect bibliophilic equilibrium wherein the “read” stack and the “to-be-read” stack have stayed even most of the time. Here are my favorites of the year so far, with helpful links to Indiebound so you can buy them at a bookstore near you: (1) DEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS, Julie Schumacher An epistolary novel that consists of a series of hilarious and…

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Celeste Ng on POV, First Lines & Diversity in Publishing + GIVEAWAY of Everything I Never Told You

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Please welcome Celeste Ng to the Ball this week! I met Celeste at the AWP conference earlier this year, and it’s strange to think how far away our launch dates seemed back then. Celeste’s debut, Everything I Never Told You, came out at the end of June to fantastic critical acclaim. It tells the story of a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio and the tragedy that may be their undoing: Lydia is…

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