Stephanie Clifford on EVERYBODY RISE + GIVEAWAY of this instant NY Times Bestseller

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Debutante Ball is excited to welcome guest Stephanie Clifford, author of instant NY Times Bestseller EVERYBODY RISE, a book about fitting in and figuring out who you are. It follows a 26-year-old from Maryland who moves to New York, hasn’t quite found her place, and thinks she’s discovered it when she gets a job at a social-networking site aimed at the elite. She’s suddenly in a promised land of Adirondack…

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The Debs Interview with Carolina De Robertis + GIVEAWAY of The Gods of Tango

Saturday, September 12, 2015

As this year’s Deb class moves toward publication of our first novels, I was inspired to call on one of the women writers who inspires me, Carolina De Robertis. I met Carolina when she was waiting for her first novel to come out (and expecting her first child!) I have carefully observed her career as a novelist, a wife and mother, and a cultural critic. I am thrilled to have…

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Spinning Stories: Working the Creative Muscle

Thursday, June 11, 2015

One of my favorite parts of being a writer — and running CAKE Literary — is brainstorming. Finding a kernel of truth (or fantasy), a what if, and spinning it off into a million directions until I have something real and solid, something that can actually become a story. Like some of the other Debs, I have a folder full of story starters — ideas, character names, settings, things I…

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Tell Me Again How We Get to “The End?”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

This week at the Deb Ball, we’re talking about drafts. And as much as I’d like to say I have a methodology, it’s really just a mess. As Deb Ball reader Anthony mentioned a few days ago in the comments, you don’t really learn to write a novel. You just learn to write the novel you’re working on now. At least that’s how it goes for me. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Ever…

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Writers Are All Thieves!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Okay, so by now, the picture has become quite clear. Writers — the lot of us here at the Deb Ball, at least (but I’d reckon most of us!) — are all thieves. We borrow bits and pieces of people, little quirks, bigger traits, fatal flaws, from those all around us to make our characters come to life, to make them feel real and tangible and oh-so-human. But the people…

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On Writing Communities, Competition And Finding Your Tribe

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I’ve always heard of this legend, the solitary writer, head down at her desk, never looking for the light or sharing her words. And I have to say, that was never me. From the start, to me, writing was a collaborative craft. I remember sharing stories with my kid sister across our bunk beds — about frogs and princesses, our favorite Bollywood stars, and eventually even New Kids On the…

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Handle With Care: On Metaphors and Beautiful Sentences

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I may have mentioned this before, but my first love in writing was not fiction, but poetry. I was seduced by the rhythms of beautiful sentences and the images a good metaphor evoked. By the way language could move beyond the literal to make me see things as I’d never imagined them. And though fiction seduced me for entirely different reasons, that love of poetry remains. It continues to inform…

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First Lines and Falling in Love

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sometimes, you pick up a book and fall immediately, completely, and hopelessly in love: “They say it came first from Africa, carried in the screams of the enslaved; that it was the death bane of the Tainos, uttered just as one world perished and another began; that it was a demon drawn into Creation through the nightmare door that was cracked open in the Antilles.”  Juno Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life…

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Dynamic Settings: More than Just a Backdrop

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In writing Vintage, I spent a lot of time thinking about settings. I had a blast creating the vintage clothing shop of my dreams. And as each woman’s story unfolds, there are interludes that take place in completely different locations and moments in time. In my favorite novels, setting is more than a 2D backdrop. Instead, it’s completely intertwined and indispensable to the drama, comedy, or mystery taking place. Some…

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Deb Dana Trusts the Process

A fellow writer recently posted this illustration on Facebook, and it is a perfect summary of my writing process.   As you can see, the initial excitement and optimism quickly give way to fear, frustration, and finally hatred. Frankly, by the time I’ve finished a manuscript, it’s a miracle I haven’t thrown my laptop out the window. When I was in the midst of writing THE GIRLS’ GUIDE TO LOVE…

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
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