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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The Debutante Ball Welcomes Beth Hoffman!

Today we are thrilled to welcome bestselling author Beth Hoffman to The Debutante Ball! Beth is the author of SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUT, which was a New York Times bestseller. Before becoming a full-time writer, Beth was the president and co-owner of an interior design studio. Her second novel, LOOKING FOR ME, was released May 28. She lives with her husband and two cats in northern Kentucky. Welcome, Beth! After the success of SAVING…

Saturday, June 1, 2013
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Deb Dana Needed Some Motivation to Write this Post

When I realized tonight was Monday night and not Sunday night, meaning I had to write my weekly Deb post, I felt…shall we say…rather unmotivated. And then I discovered this week’s theme is “motivation.” I am swimming in irony! As with many instances in my life — my job in daily news, my applications to grad school and college, my entry to become a Deb — I was motivated to…

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
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Sometimes Deb Dana Needs to Check Out

If you read Deb Kerry’s post yesterday, then you’ll understand why I’m having trouble conveying my thoughts with even a shred of her eloquence. She nailed it. As I read, I kept nodding and thinking, “Yes, yes, yes.” Last week’s news cycle was one of the worst I can remember in quite some time. At times, my Facebook and Twitter feeds threatened to suffocate me — one bad story after…

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
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Deb Dana on Finding Your Voice

When it comes to writing advice, a few pithy phrases make the rounds again and again. Let me know if you’ve heard any of these before: “Kill your darlings.” “Show, don’t tell.” “Write what you know.” “Writing is rewriting.” “Raise the stakes.” Any of those sound familiar? Thought so. But just because advice is well-worn doesn’t make it any less useful. I’ve followed all of those bits of advice at…

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
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