Interview (and Giveaway!) with Lauren Ho, Author of Last Tang Standing

Saturday, June 20, 2020

What a treat to welcome Lauren Ho to The Debutante Ball today! Lauren’s debut novel, Last Tang Standing, is billed as Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridget Jones’s Diary, and wow — if that doesn’t sound about perfect for a summer read. She’s racking up all the buzz and great reviews. One of my favorite bookstagrammers says it’s laugh-out-loud with non-stop one-liners and the Library Journal’s starred review says, “The combination…

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Interview and ARC Giveaway with A.H. Kim, Author of A Good Family

Saturday, May 23, 2020

I’m so pleased to welcome A.H. Kim to the ball today! I met Ann in a Facebook group for debut authors, and I quickly became her Instagram fan. This month, she’s featuring a book recommendation per day in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Check out her feed here, and get your TBR ready. Ann’s debut novel, A GOOD FAMILY, releases in July, but we’re teaming up for an…

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Interview with Alison Hammer, Author of You and Me and Us

Saturday, April 4, 2020

What a treat to welcome my friend and agent sister Alison Hammer to the dance today! I met Alison in a group for querying writers, and she signed with my dream agent, Joanna MacKenzie about two weeks before I had my own “the call” with Joanna. Then, Alison and I proceeded in tandem through every stage of the publishing process: revisions, submissions, more revisions, copy edits, final pass pages, covers,…

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Interview with Humorist R. Eric Thomas

Saturday, February 15, 2020

R. Eric Thomas may be the funniest current events writer around. In “Eric Reads the News” at Elle.com, he presents his unique take on pop culture and politics, like Watch Donald Trump Explain How a Dog Works or Once Again I Am Delighted To Spend My Entire Check On Oprah’s Favorite Things. I’m so excited for his memoir in essays, HERE FOR IT, or How to Save Your Soul in…

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Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

You never realize how important publication day is until you have one yourself. I can’t begin to think of how many book parties I’ve been to, how many friends’ books I’ve bought, how many invites I’ve received — and didn’t realize their import until I wrote a book of my own. No, until I published a book of my own. At that’s the important thing in this writing life —…

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Who Am I and What is My Brand?

God, the word “brand” seems to be the antithesis of actual writing.  But when you’re writing non-fiction that’s what publishers want to know. Not, “I have an idea for the greatest relationship advice book in the world,” but, who are YOU to write a relationship book?? See even if it’s the greatest business/relationship/pregnancy book in the world, or even a memoir on addiction/prison/infertility — it’s going to have to join dozens…

Friday, January 31, 2020
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My Great Writing Resolution…

Friday, January 3, 2020

Every year, I start a new journal. I love the clean page, writing Jan 1 (although not the creeping years slowly). I think I started my first journal more than two decades ago. Let’s just say it was not in this millennium. “A new year! New Resolutions!” I would state, even though they were usually the same resolutions. Write a book. Lose Weight   Well, this year I don’t have…

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Best Writing Advice Ever On Your Worst Enemy

Friday, December 6, 2019

“What should I do?” I began my session with my mentor. See, I was in a low-residence MFA, where we had two weeks in school (then the rest of the semester remote.) “I mean, I kind of like this beginning,” I said, showing her a printout of an essay I began, “but maybe this one makes more sense,” I said, whipping a different version out of my backpack. I often…

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My Book Pitch Letter

Friday, November 15, 2019

We can discuss pitching and pitch letters till the sky turns green, but what would probably be more helpful is if I show you my book pitch. Unlike fiction and possibly memoir (the debate is out there on memoir) non-fiction, which needs a lot of research to complete the book, is sold on proposal. (I’ll talk proposals another time). But you still need a pitch letter. So here’s mine. Dear…

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Crafting the almighty query letter

Monday, November 11, 2019

After I’d put my novel through dozens of revisions over the course of many years, I felt confident enough to take the next step—pursuing representation from a literary agent. I combed through stacks of books at the library for guidance. Here’s what some of those books told me about crafting the almighty query letter: Get the agent’s attention with your introduction Reference comparables (books like my book) in the first…

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