[News Flash] October 25, 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Thank you to Lois Ruskai Melina for joining us for an interview this week about her essay collection, THE GRAMMAR OF UNTOLD STORIES. Lois will also be participating in a livestream reading and conversation with Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita Paulann Petersen on Friday, Oct. 30 with Annie Bloom’s Books. Click here to register. Lyn Liao Butler also sat down with Mindy McGinnis this week to talk about the anxiety of…

Read More >>

World Building in the Real World

Thursday, October 8, 2020

When writers talk about “world building” they mean more than just setting. Setting is where a story takes place. But a fictional world is setting, history, the special rules of that particular place, the people who inhabit that world, as well as the general tone or atmosphere that sort of floats over every page. The setting of the Harry Potter books is England, but in order to build her fictional…

Read More >>

[News Flash] October 4, 2020

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Thank you so much to Diane Zinna for joining us to speak about her debut novel, THE ALL-NIGHT SUN. And thank you to Laya Vivian Smith for her interview about her new book, THE LUMBERMILL. So many good books to read, and so little time! Way to go Denny! Wild Women and the Blues was included in NetGalley’s list of 21 Highly-Anticipated Books Hitting Shelves in 2021.   Ehsaneh Sadr…

Read More >>

My path to publication: A comedy of failures

Thursday, September 10, 2020

I wrote last week about how I hadn’t planned on becoming a writer, and how writing was something I came to after being unemployed for a long time. So already my path to publication was a little longer and had more forking paths than some people. I completed the rough draft of my novel in about six months in 2011, and I spent the next four years first learning how…

Read More >>

[News Flash] September 6, 2020

Sunday, September 6, 2020

We hope you enjoyed getting to know our 2021 debs and the inspiration behind their novels!    Ehsaneh Sadr’s debut novel, A DOOR BETWEEN US, released this week. You can watch an       interview with Ehsaneh here, and order her fabulous book here.  Greta Kelly, author of the forthcoming, THE FROZEN CROWN, will be participating in a sci-fi   panel hosted by the California Independent Booksellers Alliance (CALIBA) Thursday, Sept….

Read More >>

A recession, a baby, an idea: The inspiration behind MONA AT SEA

Friday, September 4, 2020

I never planned on becoming a writer. What I actually wanted was an entry-level job in corporate finance. But when I graduated from the University of Kansas in December of 2008 with an MBA, the world looked very different than it had 18 months before when I started the program. Lehman Brothers had just collapsed. Countrywide imploded. General Motors needed a bailout to survive. And here I was with a…

Read More >>

Announcing the 2021 Debs!

Sunday, August 16, 2020

The Class of 2020 is wrapping up our incredible, historic year, and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve selected the new Debutante Ball Class of 2021! These debut authors and their books represent a variety of categories and genres, and most importantly, authors with clear, smart voices that will resonate with the Debutante Ball’s readers. Please welcome these fabulous writers and their equally fabulous books! We know the 2021 class…

Read More >>

The “highlight reel” of my year as a Debutante

Monday, August 10, 2020

  Greetings and salutations and welcome to the Debutante Ball! I was so excited when I read the first words of the email I received on a Sunday morning in early August of 2019 informing me that I’d been chosen as one of the 5 debut authors who would chronicle her “big dance” toward publication. I had been following the Debutante Ball blog for more than a year and eagerly…

Read More >>

Launch Party and Swag: What Worked and What Didn’t

Monday, August 3, 2020

Six months before my book launch, I went shopping. I purchased all that I thought I would need to exhibit and sell The Talking Drum at book fairs and other events: ethnic table cloths, miniature djembes, a bowl handwoven by West African women operating micro-businesses. Then the pandemic happened. There would be no in-person events. Everything would be virtual. I tucked away the tablecloths and bowl in my cedar chest,…

Read More >>

The Books That Inspired Me to Be a Writer

Monday, July 20, 2020

When I look back at my elementary school years, some of my fondest memories were the days when the teacher received that box in the mail from the Weekly Reader Book Club. She’d open it in front of the class and distribute what we had ordered weeks before. It was like having Christmas and my birthday rolled together month after month. I’d bring my books home and binge on Nancy…

Read More >>