Interview with Anita Kushwaha, author of SECRET LIVES OF MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

We are thrilled to welcome Anita Kushwaha to The Debutant Ball this week! SECRET LIVES has been described as “a breathtaking novel about the ties that bind mothers and daughters together and the secrets that tear them apart.” Read below about her advice for her younger self, how she deals with writer’s block, upcoming projects, and more! Share or comment below for a chance to win a copy of her…

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A manuscript in the drawer?

Thursday, July 16, 2020

I remember going to a conference and one of the presenters talking about how she wrote her novel, and then put it away for nearly a decade, until picking it back up to start editing it. She was saying that this was positive for her, that it allowed her to give the manuscript fresh eyes and new influence and impact. She even said she took herself on a long vacation…

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Changes made during the editing of The Goddess Twins

Thursday, July 9, 2020

I honestly feel like my editing process, while admittedly draining, was pretty positive. I never felt like my final editor hated the book, and I have heard some horror stories of writers who felt their editor was not honoring their book in the editing process! I am super grateful for my editing team at SparkPress and their confidence in my writing ability and in the strength of the story of…

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Cutting Room Floor for The Goddess Twins

Thursday, July 2, 2020

There is quite a bit that was shed from the original manuscript of The Goddess Twins to what has resulted in the published version that’s available today. When I was writing this story, I worked off of an outline, and even from the outline there are things that shifted and changed. I have found that the writing process can be like finding your way through a labyrinth. I am grateful…

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How to write when you’re not writing

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

In 2009, I left my job as a high school English teacher and ran right smack dab into the Great Recession. It hurt. Nobody was hiring. I couldn’t get an interview, much less a job. After a few months of false starts and throwing myself at the wall, I harnessed what was left of my entrepreneurial spirit and started a wedding videography business. Wedding videography was something I had done…

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How To Work With An Editor

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

I’ve had a lot of really, really good editors in my career. The student news editor at my high school newspaper—not my English teacher!—taught me grammar. My first pro newspaper editor showed me the ropes and guided me away from dozens upon dozens of stupid errors. The fiction editors I’ve worked with recently have strengthened my novels and stories immeasurably; they’re generally always better at pacing and structure than I…

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Work in Progress

Friday, August 9, 2019

    I used to have this weird typo tic where I never got the acronym for work-in-progress right. It always came out WOP. I’ve even tweeted about my wop and never noticed until it was too late. Maybe there was something Freudian about this little tic. Because “wop” always makes me think about a cartoon where some character is being repeatedly bludgeoned over the head. Not that my works…

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Cutting Room Floor

Friday, July 12, 2019

    When I finally felt as though I had a reasonable draft of The Dream Peddler, the one I began sending out to agents, it came in at right around seventy-nine thousand words. This was a nice length for a debut literary book, as in, appropriate to the genre and not so long as to be scary. I had cut many things, because I tend to go on and…

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Letter from an Editor

Friday, October 26, 2018

  There are a lot of ways to approach this topic, now that I think about it. We revise our work so many times before it’s published, with feedback from so many different people. After I wrote The Dream Peddler, I went through it twice, then I gave it to a few beta readers, and went back in with their feedback in mind. Then I began to query, and I’ve…

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Do your edits like a grown-up would

Thursday, October 25, 2018

This week, we’re supposed to be writing about how to survive an edit letter — which refers to the list of revisions that your editor wants you to make after acquiring your book. I guess it’s hard to make big changes to your manuscript after you’ve sold it, but you should never really be that attached to your story anyway. You should always be open to making it better. I’ve…

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