Interview with Kelly Duran, author of CAN’T TAKE IT BACK

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

This week’s interview is with Kelly Duran, whose book CAN’T TAKE IT BACK tells the interconnected stories of four women over the course of a kindergarten school year. Read below about Kelly’s transformative trip through Europe, her hope for connecting with readers through her books, and her recognition of writing as an integral and necessary part of her life that enhances all her other roles.    ABOUT KELLY Kelly Duran…

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Interview with Catherine Wallace Hope, author of ONCE AGAIN

Monday, October 5, 2020

This week’s interview is with Catherine Wallace Hope whose book ONCE AGAIN releases tomorrow! Congratulations Catherine! Read below about ugly crying over books, the story behind her title, the in-depth research she did for the book, and more!   ABOUT CATHERINE Catherine Wallace Hope grew up in Colorado, the setting for her thriller Once Again. She earned her degree in creative writing at the University of Colorado. She also delved…

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Interview with Laya Vivian Smith, author of THE LUMBERMILL

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

This week’s interview is with Laya Vivian Smith whose book THE LUMBERMILL released just last week! Congratulations Laya! Read below about her proudest writing moment (in eighth grade!), advice for her younger writer self, the in-depth research she did for her book, and the heartbreaking loss of her long-time first reader.   ABOUT LAYA Laya V Smith is a member of International Thriller Writers, SCBWI, AWP, and LUW. Through no…

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I’ve never had research come in handy like this before.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

When you’re a science fiction author, you spend a lot of time with your head in the clouds. While other authors are researching down-to-earth events and happenings, we’re wondering just how long it takes to get to some unknown star across the galaxy if we’re running one’s warp-engine jets at three times light speed, or what an advanced alien society might look like if its planet developed off silicon instead…

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Researching Mundanity: The Details in Contemporary Fiction

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

I wrote my first novel about a world I’d been living in forever: the large public school. As a teacher for nearly 20 years, I was intimately familiar with the settings, the procedures, the schedules, the conflicts, and the characters that typically populate an illustrious institution of learning.  In fact, at one stage in my revision, I was asked to make things less realistic. “What’s with all the armpits and…

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How To Love Researching Your Novel

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Most of the time—to my surprise—I look forward to writing my weekly post for The Debutante Ball. This week, however, I dreaded it. This was for two reasons: first, last week’s post on the differences between the expectations and realities of publishing a novel completely drained me; and second, on today’s topic, I got nothing. Well, almost nothing. We are supposed to be writing about research: how much we did,…

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Finding the Details that Fill a World

Monday, July 23, 2018

I. Love. Research. I mean, if you’ve read From Unseen Fire, you could probably guess that. As much as I’m a writer, I’m also a historian. It was my second major in undergrad, and my Master’s degree certainly relies heavily upon it as well. I live with my head as much in the past as the present, and while it’s not always the Roman past, for the past seven years,…

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The First Writing Rule I Broke: Write What You Know

Friday, April 18, 2014

Raise your hands if one of the first writing rules you learned was “write what you know.” I know many of us write about what is near and dear to our hearts, but what kind of novels would we have if we only wrote what we knew? For me, writing what I know would be the stroke of death for my storytelling. I’ve always been a wanderer at heart–I need…

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