New writers: It’s okay to start somewhere.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

At the beginning, it’s perfectly okay to have no idea what you’re doing. It’s okay to spend hours at a bookstore, running your fingers over the spines of new releases and dreaming. It’s okay to imagine your book sitting on a shelf there, even if you’re years away from your first query letter. This is how you learn what sells. It’s okay to write fanfic until five in the morning,…

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[News Flash] November 17, 2019

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Thank you so much to yesterday’s guest, Kristin Harmel @kristinharmel! Retweet and share on Facebook for a chance to win a copy of THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE. Interview with Kristin Harmel, Author of The Winemaker’s Wife @DebutanteBall #ClassOf2020 #guest #author   News from the Class of 2020 Debs: Lisa Braxton’s pitch to write a book review on a memoir set for publication in December has been accepted. Wish her luck in…

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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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Fight or flight, fear and failure

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Do you want to know my number one writing fear? Writing this blog entry. Ha, ha. I’m mostly kidding. I have panic disorder, so “confronting my fears” is something I do with a lot of preparation and self-care. However, I feel like I might share my number one writing fear with pretty much every debut author who ever waltzed on to the scene, so I don’t feel alone in this….

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Funny Thing About Working with an Editor

Friday, October 25, 2019

Maybe you don’t know this about me yet, but I’m a big procrastinator. I mean BIG. So when I ship my book/story/article off to an editor, I’m like whew. I’m not fretting about what they’ll say, worrying if it’s good enough, or how to make it better, I’m just done.  Like, it’s not my problem anymore. (It is though, but not at that very moment.) I felt the same way…

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The signs of a skilled editor

Monday, October 21, 2019

Usually when I submit an essay or short story for publication to a literary magazine or anthology, and it’s accepted, I only hear from the editor with an acceptance email and a permission to publish form attached. But when I submitted the essay, “The World I Didn’t Know Existed” to Inspire Press for the publisher’s Inspire Forgiveness anthology a few years ago, I got something entirely different. I got a…

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Rejection is a teacher.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Rejection is a great teacher. When I was a journalist in upstate New York, I’d often have to ask tough questions of people that were not entirely excited to speak to me. The problem is, as a journalist, you can’t really go along with rejection. If someone says “no,” you have to continue to say “yes.” You have a responsibility to the story and to your readers, so you have…

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You Can’t Win the Game If You Don’t Play

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Real talk: I’ve spent most of my life as a fixed-mindset perfectionist who is afraid to take any risks.  Also real talk: I don’t think you can become a published author if you are a fixed-mindset perfectionist who is afraid to take any risks. I wrote last week about trophy-chasing. I’ve been both trapped in and fueled by this “must win” mentality. I have generally asked myself: “Why do it…

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Interview with Meghan Scott Molin, Author of The Frame Up and The Queen Con

Saturday, September 21, 2019

I am so excited to welcome Meghan Scott Molin to The Debutante Ball! Meghan and I share an agent (the excellent Joanna MacKenzie), and I was on the preorder train for both of Meghan’s published novels, The Frame-Up and The Queen Con. These books truly have something for everyone: smart writing, clever mysteries, swoon-worthy romance, and the most wonderful nerdy bad-ass main character, MG Martin. Meghan promises a third book…

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Interview with Lisa Barr, Author of The Unbreakables PLUS BOOK GIVEAWAY

Saturday, September 14, 2019

  Lisa Barr is the author of The Unbreakables (HarperCollins) a delicious, sharp novel about a Chicago woman who jets off to France after her “perfect” marriage collapses, putting the broken pieces of herself back together while rediscovering her own joie de vivre—a lust for life, art, and passion. Artful, feminist, and emotionally gripping, The Unbreakables is a remarkable tribute to a woman’s strength in the face of heartbreak and adversity.        What’s one book that made…

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