Interview with Christine O’Brien + CRAVE: A MEMOIR OF FOOD AND LONGING giveaway

Saturday, November 10, 2018

I’m so thrilled to welcome Christine O’Brien to the Debutante Ball this week! Christine is a lecturer in the English Composition Department at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. She earned a BA in English at the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a double MFA in non-fiction and fiction from St. Mary’s College, where she was awarded the college’s Agnes Butler Scholarship for Literary Excellence. Christine has previously worked…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Burying The Time

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

When I was a reporter, the best and worst part of my workday resided next to each other. The best moment was when I beat the deadline and turned in my news story to the impatient copy editors. The worst moment came next, when the copy editors and I would engage in a competitive dance off, figuratively speaking, questioning each other’s word choices and grammar (I have a thing for…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Chronicles of an X-American (part 1)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

  Chronicles of an X-American (part 1) The best training is to read and write, no matter what — Grace Paley I’ve always been a poet, and it’s always some tributary of poetry that I return to when I have my teeth, metaphorically, kicked in. I started writing poems, mostly nature poems, when I turned nine. I was fast with my first drafts and slow to revise. Only my fifth-grade…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: The Twice-Born Book

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Twice-Born Book:   I wrote my first book because I wanted to read it – Toni Morrison I’m a voracious reader. I admit it. I started young – one of my favorite books came in to my possession when I turned nine. A friend of the family gave me Anthony B. Lake’s A Pleasury of Witticisms and Word Play. Inside those pages I learned all about anagrams and palindromes,…

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Farewell and See You Soon!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

  This has been an amazing year! I’ve learned so much — about publishing, about myself as a writer, about the writing and reading community. I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to write for the blog every week, to push me to think about topics I might not have otherwise. I have four amazing friends who have my back, and I’m so thankful for that.   The writing community…

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Bloopers and Embarrassing Moments

Thursday, August 23, 2018

  This week is all about mistakes we’ve made. I’m sure I made plenty over the last year, but thankfully I don’t remember them. As far as I know, there is one typo in my printed book. My friend, Lindsay, is holding onto that information for me, with strict instructions not to say more until I ask. But one funny thing that happened to me in the process, is something…

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All About Launch Parties

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Launch parties are fun! But you don’t have to stress about them. My top tips below:   Choose an independent bookstore to host your party. They are the best allies for writers, and your success depends on them. Bring them gifts and say thank you. Return often to sign stock. Bring them more gifts. Buy books. Let all your friends and family know about your launch party. But count on…

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Being An Author Is A Lot Like Teaching Long Division

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Ah…the next book. The Everest for debut authors. When you say I’m working on my second book, non-writers will say Great! Can’t wait to read it, as if that’s a guaranteed outcome. But other writers will give you a sympathetic look and say, Oh dear. How’s it going? and then possibly offer you alcohol.   I’ve discovered that writing as a career is a lot like teaching long division to…

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Research in The Ones We Choose

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Everyone who has been following this blog knows that I am not a geneticist. Or a scientist of any kind.  I’m a fifth grade teacher. Therefore, in order to make my main character, Paige, believable as a preeminent geneticist on the cusp of a major genetics breakthrough, I had to do a lot of research.   First, I read some books. Three were heavily influential in the development of both…

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Julie’s Five Minutes of Zen

Thursday, July 19, 2018

I am the queen of low expectations. Especially in publishing. But I’m also a believer in setting your intentions, because the universe is listening to what you put into it, and is ready to give it back to you.   Did I expect my book to hit the New York Times bestseller list? No. I knew early on The Ones We Choose wasn’t going to get the kind of push…

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