Why Can’t I Name Characters Not After Famous People

Friday, July 19, 2019

  Let’s see, hilarious mistakes. There is no doubt in my mind that I made far more of these than I can remember right now. Actually, I can remember a lot of mistakes I made, and I even caught a lot of them myself before we went to copy edits (that woman missed NOTHING I tell you), but they’re not particularly funny. One of the things I had to be…

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Interview with Christine Hyung-Oak Lee and Giveaway for TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU DON’T REMEMBER

I am so pleased to welcome debut author Christine Hyung-Oak Lee to The Debutante Ball! Lee is the author of the memoir Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember, which was featured in The New York Times, Self Magazine, Time Magazine, and NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Zyzzyva, Guernica, The Rumpus, and BuzzFeed, among other publications. She is a…

Saturday, July 13, 2019
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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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Just Write and Other Groups

Friday, June 14, 2019

    I’ve moved around a lot in the past decade, and I’ve had to cull my writing friends from a number of different sources. The first time I joined an actual writing group was when I moved to the outskirts of Philadelphia and found one through Meetup that was only a few minutes from my children’s school. In many ways, Just Write changed my life. I had started a…

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Interview with Lara Lillibridge and Giveaway for MAMA, MAMA, ONLY MAMA

  I am so excited to welcome former Deb Lara Lillibridge back to the ball this week! I feel as though I’ve known Lara forever, although I suppose it’s been less than a year. She was the deb from last year who first emailed me to ask if I would like to be one of this year’s five, so let’s just say I’ve been fond of her ever since. She…

Saturday, June 8, 2019
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Interview with Roselle Lim and Giveaway for Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

Saturday, May 25, 2019

I could not be more thrilled to be hosting author Roselle Lim this week on the Ball! I’ve been waiting many months for her magical debut, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune, to come out, and now it’s almost here! Roselle Lim was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighbourhood. She found her love of…

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A Writing Education

Friday, May 24, 2019

    I’m always interested in talking about formal education when it comes to the arts, because these are vocations for which anything goes—you can study painting at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, or you can paint in a completely naïve, unschooled manner, learning everything by feel, and the validity of your art will not necessarily be affected. You will simply invite different kinds of judgement. I always go…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Study, Steady

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

This week’s topic: “MFA vs NYC vs Choose Your Own Adventure.” Aloha. What if my writing education has been all three? I confess I’m a bit of a professional student. I love to be in a class, I love to have homework and get direction. The underlying motivation all throughout my writing life has been my desire to find community and gain skills, to chip away at a steady pace….

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A Writer at Any Age

    Because my release day fell on my birthday, I’ve already written a little about writing and age. One of the best things about writing, I believe, is that you can do it at any age. It belongs to you at any age. As long as you want to put words on paper, you can, although how you approach it might change. How it affects you, and what it…

Friday, May 17, 2019
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Little Egg and Big Egg

Friday, May 10, 2019

      There aren’t a lot of Easter eggs in The Dream Peddler, but I can think of a couple of things that most readers wouldn’t pick up on—they’re just there for me, or for anyone who happens to have the specific knowledge you would require to get my meaning. The first is a small thing having to do with naming. I had a really hard time getting through…

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