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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On Having — and Doing It All

Friday, September 27, 2019

I used to date this famous author — it was when he was actually on the cusp of being famous — and he would take two weeks off from all of life to write. All of life. Including me! He would hunker down in the library and not have any social obligations just to write his literary fiction. I guess he didn’t have to make a living. Or hang out…

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I don’t do balance.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

I don’t do balance. I mean, I wish I did. I’d like to. A balanced life seems appealing, in its own special way—tranquil and well-ordered, like an apartment lovingly curated by Marie Kondo. I’m not being clever or facetious. I’d love to live in a place like that. Life would unfold in shades of delightful Instagram pink, in eustress rather than stress, in coffee mugs on back porches, in variations…

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What if the story that is medicine to me is medicine for someone else?

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Hello friends! I’m so excited to have the opportunity to write throughout my debut year alongside the talented fellow Debs Lisa Braxton, Amy Klein, Kathleen West, and Karen Osborne. Here’s some background on me: I’m a first generation Jamaican American and I was born in the Midwest (Cincinnati, Ohio to be precise). I was a very anxious kid (ahem…and adult) and I learned to create universes in my head with…

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Introducing Amy Klein: Author of THE TRYING GAME

Friday, August 30, 2019

I’m beyond thrilled to introduce you all to your new Friday blogger, Amy Klein! Amy is the author of The Trying Game: How to Get Pregnant and Get Through Fertility Treastment Without Losing your Mind (Ballantine, 2020) based on her New York Times Fertility Diary column. As soon as I read her application, I knew I wanted her to be on the Debutante Ball, and now I’ve got my wish. It…

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Introducing Kathleen West: Author of MINOR DRAMAS & OTHER CATASTROPHES

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

I’m delighted to introduce the new social media maven for the Debutante Ball, Class of 2020! Please welcome and meet Kathleen West, whose debut novel Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes will be out from Berkley (Penguin Random House) on February 4, 2020. Kathleen is a writer, teacher, reader, and semi-professional minivan driver. A life-long Minnesotan, she holds degrees from Macalester College and the University of Minnesota. She currently lives in Minneapolis…

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Year’s End

Friday, August 23, 2019

  In many ways my debut year was full of surprises. I received so many wonderful gifts that I hadn’t planned on—a blurb from one of the writers I most admire, positive reviews in outlets that still terrify me (can you say Kirkus, anyone?), pictures of my book purchased by friends old and new, near and far. I was truly surprised by how many friends not only bought the book…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Mahalo and Aloha

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Aloha! I can’t believe it’s been a year since I first joined the Debutante Ball. Mahalo to the previous class for giving me the opportunity to work alongside K.A. Doore, Martine Fournier Watson, Layne Fargo and Stephanie Jimenez, as part of the Class of 2019. I had no idea what kind of ride to expect as a debut author, and it was truly wonderful to be part of the DB-Hive….

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: book baby birthday bash

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

aloha! We are supposed to talk about our launch parties and swag this week. It is a miracle that I had a book come out in February 2019. The story that led to The Atlas Of Reds and Blues was first begun in 2004. And I lost most of my work in 2010 during the police raid on my former home in Georgia. So, I had to start over. It…

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Interview with Lana Wood Johnson and Giveaway for TECHNICALLY, YOU STARTED IT

Saturday, August 10, 2019

  I am beyond thrilled to be hosting my agent sister, YA author Lana Wood Johnson, on the ball today! Lana was born and raised in Iowa in the time before the internet but has spent the rest of her life making up for that. After years working in wireless communication for companies of all sizes, she now works doing the same for a local youth shelter. Lana lives in Minnesota…

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