The autodidact’s reading list

Thursday, February 11, 2021

I’ve written previously about how I have an MBA, not an MFA. And how that didn’t work out so great for me. So when I was unemployed and stuck in a tiny apartment while raising a newborn baby, it wasn’t a great time to contemplate going back to school for yet another masters degree. Plus, I reasoned, I’d always been told I was a great writer. How hard could it…

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Celebrating the small stuff

Thursday, January 28, 2021

It feels a little funny to be writing about milestones and celebrations before my book comes out. It almost sounds like the kind of article I’d write 30 years from now, when I’ve got a shelf full of bestsellers, a trophy case jammed with awards, and a desk built to look like my celebrated novels. What’s that last thing, you ask? I’m sorry, has no one shown you what Danielle…

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It’s A Miracle!

Friday, January 15, 2021

I queried for three and a half years before I signed with an agent. And I queried three different books. And during those years, I felt as though signing with an agent was an impossible dream, something that would take a miracle to make happen. And then, almost exactly three and a half years after I started querying, the miracle happened. I was at the vet with my first baby,…

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I left my heart in Corpus Christi

Thursday, January 14, 2021

My fellow Debs and I are blogging this week about our favorite types of scenes to write, and it made me think of something George Saunders said once about how you should always write into your strengths. Saunders claims he’s not great at plot (methinks he’s being a touch humble), and so when he writes, he emphasizes his characters, or setting, or whatever, in order to make up for the…

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Daydreaming My Way Into Writing

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

When I look back through the years, thinking about where I found the inspiration and the drive to become a writer, it’s impossible not to think about my childhood. As the youngest of four kids, I spent countless hours chasing after my older brothers, trying to weasel my way into their Nerf games and Lego battles. (Sure, I have an older sister too, but the eight-year age gap between us…

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Demons and Daydreams: How Hieronymus Bosch Got Me Writing

Thursday, December 10, 2020

I had a really hard time choosing a major in college. I went from Business Administration to Retailing, to Fashion, and finally landed in Art History – a perfect place for people like me who love art, but lack all artistic ability. Art History was a really fun major, and I enjoyed my classes tremendously. We’d scrutinize paintings, paying attention to style, technique, and symbolism, and listen to stories our…

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Finding Your People: A guide for new writers

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A funny consequence of having a book coming out is that friends and family (and the occasional stranger on the internet) now come to me for advice on writing and publishing. It’s weird to give advice because I feel like I’m still learning these things myself. I don’t have an MFA – I literally just learned about the concept of negative capability this summer!     But when I’m asked…

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[News Flash] November 8, 2020

Sunday, November 8, 2020

We had a lot of great events this week at the Debutante Ball! Elizabeth Everett, author of A LADY’S FORMULA FOR LOVE, took over our Instagram account on Monday, where she interviewed Catherine Wallace Hope, author of ONCE AGAIN. If you missed the interview it’s up on our Instagram page. On Wednesday we had a great interview with Rachel Mans McKenny, author of THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT. You can read our…

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Time Management–Reflecting on the Before Times and Strategies for The New Era

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

When I sat down to brainstorm ideas for this article, it was hard not to think of all the B.C.’s invoiced. Before COVID-19, yes, but on a personal level– Before Children. When I was writing The Frozen Crown, I was working a full time job as well as remodeling an 1850’s farmhouse. (And I mean– remodeling— it needed a lot of work!) At the time I thought I was juggling…

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The Jackhammer in the Basement: On writing (or not writing) through distractions

Thursday, October 29, 2020

“It’s a black fly in your chardonnay. It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late.” Alanis Morissette was kind enough to give us many definitions of irony in 1995, and to those I would like to add, “It’s a jackhammer in your basement when you’re trying to write a blog post about writing through distractions.” We’re getting our house earthquake-retrofitted — a project that was initially supposed to take…

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