World Building in the Real World

Thursday, October 8, 2020

When writers talk about “world building” they mean more than just setting. Setting is where a story takes place. But a fictional world is setting, history, the special rules of that particular place, the people who inhabit that world, as well as the general tone or atmosphere that sort of floats over every page. The setting of the Harry Potter books is England, but in order to build her fictional…

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[News Flash] October 4, 2020

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Thank you so much to Diane Zinna for joining us to speak about her debut novel, THE ALL-NIGHT SUN. And thank you to Laya Vivian Smith for her interview about her new book, THE LUMBERMILL. So many good books to read, and so little time! Way to go Denny! Wild Women and the Blues was included in NetGalley’s list of 21 Highly-Anticipated Books Hitting Shelves in 2021.   Ehsaneh Sadr…

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My path to publication: A comedy of failures

Thursday, September 10, 2020

I wrote last week about how I hadn’t planned on becoming a writer, and how writing was something I came to after being unemployed for a long time. So already my path to publication was a little longer and had more forking paths than some people. I completed the rough draft of my novel in about six months in 2011, and I spent the next four years first learning how…

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The end of the line, the beginning of everything.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

So, here we are. The end of the line. The beginning of everything. This has been a great year. It’s not the year I thought I would get on the tin, but it’s taught me a lot of lessons and kept me on my toes. I’m sure next year will be as… eventful. (I’m giving you the side-eye, next year. You’d better behave.) We’re supposed to finish off our tenure…

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The “highlight reel” of my year as a Debutante

Monday, August 10, 2020

  Greetings and salutations and welcome to the Debutante Ball! I was so excited when I read the first words of the email I received on a Sunday morning in early August of 2019 informing me that I’d been chosen as one of the 5 debut authors who would chronicle her “big dance” toward publication. I had been following the Debutante Ball blog for more than a year and eagerly…

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A manuscript in the drawer?

Thursday, July 16, 2020

I remember going to a conference and one of the presenters talking about how she wrote her novel, and then put it away for nearly a decade, until picking it back up to start editing it. She was saying that this was positive for her, that it allowed her to give the manuscript fresh eyes and new influence and impact. She even said she took herself on a long vacation…

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Creating My Customized Writing Education

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Growing up, I knew I had an overwhelming passion for reading and writing. But as a first generation daughter of Jamaican immigrants, and I knew my family had high expectations for my career path. I made murmurs that I wanted to be a writer, but they said you should want to become a lawyer, think of the steady money and prestige! Entering the fashion industry was a type of compromise…

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Make Your Own MFA

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

I’m going to cut to the chase. I firmly believe that there are only two things you really need to become a great writer: 1) lots of practice, and 2) good critique partners. That’s it. Everything else is mirrors and glitter. Practice is simple. Practice makes you better. Critique partners are a little more complicated, but you can still find them online and in your local town: good ones help…

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Coming of Age and The Goddess Twins

Thursday, May 7, 2020

I think I was in junior high when I first heard the term ‘coming of age’ but I remember it hitting me hard in the gut. That was what I was obsessed with reading bout! That’s what described, en mass, the type of books I loved the most, especially when they involved magic in some way. Growing up there was one type of story that could fulfill my own ‘coming…

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Just a couple Easter eggs left, and none of them chocolate, alas.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Okay. I have a confession to make. I’m going to be the disappointing Deb this week because I don’t actually have a whole lot of easter eggs in Architects of Memory. Some authors love leaving easter eggs hither and yon, but I’m just not in that group. Some of the names can be tracked to real people, literary figures, and characters on shows I’ve watched, but any connection more than…

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