The Class of 2019

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Compiled by Jade Craddock

Every year The Debutante Ball introduces us to a new batch of contemporary authors. We caught up with the latest recruits – Devi Laskar, K.A. Doore, Martine Fournier Watson, Layne Fargo and Stephanie Jimenez – to find out what they are most looking forward to as they make their debut as a first-time author. ♥

Devi Laskar
The Atlas of Reds and Blues (February 2019, Counterpoint Press)

I’m so excited to see my book on the shelves at the bookstores, next to authors whose work I’ve admired for years. I’m excited for my friends and family to read my book. I’ve been at it for a really long time, and I’ve had a lot of bumps along the way. Eight years ago, I lost most of my work. I know a lot of people have been cheering me on as I have started over and finished this book (as well as some poetry chapbooks) and I’m so grateful and thrilled that my dream is coming true.

I’ve also been part of a writing community for many years and I hope that I’m inspiring my writing buddies to finish their projects and try to realize their dreams.

K.A. Doore
The Perfect Assassin (March 2019, Tor Books)

I’m 100% looking forward to fanfic and fanart, which are both staples of the SFF community. As someone who used to write fanfic, I understand how much love is involved in responding to a work of fiction through your own fiction, how real your world must have felt to the reader that they can see themselves – or their creations – in it, and I can only hope (dream!) to inspire such a reaction with my stories.

Plus, I’m in a unique position where all three books in my trilogy are written so I can read without a single worry about accidentally copying someone. Bring on the fic!

Martine Fournier Watson
The Dream Peddler (April 2019, Penguin Books)

Do I have to come up with just one thing? It’s long been a dream of mine to see my book in a brick and mortar store, so that’ll be a big moment for me! I’m totally going to take pictures and make a complete goof of myself.

The other thing I’m really excited for is to hear back from readers who enjoyed the book. As a writer, touching even one person is the most rewarding experience for me, and with any luck I’ll get to hear from at least a few people. I write for myself first, but I’m also writing for them.

Layne Fargo
Temper (May 2019, Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster)

I’m looking forward to so many little things about the experience, like seeing my novel on the shelves at the library and having a cake with the book cover on it at my launch party. But the biggest thing I’m looking forward to is going to conferences and other events and connecting with my fellow writers.

Getting involved in the writing community online has been perhaps the most rewarding part of my journey as a debut author, and I’m so psyched that I might get to finally meet some of those awesome people in person!

Stephanie Jimenez
They Could Have Named Her Anything (August 2019, Little A Books)

I’m looking forward to all the fears I’m going to have to conquer. The process of publishing a book sort of feels like taking your clothes off in front of a window at night. At first, you can’t see anybody outside, so you go ahead and do it. But just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they can’t see you, and by the time you’re grasping at the blinds, you’re realizing that by now, after so many nights, someone might even have footage.

Are you OK with a stranger seeing you as you are? What about having a view into your mind? I’m not scribbling just in my journals anymore and that’s a fact that’s both thrilling and terrifying, both gratifying and humbling, and I’m excited about that, I suppose.

The Debutante Ball is a group blog for authors making their debut in the literary world, now in its twelfth season of celebrating up-and-coming authors. To find out more about the Class of 2019, head to

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