Five Links 10/4/19
1. http://booksbywomen.org/who-is-the-inspiration/ “Nervous, scared, anxiously looking around the room, feeling like every word you say is being judged. This are recognisable feelings in everyone, and that is before you start to share your writing.
But I’m not talking about the new writing students here, those who are determined to fill a lifelong ambition and who embark on my courses and workshops. I am referring to me, the writing coach.
Each intake of students is different, but all look to me wide-eyed for inspiration, motivation and the answer to ‘So when do I call myself a writer?’ That is a question I have been getting to grips with for the last few years myself.
As a previous teacher of high school English, then coming home to look after my own family, I got into a rut, and then was too tired to write, as we all know, procrastination and writing are close neighbours.
The Idea’s Well seemed to dry up. Now as a full-time writer I spend a lot of time on my own.”
2. https://www.janefriedman.com/plural-to-individual-pov/ “To the Swedish team: With the improved performance against all Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for Squadster, the management at Oros award you with a special night of pizza and delight. Each employee can choose a 40-centimeter pizza to share and one drink for free! Meet at 18:00 at Fast Pizza Italian Food restaurant. There are distractions including Darts and sports television! RSVP to Levi Bakker!! 😊
They called it the daily huddle. But that was a joke and they all knew it. More like the weekly huddle. Huddles materialized suddenly. Randomly. And were a source of dread, not because anyone on the team felt the pressure to live up to the anointed SLAs, but because the meeting itself was so boring. So futile.
No one in the Tenerife office of Oros understood the mechanism that triggered huddles. Begonia figured that someone in the upper stratosphere squeezed middle management for the numbers, and they, in turn, pushed the team leaders who cranked them out for the huddles, flogging the teams with them to grow the meager fruits of their SLAs.”
3. https://annerallen.com/2019/09/seductive-new-book-idea/ “Falling in love is easy. We’re swept away, starry-eyed, giddy with possibility. This time it’s different. Really!
But is it?
The Old Book Blues.
You’ve done it. Again!
You’ve written yourself into a blind alley.
You’re stuck, blocked, out of gas and out of ideas.
- The plot (if there is one) is a mess.
- The characters? You loved them. Way back when. But now you hate them. The hero is too Jack or Jane Righteous. The by-the-numbers cardboard villain wouldn’t scare a three-year-old.
- Info dumps.
- Backstory blahs.” The best idea I have is to write the idea down. You can always visit it when your current project is done.
4. http://booksbywomen.org/self-belief-vs-self-delusion-densie-webb/ ““One of the hardest parts of writing is walking that line between self-belief and self-delusion.” I spotted this tidbit on Twitter the other day and it struck a chord with me. As writers, we often hear talk of a lack of self-belief as the “imposter syndrome.” Most of us experience it, if not on a daily basis, on a semi-regular basis at least. But the swing of the pendulum in the opposite direction to self-delusion is seldom discussed.
I’m not talking about believing in yourself, in your abilities, which we all need in order to make it through the skull and bones of writing and publishing. I’m talking about harboring a misguided belief that our talents are far greater than they actually are and, as a result, being closed to guidance, to instruction, to mentorship, to critique to make us better writers.
To wit—an anonymous agent used to post bits online from some of the strangest, most self-delusional query letters that landed in their inbox. A few lines that really stood out:
“Are you looking for a potential bestseller? If yes, please continue reading. If not, stop. It would be waste of your time.”
“I feel my book would be perfect for Penguin, Random House, or Simon & Schuster. Can you tell me whether you have good contacts at those publishers?”
“I am a thirty-seven-year-old multitalented artist and I am very serious about publishing my novel.” I can’t even comment on these.
5. http://booksbywomen.org/me-and-my-agent-by-holly-seddon/ “Where to start? To be frank, I can’t think of another job like literary agent. It sits in the Venn diagram of creativity, inspiration, career management and business acumen. But that doesn’t really explain it.
A good agent helps shape ideas, offers editorial notes on outlines and manuscripts, pitches novels to publishers and then argues the finer points of any potential deals while us authors sit at home gnawing our fingers to the bone and refreshing our email inboxes like mad woodpeckers.
Once a good agent has sold our work to a publisher, they often act as a liaison between editorial team and author, especially when that relationship is new and needs to develop. They ask sales, marketing and publicity teams the difficult questions so that we can concentrate on doing what we need to do: writing the best books we can.”
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-and-review-the-quest-for-home/ “Driven from her home. Stalked by enemies. Now her closest ally may be a traitor.
“Bravo Jacqui! A fine read and meticulous research.” — Sue Harrison, author of the acclaimed Ivory Carver Trilogy,
Xhosa flees what she had hoped would be her new home after being attacked by invaders from the North. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands of what we now call Europe. As she struggles to overcome strangers around her and disruptions within her People, Xhosa faces the reality that her most dangerous enemy may not be the one she expected. It may be one she has trusted with her life.
The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate any who came before.
Based on a true story, this is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man spreads across Eurasia. Xhosa must regularly does the impossible which is good because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.”
2. https://thepbsblog.com/2019/09/29/missing-blog-podcast-episodes/ “If you are just following this blog (first, heeyyy shout out to you!!) you may not know that we had a blog podcast going on a couple years ago …
…but I noticed something devastating just now.
Okay, not that devastating. Obviously, it’s not that serious, haha
No, but okay. It kinda is.”
3. https://nicholasrossis.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/top-8-marketing-strategies-authors-can-use-now/ “The book market is a crowded and busy area—if you want to get noticed, and to sell your books, you need to get creative with your book marketing strategies.
And this is true for self-published authors as well as those being represented by agents and publishing houses. You need to ensure that your personal branding is clear, visible, and recognizable if you want to engage with the digital world.
Now, unless you have a marketing agency working on your behalf, as an author, it can be difficult to understand what constitutes a good marketing strategy, and how you can implement it to improve impressions and book sales.
In this article, we will look at eight marketing strategies you can adopt to begin actively engaging with the online community.”
4. https://jessicabakkers.com/2019/09/30/writing-mojo/ “I’ve got the mojo at the moment. I’ve managed 2,500 words on my WIP in the past two days.
I’m putting it down to having finished the computer game that was devouring my free time (*cough* Witcher 3 *cough*), and getting my ass into gear. Part II of Book II is now shaping up (just don’t mention the fact there are VII parts to Book II!)”
5. https://thesilenteye.co.uk/2019/09/30/rites-of-passage-brief-encounter/ “The Silent Eye weekends are not just about what is built into the schedule, they are also a chance to spend time with people we have come to know through the events and who have become friends. We are always glad when there is time to spare, as that allows us to take a more leisurely approach, whether that is a long talk over dinner or, if we are lucky, time to visit and share an extra site or two.”
Some Things More Serious:
2. https://allaboutwritingandmore.com/2019/09/28/how-to-plan-for-unexpected-expenses/ “It’s just a matter of time before it happens. The transmission blows on your car right around the time your daughter needs braces and your washing machine decides to call it quits. All of these are unexpected expenses and something we need to deal with throughout life.
Being prepared as much as you can is your best bet when live throws you a financial curve ball.
Do your best to anticipate upcoming expenses. If you’re driving an older car, or your dishwasher has seen its better days, start saving up to replace the item. You may also want to start keeping an eye out for good deals on the replacement.”
3. https://somethingferal.com/2019/09/28/facing-fear-with-the-silent-eye-part-1-arrival/ “I recently attended a workshop, with The Silent Eye, about Facing Our Fears, an extraordinary weekend spent among the hills and grey stone villages of the Peak District. It’s taken me a little while, as it usually does, to process everything that happened. Once again there was history and mystery, good company and tasty food, old friends greeted and new friends made. And, as always, revelations.This is part one of my account…”
4. https://stevelaube.com/acfw-2019-report/ “I just returned from the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) writers conference held in San Antonio and had a great time. Tamela was also there, along with 30 of our agency’s clients.
We had a number of productive meetings with publishers, along with talking with each of our clients. Tamela taught two classes, as did I. Then we each had around 30 individual, one-on-one, 15-minute pitch appointments with authors in attendance.
Saturday night was the Awards Gala. We had a number of client winners and finalists.
Emilie Hendryx was given the ACFW membership award for excellent service to the organization members.
The Genesis Award (which had 257 entries) saw Sami Abrams win the short novel category. We had three others who were finalists: Darlene Turner, Heidi Main, and Deborah Clack.”
5. https://joanhall.blog/2019/09/30/roanoke-colony/ “The disappearance of English settlers on Roanoke Island in 1590 is one of the oldest mysteries in America. Who were these people and what happened to them?
The Roanoke Colony, also known as the “Lost Colony” was the second attempt by Sir Walter Raleigh to establish the first permanent English settlement in North America.
English explorer Ralph Lane attempted a settlement in 1585. Due to lack of supplies and bad relations with local Native Americans, Lane decided to abandon the colony and return to England.
John White and his group of one-hundred-fifteen people arrived on Roanoke island in August 1587. Later that same year, he returned to England for supplies. But as he arrived in England, war broke out between England and Spain. Queen Elizabeth I called for every available ship to fight the Spanish Armada.
White returned to the Roanoke Colony in 1590. He had left behind his wife, daughter, and infant granddaughter (Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America).”
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:
1. http://lizlovesbooks.com/lizlovesbooks/bad-turn-zoe-sharp-blog-tour-review/ “Charlie Fox has quit her job in close protection, been turned out of her apartment, and is apparently out of options.
House-sitting in rural New Jersey has to be the pits—TV and TV dinners. A far cry from Iraq… Bulgaria… Afghanistan. Unlucky or not, she happens to be around at the right time to foil a violent kidnap attempt on Helena, wife of billionaire arms dealer, Eric Kincaid.
Kincaid offers her a job looking after Helena. The rumours about Kincaid’s business empire say he’s gone over to the dark side, but Charlie is in no position to be fussy. And protecting people against those who want to do them harm is what she’s good at. But when the threats against the Kincaids escalate, and then follow the couple over to Europe, Charlie’s really going to have to up her game. It’s time to take the fight to the enemy.
Charlie’s at her best putting an end to trouble. Now she must learn to strike first. And hope that the Kincaids don’t discover the secret she’s been keeping from them, right from the start.”
2. https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/more-indie-reviews-or-part-iii/ “Oh, what a fun read. Sci-fi fans will have a blast with this thriller, but readers who love human stories will thoroughly enjoy this book too. Simon and Evan are twins with a unique connection even though they are strikingly different. Simon is cerebral, a scientist and gentle soul. Evan is a jock with a temper and a painful chip on his shoulder—he’s never been able to live up to his parents’ expectations.
Despite their differences, the brothers are fiercely loyal to each other, and when Simon goes missing, Evan makes it his mission to find out what happened and bring him home. He’s a successful bender, capable of entering the dreams of clients to unblock their memories or fight…”
“Susan Marie Shuman is a freelance writer and editor who currently resides
in the wilds of Birmingham, AL. She shares her life with four spoiled cats,
several friends (not all of them imaginary) and one husband. When she’s not
working, Susan enjoys horseback riding, reading, taking her cats for a spin in
their pet stroller, and taking naps.
An ex-bartender, recovering crash test dummy and all-around late bloomer, Susan graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2004 with a BA in English. She minored in Russian.
Long-range goals include visiting Israel, the Czech Republic and Liechtenstein. Susan is also planning to launch a micro-nation which would be called either Suzannistan or Eastern Suzanorovia.”
4. https://mystictalestintin.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/review-the-ineligible-millionaire/ “An amalgamation of motivation, friendship, love, struggle and the urge to create something is well-embedded in ‘The Ineligible Millionaire’ by Tarun Varshney. It is a 10-year long journey of a boy named Arjun. Through hardships, debts and academic troubles, he finds himself trapped in a circle of pity and disparity. His journey is motivating. With the thought of the love of his life, Shreya, and the support of his best friend, Raj, he has to survive the cruel world of relentless competition. When opportunities knock at his door, he has to understand which ones to open and which to ignore. But is the need to earn money, the sole aim of his life? Is that what he is destined for?
This book was simply amazing. It was motivating and inspirational. It highlights so many aspects of real life. The criteria to apply for a job which appears to be irrational, the struggle in everyday middle-class life, and dealing with backstabbers – all find their way in the novel. It states the message of people taking advantage of you because you’re in no position to do anything against them. It also highlights the strength of friendship, the power in one’s conviction and the ups and downs of life.”
“Like the Wild Geese of Old Ireland, five boys grew to manhood despite
hunger, war, and the mean streets of New York
The War had left him blind to beauty…
Kieran Donnelly is a gifted artist who has
sworn never to paint again. He
saw and did too many things during the war to extinguish the ugliness
that lies in his heart. But a chance to work with some of the most
magnificent paintings brings him close to the world he still
loves…and an extraordinary woman who sees his true heart.
Darkness couldn’t extinguish the light in her heart.
Blind from the age of four, Emily Lawrence
yearns to experience the outside
world. When she hires Kieran Donnelly to catalogue her father’s
paintings, he offers her a glimpse at life outside her exquisite
home…and a chance for a future.
Can Kieran and Emily emerge from the darkness to find happiness and love?”