Seven Links Traci Kenworth


Seven Links…6/1/19

Traci Kenworth


1. “Got an email from a reader of my craft books, who is finally ready (he says) to complete a novel. He wanted some career advice before taking the plunge. Below are his questions and my answers. Let’s put our heads together and help him out. We can continue the discussion in the comments!

[NOTE: I am assuming the writer is going the self-publishing route, based on question #2. If so, my opening advice is this—put your novel through the same grinding process you would if you were going to submit it to an agent or editor. Being indie is no allowance for being skimpy when it comes to prepping for publication.]” Find a genre you like. Don’t do it for the money, do it for the joy of writing. If you write for the money, most of the time you not only fail but end up miserable. Follow your gut. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with making money, just don’t become obsessed with following trends to discover a pot of gold because it usually doesn’t end up that way.

2. “Take these steps and you’ll be good to go!” This is what I do. Write in short bursts. It helps a lot.

3. “I started writing my first novel when I was twelve years old. I was thirty-three when I completed my first rough draft. That’s twenty years of wanting to do something and not knowing how. Twenty years of failure and frustrations and giving up.

A big part of the problem is that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know which questions to ask, much less who might have the answers.

These days, people write to me as if I know what I’m doing. Or like I have a shortcut to success. I’m not sure either is true. One thing I’ve learned is that luck plays a massive role. But what I do have are some insights today that I wish I’d had twenty years ago, tips and pointers that might’ve saved me a lot of headache and heartache if I’d known them sooner. Maybe it’ll help some aspiring writer out there if I jot them all down now.

I’m going to share what insights I have in four parts. The first part is a list of all the things I wish I’d known about becoming a writer before I set out. The second part is tips and tricks for completing that first rough draft. In the third part, I discuss the important art of turning a rough draft into something worth reading. And finally, I share some tips on how to get your story out into the world.

These are my insights now that I’ve written over a dozen novels, sold a few million books, been published in over forty languages, and have seen all angles of this complex industry as a reader, bookseller,” I so identify with this blog post. I spent years wasting time, not believing I was good enough or that I could pursue what I wanted. No more.

4. “Over the last month or so, I’ve seen social media posts from writers who are discouraged – so much so that they want to quit writing entirely (and some who have already done so). A writer who believes he wrote a book that was essentially invisible. Writers who are depressed because their newsletter stats show that no one clicked on the links to their books for sale. Writers encountering one rejection after another, dealing with shady editors and agents, volatile and unstable markets, markets that take forever to pay (if they ever pay at all), lack of reviews, lack of readers . . . And maybe worst of all, feeling like they’ve made no impact at all, that they might as well have chucked their stories down a hole for all the good they’ve done in the world.

I know that a lot of people use social media to vent, and that these feelings of discouragement might only be temporary. But I also know that there are plenty of people who struggle to keep writing day after day. I know writers who’ve quit. You might even be one. Over the years, I’ve spoken to people who’ve gone to intense workshops such as Clarion or gotten an MFA and haven’t written a word since. I know writers who’ve written three books, had their publisher pass on a fourth, and who have stopped writing altogether. I know writers whose books are constantly pirated and who see no point in creating new content if other people are only going to keep stealing it. And of course, I’ve known writers who’ve had so much to deal with in their personal lives that finding time to write seems impossible.”

5. “Life is unpredictable. For writers, its capriciousness can be especially difficult because it influences not only our ability, but also our desire, to create. More than one writer reading this has at some point wanted to quit writing for good.

Maybe it was years ago. Maybe last week. Maybe this morning when you decided to read this blog rather than admit you’re just not feeling it when it comes to putting words on paper. I know where you’re coming from, and it sucks, right? But I also know the joy of stick-to-it-iveness, the success that can be achieved if you roll with the punches rather than giving up permanently.”

6. “t certain points in our life, we get lots of encouragement and feedback to create a sense of accomplishment. At other points, we have to create that sense ourselves.

This time of year, we’re surrounded by reminders that some have been able to check things off on the to-do list of life. Millions of students are graduating this spring in a celebration of completing one step and preparing for the next. Whether they’re graduating from kindergarten, high school, or college, those students are able to definitively consider one stage of their life done.

Everything is about moving forward (whether they want to or not). So the sense of completion for the previous stage is obvious.”

7. “It’s hard to believe that Angela and I have been writing together for over a decade. It started in 2008 with this blog, where we pooled ideas and shared writing responsibilities. Then we stepped up our game and decided to write a book together. And then Lee Powell came along with his proposal for One Stop for Writers…

Our collaboration has been kind of a magical one. As I’ve often said in my best Forrest Gump voice: Angela and me was like peas and carrots. But it’s more than that—particularly when it comes to co-writing books. How do we do it? How have we managed to create books together that sound like they’ve been written by one person rather than two? How do we agree on the ideas for our books in the first place?”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. “You may remember that Amazon has recently adopted a more flexible way of reading keywords. You see, Amazon provides you on their KDP bookshelf with a set of 7 separate keyword boxes, giving some authors the impression that they should enter just one keyword or keyword phrase per box.

However, each box holds 50 characters and the more keywords you can add, the better the chance a customer will find your book when they search. The difficulty is in fitting your keywords efficiently into those boxes (they don’t tell you how many characters are left or even that you have 50 to begin with), not duplicating words across boxes, etc.”

2. “Old What’s Her Face is still working nights. This meant another day of keeping everyone quiet so she could sleep a bit.

We had breakfast together again, then she unwound for an hour before heading for bed.

Quiet time is great for authors. I worked through the previous segment of Serang, then started writing again. Today’s effort came to about 3600 words. Something else wonderful happened too. At 75,000 words, it came to the end. Serang is now a first draft.” That sometimes happens. Just when you think it’ll never end, it does.


4. “The weekend was excellent… the meeting went very well, we got a lot of good work done (for which I shall have to type up our notes at some point) and we found the stone circle! Which bodes well for eventually tracking down your errant standing stone.

I wonder if that is what is meant when they call those odd stones ‘erratic’? Are they just wandering the countryside, attempting to evade detection by avid hunters of standing stones such as ourselves? The legends of wandering stones seem as numerous as the stones themselves and also give credence to your theory… perhaps we should look for the stream to which the Lost Stone may have wandered to drink?”

5. “If like me, you’re using the Gutenberg editor, you’ll have lots of blog posts in your archives that were written with the Classic editor.

However, fear not! Those blog posts can be converted, so they look like they were written with the Gutenberg editor; thus you’ll be able to use the many benefits Gutenberg brings to the art of blogging to those posts.”

6. “I don’t understand everyone’s obsession with sequels.

Or entire series, for that matter.

Don’t get me wrong — I love all things Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.

But what I don’t love is when people — writers in particular — can’t seem to let go of the stories and characters they’ve so closely associated themselves with.

After awhile, continuing the same story about the same character gets tiring.

At some point, all TV shows will come to an end.” I actually like sequels. I’m not saying I’ll read on forever in a series but if I like what the author’s doing—or show for that matter—I’m there.

7. “I love Lady’s Mantle… Alchemilla mollis… the soft little alchemist. The shape and gentle shade of the downy leaves and the pale froth of yellow-green flowers. It is a lovely thing in my eyes. Yet it is not till the rain falls on the upturned leaves that you see its full beauty. Tiny creatures are caught in the water droplets, magnified into strange shapes. The water looks like ice, the surface tension palpable. I am reminded of the movement of mercury. Diamond-bright spheres nestle in the folds like so many crystal balls and the child who gazes into them can see worlds and dreams unfold there.”

Some Things More Serious:

1. “Driving the back roads of New Hampshire today.

Every town had pristine flags flying.”

2. “At last I’ve found a little creature that I can look after without experiencing sneezing, itching or my skin erupting in weals.

My son and his wife are currently on holiday, and we are in charge of Sheldon, their tortoise.  He’s a cute little thing, with black beady eyes.  His happy place seems to be under a spotlight that Sam’s rigged up so that he can get some heat.”

3. “I am digging into the archives to post a few times this week. Not feeling 18 carat, and wrestling with everything.  Hopefully, my problems will pale into insignificance when seen from another viewpoint.

I awoke this morning with the usual week day feeling. Then I happened to watch some of the breakfast news on TV, not something I do very often as it usually depresses me. Today turned out to be worse than usual. It was far too early in the day for such worldwide confusion and I really wish I had been writing my book instead.”

4. “A few months ago, I finished reading ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’.  I remember hearing that there was something off about the ending.  Well, I have to agree even though I would recommend the series for any manga/anime fans.  It’s considered a great story for a reason, which means a rushed ending didn’t hurt its longevity.  Although, I know a lot of people who will stop a series at a point where they think it’s a good finale.  Heck, I’ve done that with a few where I didn’t like the last season or story arc.  So, what exactly do I mean by a rushed ending?”

6. “Hiromi Uehara was born in Hamamatsu, Japan in 1979 and is a Jazz composer and pianist. She is known for her technique, energetic live performance and blend of musical genres such as progressive rock, classical and fusion.

Hiromi began learning classical piano at the age of six and was later introduced to Jazz by her teacher Noriko Hikida. She was only 14 years old when she played with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and at 17 she met Chick Corea who we featured a few weeks ago, and she was invited to play at his concert in Tokyo.”

7. “There are many different characters we run across in our fiction. Have you seen these characters?

The Invisible Barney: He’s commonplace. Nothing here to inspire. He’s usually a background character who doesn’t have any lines to say. Just a filler basically.

The waitress Jazz: Male or female. There to provide food and clear the table. She/he may have a line or two.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:


2. “Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:

Today the final post from fantasy author Charles E. Yallowitz who has a wonderful blog where you can find stories, thoughts on life, book related posts and poetry.  This week I have selected another poem from Charles that I thought was fantastic..Packs a lot into a few lines.”


4. I mentioned the Spirit of the Hills Festival of the Arts that we are planning to put on October 24-26, 2019?

I am chairing the Festival Committee and we are pleased that our programme is set and that we are now negotiating with artists of all kinds, whom we have invited to participate.

Of course, there is still an enormous amount of work to do on the dramatic and musical events, our multi-media show, the anthology, the art show and all the other activities we have programmed for that weekend.

5. “Time to knuckle down 
To ponder and to frown
To sit and take a look
At how to better my own book
Computer on, tea by my side
My notes beside me as a guide
I’ll just check my phone
And then my work I’ll hone”

6. “Spennyriver is a small town deep in the heart of the Midlands, UK. The Spennyriver Dispatch is the local paper bringing you all the local news, keeping you up to date with all the happenings in this strange town.

It’s like a regular town with regular people. Just weirder.”


Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in The Watson Letters series. I find Colin Garrow’s humour hilarious and very English which appeals hugely to me. The book covers three story lines with the first taking place in Scotland after Sherlock and Watson are conned by a writer, Mr Hanney, to travel there to help him save the plot of his new book, The 39 Steps, from theft by other writers. On arrival in Scotland, the pair are soon pulled into an unfortunate situation with Professor Moriarty, Sherlock’s arch enemy and a madman intent on world domination.”

2. “This book of modern day poems did something miraculous: it made me start reading poetry.”

3. “What Amazon Says

Summer is usually a time of fun and games for most children, but Hanna and Ben Littleton are not your average eleven and twelve-year-old. Their father is Percy Littleton, a famous paranormal investigator, and this summer they are traveling to different locations to investigate unexplained phenomena. Things are rather boring until they stop at Castleridge Hotel. Though warned by their father not to meddle in his investigation, the brother and sister are convinced they can prove their worth as true investigators. Their eagerness soon turns to terror when Hanna begins having visions about a certain former employee of the hotel, the elevator takes them to the ninth floor on its own, and ghosts interact with them. The building seems to have a mind of its own as Hanna and Ben are forced to figure out what really happened one hundred years ago at Castleridge Hotel, before the spirits trapped inside decide to make them permanent residents.”

4. “After reading several D.G. Driver books, I know to expect an entertaining read with meticulously developed characters.  I read the first book in this fairy tale series, The Royal Deal, but somehow missed the second, so I was thrilled to come across the newest addition.

Colleeda is despicable, narcissistic, rude – I could go on, but no doubt you get the picture.  She believes the world and everyone in it exist for her pleasure.  Kudos to the author for making her so unlikable.  You’ll spend most of the book yearning for her to get knocked off the pedestal she’s placed herself on.  From the book description, rest assured, it’s a pretty rough fall.  And then, you’ll miraculously find yourself feeling a bit sorry for her.”

5. “When 13 year old Gary Crockett hypnotizes Earl Lancaster and Earl stands
from his wheelchair everything changes for both of them. Gary
suspects Earl of lying about his paralysis and Gary’s mom thinks
Earl is sexy and a business genius. Before long all three need to
leave town in a hurry.”

6. “Jennie from A Teacher’s Reflections blog wrote a wonderful post about Little House on the Prairie. This must be my all time favourite series of books and this was the style of writing and story that I aimed for when I wrote my book, While the Bombs Fell. You can read Jennie’s post here:”


15 thoughts on “Seven Links Traci Kenworth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.