Seven Links 7/27/19 Traci Kenworth


Seven Links…7/27/19

Traci Kenworth


1. “We all know audiobooks are booming. As reported by Forbes:

The publishing industry’s 2018 year-end results are here, and audiobooks did astoundingly well. According to the Association of American Publishers, which collects and reports on data shared by many publishers across the country, estimated publisher revenue for downloaded audio increased 28.7% over 2017. Downloaded audio was worth an estimate of 13.7% of publishers’ online sales.

Downloaded audio has long seen increases of this magnitude; the 2018 report reiterates this, estimating that publisher’s revenues in the category grew 181.8% from 2014 to 2018.

This growth, too, is continuing into 2019, which has already seen massive increases: in the first three months of this year, downloaded audio revenues increased 35.3% over the same period last year.

2. “You want to share your stories with the world, you’re just not there yet. So, there’s this long and often frustrating waiting period where you have to keep working silently in a corner, and that’s hard.”

3. “I’m almost afraid to say this but…the concept graphic is finished. I know I’ll tinker at the fine details, but the ideas floating around in my head since 2004 have finally coalesced into something ‘real’. For the first time in 15 years, I can say ‘this is what the iVokh look like’.”

4. “When Lynne Truss wrote, in her best-selling 2003 grammar screed Eats, Shoots & Leaves,of “a world of plummeting punctuation standards,” she was (perhaps unwittingly) joining an ancient tradition. How long, exactly, have shortsighted curmudgeons been bemoaning the poor grammar of the generations that follow theirs? According to Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style, the answer is, like, forever: “Some of the clay tablets deciphered from ancient Sumerian include complaints about the deteriorating writing skills of the young.”

The notion of being taught language has always been oxymoronic because language is in a constant state of flux, a restless, malleable, impatient entity that, like the idea of now, can never be fixed in place. Take, for instance, the journey of the semicolon as chronicled in the delightful, enlightening new book by Cecelia Watson, Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark. The twisty history of the hybrid divider perfectly embodies the transience of language, the ways it can be shaped by cultural shifts that have nothing to do with correctness or clarity. Invented by the Italian humanist and font pioneer Aldus Manutius in the late-15th century, the semicolon was originally “meant to signify a pause of a length somewhere between that of the comma and that of the colon” (hence its design).”

5. “Do authors ever have to pay back their advance? This is a question agents hear a lot. Often a writer is nervous about possibly being asked to pay back the advance if the book doesn’t sell enough copies.

If you’re publishing with a reputable traditional publisher, then you don’t have to pay back your advance for lack of sales, or at least I’ve never seen such a case. Of course, everything is outlined in the author contract and I suppose it’s possible for a publisher to work that in (and the way things are going these days, it wouldn’t surprise me).” What a scary thought.

6. “Having just submitted a new draft MS to my agent, I recently found myself facing the perennial dilemma of deciding whether the draft was actually, really, well and truly, ‘ready’ to be sent…The answer being (of course) that a MS is never ready! But, even though that may be true – a story can never be perfect – such a glib answer doesn’t help anyone, least of all a beginning/aspiring writer embarking on their first few tentative steps towards being published. So how do you know when your MS is ‘ready’ to be sent off?

For me, the answer depends in part on who I’m sending it to…some of my beta readers get my drafts in chunks and stages, depending on the feedback I need. Other beta readers get the MS only when it has been revised and polished to the point where I would send it to my agent – and even then, the MS is still, in my mind, in the ‘draft’ stages. At that point, my story is not even close to being publication ready – It’s just at the stage where I can’t revise it any further without someone else’s input…or maybe when I am so close to the story that I can no longer see its flaws:)”

7. “Have you ever wondered why, as a beginner, writing often feels frustrating and sometimes even pointless?

It might be because many beginning writers are focusing on all the wrong things.

Most writers who are first starting out have big dreams. They want to be bestselling authors. They want to be the Stephen Kings, the J.K. Rowlings of their genres/eras. They want their writing to mean something. They want their work to matter.

It’s very easy to forget, when you’re focusing on your big dreams, that you can’t go from zero to bestseller overnight. A lot has to come before that. A lot of patience, and disappointment, and tears, and feeling like you’re doing everything right yet nothing good is coming of it.” I agree. I think I’m just getting to the point where I see my writing improving. It’s been a long time coming and I’ve written a LOT to get here.

Research & Fun Tidbits:

1. “It is 4am and I haven’t slept a wink. I’m not entirely happy about that. It is not as if I haven’t tried. My mind whirrs quietly, emotions heightened by a frustrated fatigue. Ani is draped across the sofa snoring softly. For all I would, at this point, much rather be asleep, I love this time of day.

The sun has lit the touchpaper of the horizon and the east is edged in palest gold, the fire of dawn spreading silently over a sleeping land. The first bird just started to sing, Another has joined and the morning chorus has begun. There is a rainwashed freshness in the air and the colour, still absent from the ground, now gilds the sky, shifting the focus upwards.”

2. “Today was my flex day. This is usually the time I can get my word count up, but it just didn’t work out that way. Most of this is a personality flaw, and I readily admit that.

My errand for the day was to go to the bank and make a deposit. I got up at 5:00, and the bank opens at 9:00. What do you think I did for all that time in between? Nothing even remotely productive. Nada, zero.”

3. “I didn’t always enjoy reading. In fact, I thought it was stupid. To me, it was just homework from teachers. All the books were always picked out for me and I never cared for any of them. In the middle of all that, I did fall in love with reading.”

4. “How well do you know yourself? Sixteen-year-old Elle thinks she’s got
life in Shady Oaks all under control until new boy Asher comes to
town. Elle can’t explain it, but she can’t deny the connection she
feels to him. Things with Asher are going great until they’re out one
night and nearly attacked by a large wolf.

Before she knows it, Elle’s life is spiraling out of control: Maddox is in
love with her, she and Asher are in danger… and she learns she’s a
shifter! If that wasn’t bad enough, she finds herself in the middle
of an ages-old war between shifters and hunters. What else can she do
but join the cause?”

5. “The book as product: specific word count, story arc, number and types of characters, type of ending, and a cover suited to the genre. It may help its author make a living. Or it may not.

The book as work of art: whatever gives the writer the feeling of having a hand on the lever of creation. It may or may not become a “classic.” A posthumous one.

This is what happens when I’ve been reading too many “how to do it right” posts for writers. (Snarky aside: Judging by the vast amounts of advice we need, we writers are self-indulgent, impractical airheads, fumbling our way through the real world.)”

6. “Terri over at Second Wind Leisure Perspectives blog, runs a Sunday Stills prompt and today the theme is summer tastes. Another perfect prompt for Sir Chocolate and friends who live in Chocolate Land where the weather is pleasant all year around. Here are a few pictures of fun in Chocolate Land:”


Some Things More Serious:

1. “So, we have an Excessive Heat Warning here.  It’s been something we’ve been bracing for since Thursday.  Currently, it’s in 83 degrees, but feels like 91 and it isn’t even 8 AM.  I have a friend’s daughter’s birthday to go to this afternoon, so I’m staying inside since it’s a pool party.  Might not be outside that much.  The ex-wife is supposed to swing by the party with our son since he hasn’t seen my high school friends in a while.  We’re going to see how this all goes.  Seems she wasn’t sure if I told my friends about the divorce too, which had me scratching my head.  I’ve known these guys for decades, so I’d tell them pretty quickly.

I will say that it’s still awkward being around couples, especially those with kids.  I feel like an extra wheel and can’t always join in parts of conversations.  Hard to share family plans when you only see your kid every other weekend and briefly throughout the week.  It isn’t the custody plan that does this as much as the summer job.  Yeah, we’re going to do a segue here.”


3. “Art is one of the most important game changers and is a reflection of our creativity in human life. In my own life, Salvador Dali is the artist who made me wonder more about ourselves and the World we live in. The first time I saw his paintings, I was so young. I can still remember how much I was impressed and amused by his way of expressing the concepts in his mind. I wondered about the secrets of his magical works. “What kind of a mind could ever express such ideas in the way he did?” was the question in my young and naive mind.

Naturally, I wanted to learn more about him and his creativity. The more I found out about him, the more I wanted to learn about creativity and connecting concepts. My research took me to these quotes, one by great Scottish philosopher Hume, the other one is one of the well-known psychiatrists, Arieti:”

5. “It’s become increasingly obvious that the fate of the world is keeping me from completing my current work in progress. Every day I try to concentrate, then a crisis distracts my attention and mires me in a variety of fears, insecurity, and shock. Where I used to worry about what my main character would do next or what I’d make for dinner, now I worry about the survival of our people from the cold and hot realities of life on this planet, children I don’t know and never will, and the threat of another foolish and unnecessary war.” 



Teaser Fiction & Poetry:




4. “Saturday again and first, an apology: I missed last Saturday’s instalment of The Photograph. My life is, apparently, a lot more complicated than I already thought it was!

Last time, our main man, BIFF KELLER, was recounting the moment the true power of the photograph was explained to him by his missing friend, THORLEY LANGDON.

You can read the first part HERE, or the most recent part HERE. On to today’s FINAL episode…”




Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “I’m still reading the nominated works for this year’s Hugo Awards. It’s just that challenges and readathons took preference recently. I won’t be able to finish all the books I intended to read in time but then again, I knew that going in. I have read all of the Lodestar nominees except for one. My top spot was clear very early on and hasn’t changed after catching up on the other nominees.”

2. “Why do we love fairy tales? Some say they embody universal tropes that pass along the traditions of social messaging. Watch out for those who are different. Fear the unknown. Obey your mother, or the big bad wolf will eat you. Use good manners and be polite, and a fairy (or a prince or an enchanted frog) will rescue you.”


4. “Publication day has arrived – 22nd June –  for The Magic CarpetThe ebook is £2.99 and the paperback is £9.99 and they are both available here. I’ve said a lot about the book in previous posts already, and if anyone asks I’ll write some reading group questions too.

So why am I feeling diffident? I should be saying: Roll up! Roll up! Your lives will be incomplete if you don’t read this wonderful book! Quit your jobs now, stop packing those holiday cases, stop pulling those weeds, forget the shopping and READ IT! I should be PASSIONATE (a word the book trade uses a lot).”


6. “Last week was a good week.  I finished my edits and sent Book 3 to an author who generously offered to blurb it (and also recruited a friend to give one!).  Thanks to a good friend, I took care of a plot hole discovered by my editor, so that was also a huge relief – after a big moment of panic.

Speaking of Book 3, I mentioned last week I’d decided on a title.  A friend and I brainstormed ideas while driving to Memphis, then my editor mentioned some ideas which also incorporated what my friend and I had come up with, so it seemed like fate.  Without further ado, I present to you the long-awaited title of Book 3:”


8 thoughts on “Seven Links 7/27/19 Traci Kenworth

  1. Some lovely posts, Traci. I particularly enjoyed the one about audio books as I am thinking of having Through the Nethergate made into an audio book. It was a lovely surprise to see my post for Sally’s sense of pain series here. Thank you for sharing.


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