My original links for this week were lost by Overdrive. It was my first and last time trying it.
1. https://kriswrites.com/2019/08/14/business-musings-expect-success/ “I’ve been doing a series on licensing for writers, which is subtitled “Rethinking the Writing Business.” Normally, I would put this particular blog as Part 8 of the series, but I’m afraid that would prevent a number of people from reading the post. And I think all writers need to read this blog post, whether they’ve read the previous licensing posts or not.
Initially, I got the idea for this post last year, when I was reading Emilio Estefan’s book, The Rhythm of Success. (Please note I use Amazon links, not for any particular political reason, but because I’m lazy.) You might know of Emilio Estefan as a member of Miami Sound Machine or Gloria Estefan’s husband. But he’s an international businessman whose work crosses a number of industries, from the restaurant industry to the hotel industry to the music industry to the television industry. He moved to the U.S. with no money and is now worth at least $500 million. (That number has remained the same since 2015, which tells me that the sites that compile celebrity net worth can’t penetrate all of his businesses to see exactly how much he’s worth. I’m not even bothering with a link. Google it yourself.)
His entire book, written in 2010, focuses on his personal life with an eye toward the attitudes that made him successful.
Those attitudes were the key. No matter who tried to stop him, he barreled forward, making sure that he achieved whatever goal he set his mind to.
For his entire life, he has expected success. Because he works toward it.”
2. https://stevelaube.com/immediate-distractions/ “Everyone loves being an author. Talented authors relish the process from the first twinkle of an idea to thinking about characters to plopping them into impossible situations. Or for the nonfiction author, the challenge of imparting knowledge that will help others is fulfilling. When I was writing books for publication, time dissolved as I typed away.
Despite my joy in writing, some afternoons dragged as I struggled with getting characters from Point A to Point B; or my plot didn’t work as well on paper as it did when I was musing about it earlier; or … fill in your struggle.”
3. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2019/08/writers-remember-the-wand-chooses-the-wizard/ “When we choose a writing career, naturally we want to find our footing quickly. But this can cause us to pay too much attention to what other authors are doing in hopes of finding the magic of success. Michelle Barker is here to remind us why looking within is actually the key, so please read on!
When I first started writing, I was fresh out of university with a degree in English literature. I was determined to be a literary writer. To me, this was what being a writer meant. Never mind writing about the things that suited my personality. I would write big important novels for adults, and short stories with lots of sentence fragments. And never mind finding my own voice; I wanted to sound like Margaret Atwood.”
5. https://megdowell.com/2019/08/14/writing-is-a-performance-and-the-show-must-go-on/ “Even if you’d rather go to the dentist every day for the rest of your life than listen to even three minutes of electric violin music, it’s hard to deny that Lindsey Stirling’s rise to stardom is one of the most inspirational modern success stories a creator can draw positive energy from.
I’ll admit, I’m a long-time fan and probably one hundred percent biased here. But you can’t watch Lindsey’s America’s final Got Talent performance, listen to the judges pretty much tell her she doesn’t belong on stage, and look at how far she has come thinking, “Eh. So what?”
I could write an entire series of posts on what writers can learn from her story. But for now I want to talk about Lindsey Stirling as a performer — particularly, why she didn’t quit her national tour after finding out her dad wasn’t going to survive his cancer diagnosis.”
6. https://ryanlanz.com/2019/08/14/the-dos-and-donts-of-dialogue-tags/ “Writers use dialogue tags constantly. In fact, we use them so often that readers all but gloss over them. They should be invisible. However, there are ways to misuse them and make them stand out.
In an effort to avoid that, let’s take a closer look at dialogue tags. Toward the end of “Tag travesties” is something I sorely wish someone had told me before I started writing.”
7. https://barbtaub.com/2019/08/14/want-to-write-a-blockbuster-novel-humor-writing-bookreviews/ “In his book, Writing the Blockbuster Novel (Writer’s Digest books, 1994) Altert Zuckerman lists the blockbuster’s two essential elements:
- The writing. Blockbuster novels need larger-than-life characters, a dramatic question, an exotic setting, and high stakes.
- The $500,000 advance. Blockbuster novelists need LARGE checks.
Since my life as a #1 has given rise to my need for #2, I’ve decided to write a blockbuster best seller. While some critics feel the public demands originality, others believe that authors should only write about extraordinary events they have personally experienced. However, this approach does not explain the continued success of popular fiction authors such as Robert Ludlum (who has published an impressive 31 books since his death in 2001), the Victoria’s Secret Catalog, Sean Hannity, or Donald Trump.”
Research & Some Fun Bits:
1. https://pitchwars.org/pitch-wars-success-story-with-samantha-rajaram-and-her-mentor-carrie-callaghan/ “We’re back with another Pitch Wars Success Story! Please join us in congratulating and celebrating Samantha Rajaram and her mentor, Carrie Callaghan! Samantha signed with Carrie Pestritto at the Laura Dail Literary Agency. We’re so excited for them!
Samanta, tell us about the revision process during Pitch Wars.
It was intense! Carrie was so on top of it and gave me my edit letter well ahead of the deadline, which was such an act of generosity given my hectic schedule. I woke up every day at 3 or 4AM to work on my revisions during that 10-week period. My rewrite wasn’t as extensive as others’ I’ve heard from, but I ended up creating a new character, reading two books (about scurvy!), and creating some needed subplots.”
4. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2019/08/14/a-childrens-picture-book-literary-tasting/ “I am over at Writing to be read today with a children’s picture book literary tasting. I would love to know what your favourite children’s books are and what you think of my choices. Thank you Kaye Lynne Booth for hosting me.”
6. https://legendsofwindemere.com/2019/08/14/is-reading-still-popular/ “Anybody remember the phrase ‘Reading is Fundamental’? First, I didn’t realize it was a nonprofit child literacy organization founded in 1966. Thought it was saying used in Public Service Announcements. In fact, I used to think it was connected to this blast from the past:”
7. https://jessicabakkers.com/2019/08/14/small-progress/ “Some small progress made today. I edited another 10 chapters in my WIP (Guns of Perdition) and am now over half-way through what I consider to be my final edit. I’m amending some plot points found by dear beta readers, fixing grammar, and tightening, tightening, tightening.
I estimate it’ll be another two to three weeks before I’m satisfied with the state of Guns… and then I have to decide what to do. I’m leaning towards submitting Guns to a few shortlisted publishers and agents, meanwhile continuing to write Book II. If I get a nibble, all well and good. If I don’t, then I’ll consider self-publishing Guns AND I’ll have Book II done or well on the way to being done.”
Some Things More Serious:
1. https://lithub.com/the-theranos-effect-when-cutting-edge-scientists-are-frauds/ “On August 5th, 2014, the Japanese biologist Yoshiki Sasai hanged himself in the offices of the Riken Institute’s Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, a research center for which he served as associate director. While the content of several letters found among his belongings has not been made public, it is known that at least one letter was addressed to Haruko Obokata, a young researcher whose work Sasai supervised. Eight months earlier, Obokata had been the first author of two articles published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature.
The experimental results described in these articles seemed breathtaking. For over 15 years, biologists around the world had been fascinated with stem cells, a type of cell that can both divide indefinitely and differentiate into any kind of cell found in the human body. The ability to culture stem cells would enable a form of regenerative medicine in which tissues damaged by disease would be replaced by these therapeutic cells. Unfortunately, the isolation and culture of stem cells remains complex, and control of their differentiation is still rudimentary. Yet in the January 30th, 2014, issue of Nature, 32-year-old Obokata and her 13 coauthors announced that they had discovered a disarmingly simple method of transforming an adult lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) into a pluripotent stem cell—in other words, a cell capable of differentiating into countless types of cells.”
5. https://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/2019/08/14/how-to-get-universal/ “Hello SErs, Harmony here A while ago, I tried using universal links to take interested folks to my books’ sales pages … the links didn’t work. So, I gave it up as a bad job.
Recently, an author on Twitter told me off for not using universal links. Duly chastised, I took another look. It seems that this capability has progressed a lot since the bad old days, lol. And still, it worried me to try it. Before I did anything, I made sure to research the heck out of it.”
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:
“What happens when a kept woman refuses to take her ridatemp and begins
thinking for herself? In If Nothing Else, Eve, We’ve Enjoyed the
Fruit; she begins talking to bunches of grapes and cantaloupe that
convince her to commit murder. Through her visitations with fruit,
the woman learns that a gender war can be reversed by traveling back
in time and eradicating the Tree of Knowledge and its villainous
apples. The fruit persuade her by telling her four other stories:
Boys Will be Boys:
A spa is turned into a concentration camp:
just don’t ride the elevators!
Ripped to Shreds:
Pregnant Jody Burkhoff’s body is changing rapidly, but not as quickly
as the lupine metamorphosis of her husband. First the neighborhood
animals are mutilated, then the neighbors are viciously murdered.
Which proves to be more dangerous, a monstrous creature or a hormonal
Khaki Barlow enters a pageant in which only one woman survives. She
must complete tasks that are both mentally and physically daunting,
all while trying to learn the meaning of the words left by the
eliminated: I am here. Does she face incredible fears? Does a
one-legged duck swim in a circle?
The Prison of a Man:
Told as an ethnographical project, Lara Thomas researches the deaths
of shoppers at a mall embedded in a small town, and encounters the
legendary Goat Man.
If Nothing Else (Prologue):
Readers learn the final decision in the gender war.”
2. https://phsolomon.com/2019/08/15/fun-friday-vol-4-what-got-cut-excerpt-from-the-goddess-veil/ “Today, I thought it would be a bit fun to share a small bit that was cut from The Bow of Hart Saga. It was meant for a sub-plot that ran parallel to the main story but in a different part of Denaria – which doesn’t even appear on the maps in the book. However, all of this sub-plot was cut to create a simpler plot that was less confusing.
However, I have so much written it seems a waste not to use it at all so I’m seriously considering the publication of this material as a novella series or a single book. Here’s a short portion of what I wrote about a character named Sramsurash who is a monk who’s done something quite rash. He’s now thinking back over what he’s done which is what this scene describes. Read on and I’ll share more of why this was cut at the end:”
3. https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/just-when-you-thought-it-was-safe-here-comes-hillbilly-horror/ “The scene is so familiar. A group of friends headed out to the great outdoors, all staying in a cabin in the woods. As diverse a group as you’d find, each with their own quirks and agendas. There’s camaraderie, romance, one-upmanship, and tension, especially sexual tension. Yet, something feels a little … off. One of the group senses that they are not alone, and this fear spreads. Is there someone else out there, hiding in the trees, staying close to the shadows, lurking in the dark, waiting for the prefect time to strike? There are tales of strange people who make these woods their home, how they have weird customs that don’t fit in with the rest of the “civilized” world. That guy who worked at the gas station along the way sure was strange. And those meats under the glass at the counter, surely that was just road-kill, right?
Springing from the Southern Gothic, Hillbilly Horror is a massive trope within horror, and one that is often misused and abused, even with the best intentions. Mark Twain probably helped this genre come about, but early literature has examples from Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft (‘The Call of Cthulhu’ is but one example among many), the work of William Faulkner with his weird characters and macabre undertones, and of course, the queen of Southern Gothic, Flannery O’Connor, whose work literally oozes with the trope. The hillbilly aspect doesn’t necessarily have to be set in the south, as there are rural areas in every state and country throughout the world. With a few exceptions, most of these writers barely dabbled with horror, but yet it permeates the work through and through with a mastery of tone and atmosphere, so much so that you wouldn’t be surprised to read of ghosts or other supernatural entities within the pages. In fact, it would be welcomed with open arms.”
4. https://teripolen.com/2019/08/14/www-wednesday-what-am-i-reading-amreading-31/ “If you know me, what I’m currently reading may surprise you. I’ve read nearly all of D.G. Driver’s novels (she’s practically a neighbor, living in Nashville). All the Love YouWrite is the continuation of a novella (here) I read by this author a few years ago. The interfering ghosts mentioned in the description are Mark’s grandparents who left behind love notes they’d written to each other while his grandfather served in the Vietnam war. I challenge you to read this and not have every heartstring you possess tugged on. Such a sweet, heartwarming story.”