Five Links 7/5/2020 Traci Kenworth

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Five Links 7/4/2020

Traci Kenworth


1. “Throughout my career, when I’ve spoken at conferences, conventions, and other book events, I’ve been asked for my single biggest piece of advice for new authors wanting to hone their craft. I can’t take credit for this advice. It’s as old as the written word, I think. And Stephen King famously cites this advice in The Bible for fiction writers: On Writing.

But there’s no avoiding the plain, simple truth that the absolute best way to learn the craft of writing and how to properly write fiction is to read, read, read.

Read as much as you can, especially in your chosen genre. See how the “experts” do it. See how those who have figured out the secret to becoming a successful author write their books.

I take this advice a step further when working with my coaching and editing clients. Often, their “homework” assignment is to choose a book by an author they look up to and want to emulate (not copy) and read it.” I started by reading everything I could by my favorite authors and trying to figure out how they brought the story across. I still do this.

2. “Not all writers are people-pleasers. Yet we all have to do everything we can to satisfy our audiences (real or imagined) all the same.

Many writers, however, also live with the general desire to make everyone they interact with happy. It’s impossible, of course. We know this. That doesn’t stop the urgency. The never-ending quest for perfection. The irrational hope that everyone will always like everything we do.

Or publish.

You’ve likely heard before that trying to please everyone as a writer is a direct line to years of misery, disappointment, and — probably — failure.

All that’s 100% true, don’t get me wrong.

But has anyone ever actually told you how the HECK you’re supposed to keep writing when you know for a fact some people aren’t going to like it?” I think we keep writing for ourselves as we began writing for ourselves and hope our readers will follow.

3. “A writer friend recently messaged me with a few questions about agents and publishers and stuff. The “and stuff” is my locution, not hers. So I thought for the benefit or outrage of all, I’d answer her in this space. See how generous I am? No? Okay, be that way. Here goes:

I am curious about using literary agents vs. working with a publisher without agent representation. . . . I’ve noticed that some writers do have representation, yet their book hasn’t sold to a publisher yet. In some situations, the author has been represented for a year or more and the agent is still shopping their manuscript. I’m wondering, how does the agent help to promote the author’s work to ignite publisher interest?

This question (and those that follow) are sort of what we bigwigs call “asking a barber if you need a haircut.” As an agent, of course, I think agents are pretty great. So, keep that in mind, as I answer. First, a year in this business is not a long time. I’ve had clients who’ve gotten an offer 10, 11, or 12 months after submission. I’ve also had clients who, a year after submission, have a new project ready for submission.”

4. “It can feel extremely discouraging when you aren’t writing as much as you want to be. You might be in a pretty dark place, wondering if writing is even the thing you’re supposed to be doing. If you’re even good at it, or if you ever will be. Having stopped, you might seriously consider never going back. Would it really be the end of the world if you chose a different path?

A creatively inclined human being faces many challenges throughout their life. Not writing when you wish you wanted to want to write is one of many of those. But it’s a tough one. Believe it or not, you’re not always in control of it. Sometimes there are factors standing in your way that you can do little to nothing about, and the result is that you want to write. But you aren’t. You … can’t.

Does this mean you’re a failure? A disappointment? A lost cause?” No. You just need time.

5. “I couldn’t write.

Well, I COULD. I had to — I didn’t have a choice.

But coming up with ideas? Enjoying the process? Nope. I wanted nothing to do with it.

It had been weeks. And I just couldn’t get it together.

I just kept asking myself over and over: “What is wrong with you?”

And then it hit me.

NO ONE is particularly OK right now.

The world is on fire.”

Research & Fun Tidbits:

1. “We took to the backroads again, nodding to Drake’s statue as we passed through Tavistock once more, climbing up towards Dartmoor. On our way south, the mists had closed around us completely and we had seen little more of the wild beauty of the moors than the first few yards and the tarmac in front of the car. This time, the skies were clear, and the few miles over the moor looked like taking a while, as I could not resist stopping at almost every possible place.”



4. “Most bloggers struggle with getting their writing done for one surprising reason: they approach writing as the act of creating something out of nothing. It’s the main reason you want to bash your head against the keyboard.

In fact, writing the damn thing should be the easiest part of content creation.

Once I realized that you can’t create something out of nothing, I could wake up at 5 AM, have a sip of coffee, and sit down to punch those damn keys until my hands hurt.

No more time wasted staring stupidly into the abyss of a blank document, no more cursing that blinking cursor thing.”


Some Things More Serious:

1. “What would you do if a beloved book, rich in meaning and literature, were to be banned, gone forever? Would you vow to memorize the book in order to save it? I would. When Charles French, a professor of English Literature, formed a society at Lehigh University in his English 2 class for the purpose of appreciating all books – especially those that have been banned over the years – I knew this was more than a brilliant idea. Much like the storyline in Fahrenheit 451, the members of the U.L.S. (Underground Library Society) pick a book to save, if books were banned.”


3. “Thank you to the amazing Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord blog for hosting me with a post about the importance of a good book cover. Sally has wonderful books with smashing covers which you can find here:

4. “So you want to write for magazines and websites…great! Writing articles can be an excellent way for authors to promote their work, build a platform, hone their skills, and get paid. How do you start? With a pitch, of course. But how do you make sure your pitches will land the way you want them to? Allow me to share with you some of the wisdom I have gleaned from over twenty years working in media and publishing, most recently as Editor-in-Chief of Writer’s Digest magazine.

After so much time on both sides of the editor’s desk—as a full-time freelancer, and as an acquiring editor – I’m confident I’ve seen the best pitches, and the worst ones. I’ve sent out both kinds of pitches in my own career too!”

5. “Please pardon my absence over the last two weeks. I have missed visiting your blogs and sharing on my own. I will be back online next week and look forward to catching up. A special thanks to my Story Empire colleagues for covering comments on my post last week while I was engaged elsewhere.

For those in the U.S., I wish you a happy Fourth of July weekend ahead. May it be filled with family, friends, and good times! And to all my friends, regardless where you are located, happy writing and reading. May the muse be kind, and your summer (or winter) filled with excellent books. Chat soonest!”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:






Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “The fondant cat parade tells the story in limericks of Dinah the Kitten, daughter of Daddy Grey and Mommy Cat, who likes to sleep and escape to Wonderland in her dreams. While in Wonderland, Dinah meets a variety of brightly coloured and fun fantasy kittens. The fondant cat parade illustrates some of the wonderful fondant art that appears in all the Sir Chocolate books.” Robbie has helped and supported me through many of my blogging posts. She always does incredible fondant creations. Her writing is incredible as well. If you’re looking for some gems for your children, try her books.

2. “I’m pleased to announce that my YA Fantasy The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone will be on free promotion for three days from 30th June!!!

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger. With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.”

3. “Knucklehead Fred is a whimsical, rhyming story about a fun-loving, energetic boy named Fred.

His parents just can’t figure out how to make him sit still and listen!

But when Fred finds himself in need of a favor, Mom and Dad use it as a perfect opportunity to teach him a thing or two about responsibility.”

4. “I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.”

5.“Before being born I was on a spaceship waiting to go down”.

Wait! I’m not crazy, I swear!

Let me introduce myself…

My name is Anna, but almost since I was a little kid everyone has always called me “Annina,” and not because I’m so short, but because in Italian it’s also an affectionate diminutive to indicate that you’re the youngest in the family or group of friends. I was born and grew up in Milan, Italy, where I still live with my two marvelous beagles, and I have been writing since forever.”

Bestselling in Appliances. Portable Ice Making Machine. Chest Freezer. Portable Mini Washing Machine. Countertop Ice Making Machine. Range Hood Insert. Freezer Basket. Ice Cleaner.

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