Five Links 8/2/19 Loleta Abi


Five Links…8/2/19

Loleta Abi


1. ’em the old razzle dazzle

Razzle dazzle ’em

Give ’em an act with lots of flash in it

And the reaction will be passionate

What works on Broadway in the hit musical, Chicago, also works for selling a book because you do want a reaction that will be passionate.

Don’t you?” These are some great ideas on how to shorten your pitch. Less is more.

2. “Since 2012, the year I began working exclusively with self-publishers, I’ve helped more than 100 authors create self-publishing imprints. Some of these were formed as corporations and LLCs, but most were in name only. The common thread between all of them—one of the earliest decisions made—was to choose a name under which to buy an ISBN, short for International Standard Book Number, a unique number assigned to every published book.

Early in the ebook revolution Amazon declared ebooks did not need an ISBN. Much to the consternation of Bowker (the official U.S. issuer of ISBNs), and the publishing industry itself, ebook self-publishing platforms had no choice but to follow Amazon’s lead. Even Apple, which launched iBooks by requiring an ISBN for ebooks, was forced to abandon its position.”

3. “I was sixteen years old when my first poem was published in The Commercial Appeal, a newspaper in Memphis. TN. The poem, titled “Souvenir” was about the Vietnam War. The year was 1969 and I was in the eleventh grade. I have been writing ever since. I was blessed to have a high school English teacher who recognized my writing ability and encouraged me, and an English professor in college who did the same. The most meaningful advice I have ever received was from a Cherokee elder. When she complimented me on taking the path of being a writer, I complained about how hard it could be. To which she replied, “MarJo, life is hard anyway, so you might as well do what you love.” I LOVE what the Cherokee elder told her about life being hard so she might as well do something she loved to do. Writing has been that for me.

4. are only two or three human stories, but they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they never happened.–Willa Cather

The many different approaches to story theory break down the number of “human stories” into different categories. Perhaps there are just two—comedy and tragedy. Perhaps there are Vonnegut’s eight “shapes.” Today, I’m going to argue for five—the five basic types of character arc.”

5. “It’s not called “science” and it’s not called “fiction.” It’s called “science fiction,” and that means that if an author is going to successfully wade into those waters, it requires a balancing act.

Readers of science fiction are generally sophisticated. Reading science fiction isn’t easy reading. A reader needs to think and to concentrate. Science fiction places demands on a reader. That’s why it’s not the most popular genre—romance novels are. You don’t have to think or concentrate when you read a romance novel. But you do when you read science fiction. And science-fiction readers have real standards that they’ve developed by reading the great writers who developed the genre—and also by seeing countless good quality science-fiction movies and television programs.”

Research & Fun Tidbits:


2. “Publicity is the art of telling the world about you and your book. We recently received a few questions about publicity.

1. When should a writer hire a publicist?
I think an author should wait to see what their publisher will provide in this area. If you do hire a publicist, make sure they coordinate with your publisher so as to not duplicate efforts. (Don’t aggravate your local TV station with multiple PR contacts.)

But the question was “when” not “should.” So let me reanswer.”

3. “A few regular readers of TKZ requested tips to help research criminal cases from the past. If the crime occurred in the 18th or early 19th century, the task becomes much more difficult. My hope is that these tips will aid you in finding reliable information.

Let’s say you only have a name, place, and approximate year for your victim or killer. The first logical step is to conduct a Google search to see what’s available online. Someone must have written about the case, right? Well, not necessarily. Sometimes you get lucky and find a couple articles, other times … *crickets* Which I happen to like, because it means the industry isn’t saturated with books on the same topic. But it’s also harder to find what we need. Not impossible; we just need to think like an investigator.”

4. “How does a book get written?

How does a story get old?

It turns out writing is, when you get down to the most basic elements of it, nothing more than composing a single word, followed by another word, followed again by another word.

Is it more complicated than that, when you pull back and really look at the order and structure and meaning of the sequence of words on the page? Of course.

But in the beginning, when all the complexities of crafting a story seem the most overwhelming and intimidating, perhaps the only thing that matters is that you are putting words onto a page.” I agree with this. Sometimes just putting down a few words spurs me into writing an avalanche the following day.


Some Things More Serious:

1. ““The number and intensity of wildfires in the Arctic Circle is unusual and unprecedented,” said Mark Parrington, a scientist at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service in an interview with CNN, “They are concerning as they are occurring in a very remote part of the world, and in an environment that many people would consider to be pristine,”

As many parts of the world are suffering from one of the worst heatwaves on record, the notoriously frosty Arctic is fairing no better. Iceland recently mourned the loss of its first glacier with a plaque, with more planned as we remain on track to lose most glaciers from several continents by the second half of the century. CNN sat down with scientists from CAMS and the Weather Meteorological Organization” I can’t imagine what the future holds for us.



4.“As a writer you should not judge. You should understand,”Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899–July 2, 1961) counseled in his 1935 Esquire compendium of writing advice, addressed to an archetypal young correspondent but based on a real-life encounter that had taken place a year earlier.

In 1934, a 22-year-old aspiring writer named Arnold Samuelson set out to meet his literary hero, hoping to steal a few moments with Hemingway to talk about writing. The son of Norwegian immigrant wheat farmers, he had just completed his coursework in journalism at the University of Minnesota, but had refused to pay the $5 diploma fee. Convinced that his literary education would be best served by apprenticing himself to Hemingway, however briefly, he hitchhiked atop a coal car from Minnesota to Key West.”

5. ““’Oh, look, look!’ They spoke in low, scared voices. ‘Whatever is the matter with her? Why is she so fat?’” Such were the questions whispered by the aging but still slim and beautiful elites in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. They had just encountered Linda, who had recently returned from the Savage Reservation, where she had been sent years earlier to give birth to her son, John. The reasons for their discomfort were understandable. In a society where technology had made it possible to extend youthfulness beyond the biological norm, it stood to reason that they had “never seen a face that was not youthful and taut-skinned, a body that had ceased to be slim and upright.” Older than Linda by roughly 20 years, these “moribund sexagenarians had the appearance of childish girls. At 44, Linda seemed, by contrast, a monster of flaccid and distorted senility.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:






Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “What would you do to pay the bills; to survive, or to just get rich, would
you compete against other teams in a quarantined town filthy with
zombies wanting to bite out your throat?

Emma and Lewis sign up for the race, they need the money to save his life.
But they won’t just be racing the dead, the surprise blizzard or the
other contestants.”

2. lost brother.
An unwilling outlaw.
A rising enemy.
An unusual alliance.”

3. “A hundred years ago, it was the Trial of the Century. A young woman
stood accused of brutally murdering her father and stepmother in a
crime so heinous that it became a benchmark in human tragedy.

A hundred years later, the Lizzie Borden case still resounds in the
imagination. There are those who staunchly defend Lizzie’s
innocence while others vehemently declare that she did it, and that
the murder was justified.

In Elizabeth Engstrom’s brilliant novel, the dark psychology of the
Borden household is laid bare. Lizzie, her sister Emma and their
parents Andrew and Abby Borden, are sharply illuminated—as are the
paranoia and concealed hatred that secretly ruled the family.
Domestic violence and dysfunctional families are not inventions of
modern times.”

4. “I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for Aurora Award–winning author Julie E. Czerneda’s next fantasy book and twentieth published novel, The Gossamer Mage! To celebrate its release on August 6, Penguin Random House is giving away a set of 18 books signed by Julie E. Czerneda—including all nine Clan Chronicles novels and the Species Imperative trilogy—and I have a guest post by her to share with you today!”

5. “Some authors have written stories since they were children. Others take that journey later in life. Robert Wang, entrepreneur and author of The Opium Lord’s Daughter tells his storey of becoming a novelist.


The Making of a First-Time Historical Novelist by Robert Wang

Weaving a fictional storyline into an actual historical event was quite a challenge for me, especially since this was my first attempt, but I think the effort paid off. It took over a year to do my research before writing a single word. I selected historical events (out of thousands of events) that I felt were relevant and easy for someone to digest who was unfamiliar with 19th-century Chinese history relating to the opium trade. I must have read at least 10 books and spoken with historians and scholars, especially when I went to China and visited many historical sites that were involved in the opium war. This trip was made possible through our friend, Dr. Min Zhou, who is a professor of sociol­ogy and Asian American studies and director of the Asia Pacific Center at UCLA.”

3 responses to “Five Links 8/2/19 Loleta Abi”

  1. Thanks for the pingback, Traci!

    1. You’re welcome, Sue! I just discovered this morning while doing character build-ups that this material will come in handy in a future project!

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