Five Links 8/16/19 Loleta Abi


Five Links…8/16/19

Loleta Abi

My original links for this week were lost by Overdrive. I will never use this app again. I tried it for the first time and lost three files.


1. “Blogging consistently for days and years takes its toll. The mind struggles to generate ideas strong enough to keep the blog fresh. Over time, even a well-intentioned blogger who makes a fair effort to achieve success will fall prey to this strain.

Call it laziness, call it writer’s block, call it the demise of the artist or whatever you want really. The outcome is the same… A blog in severe decline.

There’s nothing more drabby than an unloved blog. If an audience ever arrives at such a display of neglect, which they probably won’t, they’ll immediately get the impression that the individual behind the blog will be equally inattentive to their needs.

If the blog is well maintained and full of original, fresh, and inspiring content, then you will benefit from increased traffic, revenue, and sales, if that is…”

2. “When your book is published, you are a public persona. You suddenly have fans, and people from all over contact you. Your publisher expects you to put yourself out there as much as possible on the Internet and through speaking engagements and book signings.

You might also end up with a group of people who dislike you or your book. Most of the time these people limit themselves to negative reviews or pointed emails, but a person might try something more personal. Being an author could make you a target for identity theft. You can protect yourself and your family by following these simple steps.

1) Get a P.O. Box. This will keep readers–friendly or not–from showing up at your front door, and it will give individuals a way to contact you that isn’t your home address. Making your home address readily available allows anyone to see what your home looks like through Google Maps, and everyone can access basic details about your house’s value of your home. Often they can see photos of your house through old real estate postings. Best to keep this information as private as you can by obtaining a P.O. Box and only sharing general information about where you live. Some authors don’t give their hometown in their bios but simply name the state they live in.” This is another reason I have a P.O. Box and don’t name my city.

3. gripping courtroom drama, perfect for fans of Anatomy of a Scandal, He Said/She Said and Apple Tree Yard.

The victim: A sixteen-year-old girl with facial deformities who accuses four classmates of something unthinkable.

The defendants: Four handsome teenage boys from hard-working immigrant families, all with corroborating stories.

Whose side will you take?

Former barrister Zara Kaleel, one of London’s brightest young legal minds, takes up Jodie Wolfe’s case; she believes her, even if those close to Jodie do not. Together they enter the most explosive criminal trial of the year in which ugly divisions within British society are exposed. As everything around Zara begins to unravel, she grows even more determined to get justice for Jodie. But at what cost?

4. “Conflict is EVERYTHING in writing a fictional story. As they say–no conflict, no story. An example might be the difference between describing what happened in your average day (blow by tedious blow) versus sharing the same story but with a driving conflict that smacked you in the face and you had to deal with an escalating problem. A life altering conflict–such as a weird neighbor moving next door or the water that supplies your city suddenly turns into poison.”

5. “In keeping with this month’s theme of “new tricks” for writers, I decided I’d write a bit about how the Internet has changed things for those of us who ply our trade with words. Not that it is all that new for young writers who’ve grown up with the internet, but there are a few dinosaurs around, as Linda Lane mentioned in her post on August 12. And there are writers in between the dinosaur stage and those who perhaps learned how to get on the Web before they learned to walk.”

Research & Fun Facts:

1. “There is a big change coming to Facebook Ads which could have a profound effect on the performance of all new and existing campaigns from next month onward. You need to start getting your head around this now as the change is quite unpopular and the workarounds are all a bit… fiddly.

The new feature Facebook is rolling out is called Campaign Budget Optimization. You might have seen it in your account already. It’s billed as a quality-of-life improvement, allowing you to simply nominate a budget for the campaign – and then hand the reins over to Facebook’s friendly neighborhood AI, which will determine how it should be spent. And if you like the sound of that, you trust Facebook’s system a lot more than me.

Campaign Budget Optimization has been available as an optional feature for several months now so lots of people have been experimenting with it and sharing data – which we’ll get to. The big change is this: from next month, it will start being compulsory.*

2. “As writers, we all take wrong turns sometimes. That fact holds true no matter how much experience we gain.

We might draft a scene one way, only to get stuck and need to start over. We might draft the beginning and then abandon a new story idea that isn’t as strong as we hoped. We might try one agent or editor or publisher, and then figure out they weren’t quite what we were looking for in a publishing partner.

Once we’re published, we might take wrong turns on marketing and advertising strategies with attempts that don’t capture potential readers’ interest. We might relaunch a series with new covers and blurbs, only for the rebranding to result in sales even worse than before. We might pivot to a different genre or series premise that doesn’t pan out. And so on.

Those wrong turns happen to everyone and to every organization. So mistakes are not a reflection on us or our choices.”

3. “I’m fast approaching a time where new fiction has to take a back seat to promotion. I always try to target the Halloween season, so this may seem weird to see in August. It really does no good to release a book on Halloween. The season is over, and there isn’t enough time for people to find it for their seasonal enjoyment. My goal is to have the new book out in mid September, thus a few advance teasers.

Here’s how they work. Look at the graphic. Listen to the music (It’s pretty awesome stuff), then ponder what the heck I’m up to now. If I can schedule this correctly, it will lead up to a cover reveal and a shiny new book. I’ll try to run one of these out every week. Feel free to ponder in the comments.

You collectors are welcome to snag the new Lisa Burton posters along the way. They make great Pinterest pins.”

4. “Hey, y’all. Yes, I’ve gone from rarely blogging to a regular schedule. I had planned to leave Thursdays open, but yesterday an idea came to mind – Thursday Thoughts. I don’t know if I’ll write these each week, but I do plan to have a Thursday post at least a couple of times per month.

The idea behind the post is random thoughts about something that caught my attention during the week. They may or may not pertain to writing. I hope you will enjoy them.”

5. “The stones of Callanish were still busy. We were going to need supplies… and still needed to refuel the car and pump up the dratted tyre yet again. We thought it was time to leave the stones behind and drive into Stornoway, the largest town on the island, to do the needful. The trouble was, we would have to pass a couple of sites on the way…and it would take a fair bit of discipline to simply drive past without stopping.”

Some More Serious Things:

1. “The year I ended my marriage, I took my two small children on a 1,148.3 mile road trip from Iowa to Utah to find total darkness.

I’d heard a story about darkness on the radio. It was endangered. Light pollution from cities had made it hard for people to find darkness. And in losing the darkness we were losing the stars. I became obsessed with the night that year. I read creation myths about how heaven and earth were once one, only to be torn apart in a violent rending. In a Maori myth, both the heavens and earth, now ripped apart, ask why they have been murdered. In almost every story, life begins in darkness. It’s light that must be called into being.

Light pollution is harming nocturnal ecology—making it easier for predators to find their prey, harder for prey to stay alive in the night. I learn, sitting at night alone in my house, with only the glow of my phone in front of me, that baby sea turtles rely on the light of the horizon to find their way to the ocean, but are easily lead astray by the brilliance of the cities that surround the shore. In Florida, millions of baby sea turtles are lured away from the ocean to their death by artificial light.” How sad, the poor turtles.

2. “It is the spring of 1943.

In the photograph, Daniel is seated outside. Behind him, the limbs and leaves of trees are outlined in mottled black and white. His face is turned three‑quarters away from the camera, his dark hair swept back. Daniel is dressed in a white button‑down shirt here, a jaunty striped tie loosely knotted at the neck. Over his shirt, he wears a dark sweater that’s been patched with incongruously bright thread near the shoulder. His glasses are round, dark circles, the lenses thick enough to magnify forward the dappled light of the trees. Someone just out of the frame—a woman—rests a hand on his back.

He smiles softly.

Daniel has one of those puzzling faces, truth be told. In nearly every one of the few photographs I’ve seen of him, he looks like a slightly different person. Yes, there is always the dark hair and the curly big ears. There is always the full mouth, and a wistfulness behind the eyes. But if you hold the photographs up close, if you really examine them, you see many tiny worlds, all different, in that one face. And then, if you pull the photographs back and squint, the aggregate alternates between soft and hard, bright and blank, lovely and unlovely.”

3. “My mom handed me the book without instructions. She was a children’s librarian, and was always handing me books. This one was different only in that I had seen her with it before—curled up on the sofa, with a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. This book had a purple cover with a man snaking his way around a woman. They looked old, or of a different time. She gave it to me and said, It’s kind of a Cinderella story.

I nodded seriously and took it upstairs, to my room. I read it lying down and as things heated up, so did I. I took off my clothes slowly and then quickly and I didn’t know what to do so I laid on my stomach and I moved when they moved. I was eleven and I was finally getting off.

These books are all about build-up; they’re all about softness. When the two main characters slept together—finally, finally, finally—I lost my mind. I knew about sex in a vague way, and it had been described to me—but no one had it laid out like this, like it could be magic. So, despite not knowing what a duke even was, I was hooked.”

4. “It’s only after having completed two novels, The Lodger and The Dragon Lady, that I realize a pattern is emerging. I am drawn to writing about strong women who refused to conform and who struggled to find their place in the world; women who were groundbreakers and pioneers. What follows is a selection of my personal favorite boundary-breaking women in fiction. It could have been much longer—in the end, I limited myself to ten.”


Teaser Fiction & Poetry:






Book Reviews, Cover Reveals & Author Interviews:

1. “Katie Manning was a beloved child star until her mid-teens when her manager attacked and permanently scarred her face, effectively ending her career and sending her on a path of all-too-familiar post-Hollywood self-destruction.

Now twenty-seven, Katie wants a better answer to those clickbait “Where Are They Now?” articles that float around online. An answer she hopes to find when her brother’s too-good-to-be-true fiancée invites her to a wellness retreat upstate. Together with Katie’s two best friends – one struggling with crippling debt and family obligations, one running away from a failed job and relationship – Katie will try to find the inner peace promised at the tranquil retreat. But finding oneself just might drudge up more memories than Katie is prepared to deal with.

Each woman has come to the retreat for different reasons. Each has her secrets to hide. And at the end of this weekend, only one will be left standing.”

2. “Hello everyone! This week I’m thrilled to bring you one of my favorite award winning authors, Vashti Quiroz-Vega. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE which she did. But stayed tuned… Vashti and I have a candid discussion behind some of the themes she explores in her books!

I love Vashti’s writing and believe me, I know what I’m talking about! I’ve read and reviewed, The Fall of Lilith. Read my review HERE. I’ve also read and reviewed, Son of the Serpent. Read that review HERE.

Please meet my guest author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, who is also an accomplished poet.”

3. “The self-edit can be daunting. But it doesn’t need to be. Just like drafting, it’s another process, another part of the journey to publication. And one that is vitally important if you want to get the best product you can on the market.

This is a short post, one to recommend my friend the author and writing teacher, Joan Dempsey has launched an online master class on self-editing, which is open now and immediately available as soon as you enroll.”



5 responses to “Five Links 8/16/19 Loleta Abi”

  1. Thank you for the link back! 🥰

    1. You’re welcome, Colleen!

  2. Thanks for the roundup of reads and information, Traci! Nice to see a link to the Poisoned Apples of Carrot Ranch.

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