Five Links 10/11/19 Loleta Abi


Five Links 10/11/19

Loleta Abi


1. “That wonderful idea was just one of many nuggets I found myself highlighting in what has so far turned out to be my surprise read of the year—noted literary agent Donald Maass’s The Emotional Craft of Fiction.

Like many of you, I cut my teeth on Maass’s now-classic Writing the Breakout Novel, but for whatever reason never followed up with any of his other many writing guides, even though they’re all on my TBR list. Fast-forward sixteen years to when I caught Emotional Craft of Fiction as part of a Kindle sale. I started reading it about a month ago, fully expecting a smart but conventional tome of tips for drawing dimension into characters. I got that, but what I wasn’t expecting was that, non-fiction though it is, this would be one of those books with “intentions.”

2. “At writing conferences and industry events, agents and editors alike are fond of saying you should write what’s in your heart, or what you most want to write. Don’t pay attention to trends or what sells, they say. Write your story, even if it’s out of style.

While that may be sound advice if you’re focused on the creative process, once the writing is done, if you haven’t the faintest clue about your readership, you’ll run in circles trying to market and promote your work. Of course, you can rely on a publisher or a marketing professional to do the work for you, but that can be risky as well as expensive—and not always an option.

Even you didn’t consciously have a reader in mind while writing your book, you’ll have to research or identify one once it’s on the market. But ideally, your concept of your target reader (or to start, the genre you’re working in—which equals a findable audience) should be clear from the start. In my latest column for Publishers Weekly, I discuss: No Clear Readership, No Clear Sales.”

3. ““Being a writer is not just about typing. It’s also about surviving the rollercoaster of the creative journey.” Joanna Penn, The Successful Author Mindset

As writers, we’ve all had those times when we’re procrastinating. Whether it’s because you feel like your creative spark is waning, life is getting in the way of your writing goals, or, if we’re honest, because you’re a little afraid to take the plunge into serious writing.

How do you keep yourself productive when you’re in a creative slump? Sometimes, it’s possible to write your way through it. But other times the best you can do is keep yourself productive in other ways. But how do you know when you’re staying busy, versus when you’re doing busywork?

Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about writer’s block and creativity. With these tips, you’ll be able to keep yourself motivated and inspired, while waiting for that spark to come back.”

4. “WHY do you want to write? Have you ever asked that question? If you have, did you stop to ask it more than once? With all the sacrifice that goes into writing and writing well, finding our WHY is critical if we hope to be successful.

I get it. It’s easy to get so caught up in the zillions of other factors that go into this ‘writing thing.’

In the digital age, there’s so much more authors are responsible for knowing, understanding, doing, and doing well. Things other than ‘the writing’…though the writing should be paramount.

Why do I care about us finding our WHY? Our why is what will keep us going even when we believe we have nothing left to give.

It’s what will keep us pressing when everyone else calls us a fool, and when even WE believe we’re a fool.

Without a WHY, being an author long-term is next to impossible.”

5. “A few months ago, I found myself in an odd situation. My attorney and I were trying to write a contract for something brand new, something we believe has never been done before. We were trying to find the right language to create contract that would cover everything we wanted to do—I wanted to do—on a brand-new project that would go live in November.

The project is what we’re now calling The WMG Holiday Spectacular 2019. We didn’t even have a name for it in the spring, although we batted around several ideas.

And getting me to explain the project clearly took a lot of practice.

Here’s what the Spectacular is:”

Research & Fun Tidbits:

1. “We all care about how many copies our book sells, right? But who among us is thinking about sales velocity?

Velocity is created when you emphasize garnering significant sales for the day (or week) the book releases rather than being concerned about how many copies the book ultimately sells.

Why does velocity matter?

It can:

  • help to create word-of-mouth and therefore generates more sales
  • put books on best-seller lists
  • cause readers (and sometimes media) to pay attention

How to create velocity

Amazon sales rankings”


3. “I hate writing. 

That isn’t true. Not exactly. There are loads things I love about writing fiction, like exploring characters, dreaming up of the next plot point (even if plot and I are never best friends), discovering in a story (and myself) something I didn’t know I would. I especially love rewriting, when the hard labor of that first rough draft is behind me and what’s left is the trimming and sorting and filling in the blanks.

That stage of the process feels the most satisfying and natural to me as a writer, but I’d be a liar if I said it was enough. I’ve known writers who claim the next step, publication, doesn’t matter to them; they write for the pleasure of it, not for recognition. But that’s a concept I don’t get—writing to write—because, for me, the most significant experience of the art and craft of what we do takes place as a conversation between writer and reader. It’s simple: no reader, no conversation. And if there’s no conversation, then whatever I’ve managed to wrangle onto the page, no matter how clever or sharp or meaningful, may as well not exist at all.”



Some Things More Serious:




4. “2019 has existed. It was mean at times and it’s just been an interesting one, to say the least. I haven’t had a “bad” year in a while, so I guess I was due. However, with everything that happened, I’m trying to move on, get past it all, and try to have a sense of normality again. With that, I’m starting over.

“Starting Over”

No, this isn’t meant in a literal sense. I’m not scrapping the blog or anything like that. But I’m going to basically pretend that this year didn’t happen. I wasn’t consistent on the blog, I rarely read other blogs, I missed so many comments, and I just haven’t engaged like I normally do.

I keep trying to think of ways to “get back into the swing of things.” I keep looking back at past posts and the long gaps in between them wondering how to get back into my usual routine.

At this point, it makes me overwhelmed. I have too many other things on my mind. There are so many projects I’m working on, I want to work on, or I’m collaborating with others behind the scenes on secret projects. This isn’t to say I want to stop doing any of these things – I want to continue them all. But I think that’s part of my problem. I’m trying to do too many things at once.

Between all that and real-life happenings on this side of my computer, 2019 has been pretty bad.”


Teaser Fiction & Poetry:






Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “If you love adventure, action, intrigue, romance and historical fiction, these are the books for you!

Good morning…afternoon…or evening, depending on where you are in this great big, beautiful world!

In one day, I’ll be practically giving away every book in The Razor’s Adventures series on Kindle!

That’s right! You’ll get all six books for $5.00!”

2. “A deadly assassin. A perpetual target. A double-cross she never saw coming…

They say the truth will set you free, but what if it kills you first?

Leine eliminates terrorists for a living. After a routine assassination
almost gets her killed, she chalks it up to a fluke. Her lover and
fellow assassin, Carlos, has another idea altogether. He thinks their
boss is setting them up for a fall.

When Carlos goes missing and a bombing thwarts another mission, Leine
suspects the stakes are far higher than she could ever imagine, and
wonders if the man in charge might have it in for her after all.

If you like no-nonsense heroines, page-turning plots, and twists you
won’t see coming, then you’ll love D.V. Berkom’s tension-filled


4. “You’re Driving Me Crazy (2019) By Richard Labbett is a super engrossing psychological thriller from start to finish.

The story follows cohabiting couple Julie and Max whose relationship starts to fall apart. But Max, who is possessive, doesn’t take too kindly to the break-up and displays his desire for control over Julie and his desire for violence. While Julie tries to move on with her life, Max spirals into extremely dark sections of his mind and embarks on a murderous rampage. Moving between poetry and mystery, this is very original and has a very real-to-life quality to it. The descriptions feel very realistic and also add a lot to the atmosphere of the plot.

The reader sees that these two characters are not making each other happy. But their reactions to their situation are very different. Julie wants to get out, let the two of them get on with their lives while Max wants to keep them together at any cost.”

5. “Happy Hump Day!  My book club is reading the featured novel by today’s author, and we’re meeting this Friday night to discuss it.  It’s a creepy, eerie, raise-the-hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck read – perfect for this time of year – and although part of a series, it can easily be read as a standalone.  And that cover!  It perfectly captures the tone of the story.  Welcome Mae Clair!

Would you rather walk through a haunted graveyard at midnight or spend the night in a haunted, abandoned house?

Both of these freak me out, but if I had to choose, I’d go with the graveyard. The house would offer more places to hide, but the graveyard would offer more room to run. Plus, there’s a chance someone would hear me screaming, because I’d be shrieking my head off!”

9 responses to “Five Links 10/11/19 Loleta Abi”

  1. Thanks for sharing, Traci!

  2. Some fabulous links, Traci. Thanks for your support of my writing. It is appreciated.

    1. You’re welcome, Robbie!

  3. Thanks for including Carrot Ranch! Actually, this month differs from our typical weekly challenges — we have a contest that launches every Thursday at 11:59 pm EST through Oct. 24.

  4. Thank you so much Traci. 🙂

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