Three Links 5/29/2020 Loleta Abi

Image by Ирина Ирина from Pixabay

Three Links 5/29/2020

Loleta Abi


1. “Readers Seeking Self-Improvement and Edification: I believe most frequent readers of nonfiction fall into this category. As Christians, we seek to grow, and areas of improvement are countless and broad. This reader may not have an urgent problem, but wants an informative and perhaps even fun and lighthearted read about a topic that interests him or her. Your book may be titled something like Snow White Is No Longer a Brunette: God’s Gifts as We Grow Older. The challenge for this author is to demonstrate, through a dynamic and active platform, that thousands of readers can relate to what she’s saying because she’s already talking about the topic, and readers want to hear more. Here, platform can overcome other current offerings, but it’s still a good idea to show how your book is different from others.

Readers Seeking Answers to a Specific Question Today: This reader has been hit with a new problem and is seeking guidance on how to cope. The reader may be battling with emotional trauma, has lost his spouse, or parents may have just discovered that despite a Christian upbringing, their child is troubled. These readers want actionable answers, and they want them now. Here, the author’s approach is that of a friendly, kind, knowledgeable blend of pastor and psychologist. Your book title may be along the lines of, Experiencing Grief Through God’s Grace. Your topic may be perennial because human suffering will take place as long as people dwell upon the earth. Show how your book is different from current offerings and why readers are clamoring to hear about this topic from you as an author.

Students and Academicians: Perhaps you are writing to a particular type of reader to add to the knowledge available on a topic or to put forth a new theory. While” Interesting and something non-fiction writers could find valuable in their queries.

2. “In the writing world, one of the terms that we often hear in tandem with point of view (POV) and voice is word choice. Like many things in writing, what the term means outside of our writing sphere isn’t quite the same as what it means within the context of writing.

So in the comments of my previous post, Sam asked me to do a post about word choice. Great idea, Sam! *smile*

I haven’t done a post specifically about the topic before, so let’s talk about word choice. What does word choice mean, how does it affect our writing, and what goes into choosing the right words?

What Is Word Choice?

Not surprisingly, when talking about word choice, we’re referring to the words we choose to use in our writing.” The right word can carry the action or create a mood.


Research & Fun Bits:

1. “Here’s an interesting article about how the plant kingdom and fairy lore interconnect. The Yeats poem below shows the intersection. Clearly, the natural world and that of the fairy world intersect in magical ways. Finding those connections are the most meaningful. Think of all the poetry we could write. Enjoy the read. ~Colleen~”

2. “Male and female serialists differ in many ways. By the end of this post, you decide who’s more ruthless. The media attaches cutesy nicknames to female serial killers, like Giggling Granny, Jolly Jane, or Tiger Woman. For males they use epithets that beget terror, such as Night Stalker, Flint Serial Slasher, and Jack the Ripper. With female serialists, however, the victims never view her as a threat until it’s too late. Thus, it’s a mistake to underestimate a woman hellbent on murder.” I wouldn’t want to face either, but I think a woman would be more intimidating as you wouldn’t expect her to be so ruthless.


Some Things More Serious:

1. “SWAG is one of those places where authors can go very right, or completely wrong and so, while I’ve talked about this before, it is worth repeating. As the industry evolves, so does the art of book SWAG. Plus, it’s the first question I get from new authors about to dive into publishing.

What is SWAG, and why do you need it?

SWAG is the general term we use for promotional materials. There are two kinds I see at events: free swag and sale swag. Both have merits, but some work better at certain types of events than others.

The goal of SWAG is simple, you want to build brand awareness and recognition. While it is often collected by fans and readers, it’s also vital to have at your event so that even if people do not purchase a book right then, they will remember you and your novel at a later date.”

2. “I’ve said it many times. I’ve acknowledged it, expressed it, recalled it, foreseen it, and most of all, known it. And still I resist it.

It goes something like this: Someone asks the proverbial writerly question, “What’s your writing process like?” And with a carefree smile, I respond, “Well, I’ve found that what really needs to happen is that I have to sit down with the intention to write before I actually write.

Does that sound odd? Let me explain what I mean. As much as a part of me may want to ‘plan’ what I’m going to write, or feel inspired by brilliance before I take the time to write, or know before I sit down that I feel productive and am going to write exactly what I intend to, it has just not tended to happen that way for me. I have to agree to write first. I have to make the first move, sit in the chair, put my fingers on the keyboard, and let go—surrender to the moment and whatever wants to come through me, with no idea beforehand what it might be or whether something even will.”

My tone is light as I say this, perhaps punctuated by a twinkling little laugh…as though the set of circumstances I just described doesn’t send me into continual fits of procrastination, avoidance, self-doubt, anxiety, and at times even fury.

Here’s the way it is: The psychological structures in me have no interest in condoning my “indulging” in writing until/unless they feel sure exactly what will be written, what said writing’s perceived “value” will be, that there will be no time “wasted,” and that everything related to it is lined up in a perfectly straight row parallel to these structures’ perspective about what is important in life and the meaning of productivity.”

3. “Wow, the month of May slid by and here I sit, looking back and wondering what happened to all that time. Time seems particularly slippery during these shelter-in-place months. Back in March, I thought I would get so much done.

Let’s just say it didn’t work out as I’d planned.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:




Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1.“They called me the Bitch Queen, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and exiled my king the night before they crowned me.”

Thus opens The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, the first installment in K. S. Villoso’s Chronicles of the Bitch Queen trilogy. Both this and the second book in this series, set in an epic fantasy world whose “worldbuilding is a love letter to the Philippines,” were originally self published, and the entire trilogy is now being traditionally published with this novel currently available, The Ikessar Falcon coming in September, and the brand new conclusion scheduled for release next year.

This relatively short wait between books makes me happy since The Wolf of Oren-Yaro hooked me from that very first sentence and ended up being exactly what I love to read: a character-driven novel with a vivid voice and suspense involving characters’ pasts and what shaped them. The main character has some secrets and learns of some, and much about her and the world are gradually revealed over the course of the novel.”

2. after her husband’s tragic death, Robin Besher makes a startling discovery: He had recklessly blown through their entire savings on decrepit rentals in Four Points, the Appalachian town Robin grew up in. Forced to return after decades, Robin and her daughter, Haley, set out to renovate the properties as quickly as possible—before anyone exposes Robin’s secret past as a teenage prostitute. Disaster strikes when Haley befriends a troubled teen mother, hurling Robin back into a past she’d worked so hard to escape. Robin must reshape her idea of home or risk repeating her greatest mistakes.



The Distance from Four Points is about an affluent suburbanite who’s forced into landlording when she finds out her late husband blew all their money on rental properties in her Appalachian hometown. To research the story, I spent a few days in my hometown in southwestern Pennsylvania, having a realtor take me around to residential and commercial properties for sale. I wasn’t looking for viable places to work or live—the ones I chose to see were mostly priced below $50,000, many as low as $10,000, and I was interested only in the ones with tragically ruined beauty. These places were once homes to the wealthiest people in town—a former coal-mining town that once held more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the country. The homes I saw had turrets, original woodwork and stained glass, wraparound porches, gorgeous brick walkways covered over with weeds. They were also actively crumbling.

But: I bought one. Friends made the leap first, claiming a turreted, five-bedroom, red-brick house for $17,000, and asked me and my husband to partner with them on flipping it. The house had been split into a triplex decades ago. There were collapsing dropped ceilings, holes in the floor, broken or missing windows, and the turret was missing its pointy peak. It was a forlorn, forgotten ruin straight out of HGTV renovation porn. For a while it was exciting to lead the restoration; then it broke us, emotionally and financially. A cheap old house is not cheap to fix up. And even a gorgeously fixed-up house can’t be flipped when the location is all wrong”

3. “Stories don’t just fall from the sky like shooting stars, right? 


When Duty and Desire fell in my lap 19 years ago, it wasn’t an idea, a concept or a seed. Not even a fruit that fell from a tree. But a scene that harpooned my soul. 

We had moved from Singapore to New Jersey, U.S.A. and one afternoon I remember squeezing in a quick nap exhausted from taking care of my 2 boys—then 1.5 and 5.5 years old. I had 45 minutes before the five-year-old’s school bus would return from Lincoln Elementary School so I curled up on the couch and snoozed. 

I woke up gasping for air. My heart raced. Sweat caked my palms and my throat was parched from what I’d just seen. A dream? No. A nightmare? Possibly. It was something I’d never experienced. I tried to remember the sequence of the visual that had me wrapped. I wound and rewound a cascade of questions: Who were these people? Why were they running away? Who were they running away from? Where would they end up? 

An international freelance journalist with about 10 years of experience published in feature, interview and perspective pieces, cover stories, short fiction and more…I knew this was clearly nothing short of short fiction. The graphic visual was a scene from a movie—that didn’t exist.  

I tried to forget the scene, but the wheels of my imagination spun on over-drive. I tried to shake off the characters, but they wouldn’t let go. I tried to busy myself in a million other tasks but the scene continued to haunt. I visited the local library, borrowed books on writing the fiction novel, biographies of published authors and tried to make sense of their journeys and what they had to say. The quest embarked me on a journey of my own that grounded a turning point in my life.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: