Three Links 7/25/2020 Loleta Abi

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Three Links 7/24/2020

Loleta Abi


1. “Every author wants their novels to be made into a film or a television series. Right? 

So let’s take a look at how these two worlds of “series”—both the readable and the viewable kind—connect, overlap, or compete. Some people discover a great series first on TV, then want to dig deeper by reading the original books. Some don’t want to see the adaptation on a screen until they’ve delved into the books, sometimes referred to by producers as “source material.” 

Here we’ll take a look at works by Diana Gabaldon (the Outlander series), and Craig Johnson (the Longmire series).” I read the Outlander series, well five anyway, working on more eventually. Liked the TV series, what I saw of it. I didn’t read Longmire but watched the show. Curious about the books now.

2. “Back on June 8, I wrote “Barriers to Effective Communication,” attempting to look at some things that get in the way in relationships, business, and writing.

I’ve continued to reflect on this topic, particularly with regard to the written word. Not only in books and articles, but also in our emails and social-media posts.

Author Intent

Have you ever been upset by an email from a colleague? Or from a friend? Or a spouse or family member? Of course we have.

I came across a fascinating look at “authorial intent” in a recent book Church Doctrine & the Bible by David Instone-Brewer (Lexham Press, 2020). His context was to introduce the challenge of biblical interpretation by making a parallel to our written words:

It is actually impossible to know … what the author was thinking about and intending to convey in their writing…. You can mistake irony for plain speech, misunderstand who or what they are talking about, interpret advice as criticism, or even misunderstand the meaning of a word – for example, “that’s incredible” (“amazing” or “unbelievable”?), “that’s confusing” (a reference to what they describe, or the way they’re describing it?), “How much?” (“too much” or “too little”?)…. When you add  the fact that an author is from a different family and area, possibly from a different culture, language, country, religion, and time period, there are so many possibilities for misunderstanding that some have concluded we can never be sure what the author meant (pp. 4-5).”


Research & Fun Tidbits:

1. “I’m still on my hiatus from drafting new material. The Muse sent me a bunch of future material and that’s been going great. I have two decent storyboards for stand alone tales. I also have three for stories about Lizzie and the hat.

The concluding story of Lanternfish still needs some work. Dealing with con men is harder that you might think. It requires a kind of mind game with the readers as well as the characters in the story.

I’m not sweating this yet and if I don’t start drafting something before December, I can live with that.

What is coming harder is any kind of comedy. I have faith in myself, but that will only get me so far. A lot of it comes to me as I write, but I usually have some antics in mind long before I start. Right now, I’ve got nothing.

This involves the relationship between Lizzie and the hat, but also the root monsters. As a buddy story, Lizzie and the hat will be easier to deal with. I have three reasonable plots and if I started writing today, they would be fine.”

2. “Some stories or genres require our characters to have certain careers. For example, many types of thrillers need characters with military, spy, or legal system ties. Some contemporary romance series are based on Navy SEALs, NASCAR drivers, firefighters, etc. Some mystery or suspense series follow a private investigator, bounty hunter, etc.

In other stories, our character’s job is like a footnote to their backstory, or it’s simply a way to make the affordability of their living situation believable. (How many “billionaire CEO heroes” seem to never do any work? *rolls eyes*)

Wherever our character falls on that spectrum of job specifics, we need to understand their occupation well enough to know our storytelling options. We might not have a clear idea of how we could tie their job to the story unless we have more insights into their career and what it means for our character.”

3. “You say you want to be a crime writer? Ever thought of studying physics?

I’m serious. While many automatically think of an English degree as the gateway to literary success, it’s also true that science-savvy novelists have excelled in every genre. Think of Primo Levi and E.L. Koingsburg, both chemists, Vladimir Nabokov, who was an entomologist and lepidopterist, mathematician Lewis Carroll, and contemporary authors Lisa Genova, a neuroscientist, or physicist Alan Lightman.

Edgar Allan Poe—widely credited with establishing modern detective fiction as a distinct genre—was fascinated by mathematics and science. His detective, C. Auguste Dupin, is regularly described as part poet, part mathematician.

In her 2017 essay, Reasoning Through Madness: The Detective in Gothic Crime Fiction, Michelle Miranda writes, “Poe was able to superimpose the illusion of logic and fact on the tales of horror and mystery, which allowed for the presentation of prevailing thoughts on science, logic and imagination. . . . In his [Dupin] stories, Poe [demonstrated] that when utilizing rational thought and reasoning, it was possible to discover causal links between events. In addition to causality, observation and comparison allowed scientists to identify and discriminate between objects and beings, which eventually became the cornerstone of criminal investigations and the forensic sciences.”

Some Things More Serious:

1. “From 2011 to 2019, I operated under the delusion that it’s possible to write a timely novel: a book so relevant, so of-the-moment, so history-in-the-making that it might be released into an atmosphere that gelled perfectly with all of my pet political and social concerns. If the novel resonated in the moment, then surely it would resonate with readers. Or so my logic went. And some novels do resonate just that way. It is possible to write a timely novel, but it’s near-impossible to plan for one. I wrote my novel Lake Life in four years, but the next five years required near-constant revision as history readjusted the political climate in which the book would be released.

Some novels arrive ahead of their time. For example, Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, easily my favorite novel of 2014, imagined a not-too-distant future in which the world is ravaged by a pandemic. Fortunately, the virus that found its way into our world in 2019 isn’t as deadly as Mandel’s, but that book is enjoying a well-deserved renaissance in light of the circumstances, a kind of earned timeliness as reward for foreseeing the future, however bleak.”

2. “When we closed our offices in March I had no real idea when we would reopen. I certainly didn’t think that by July there would still be no end in sight. While many companies are talking about returning in September, I’m skeptical and, frankly, I’m okay with it.

Years ago, BookEnds set up the necessary tools for remote work. We’ve been on Slack since 2015 and we were one of the first agencies to join Query Manager (about the same time). The transition has been seamless for us and, in fact, has inspired us to update more of our technology and remote access. Most recently we’re moving all of our databases to Airtable.

I love change. Sure it’s scary, and moving the databases to Airtable is a lot of work. James (who is doing most of the work) and I are constantly discussing what we still need, what needs to be updated, and how Airtable can better streamline the way we do things. It’s a lot of work now, but we both know when we’re done, it’s going to make for a lot less work.

In fact, I may have just closed up a 20-year Levenger notebook for the last time.

If there’s one thing we should be learning in this time of remote work it’s that change is inevitable. Ignoring that and avoiding change isn’t an option. Embracing it is what creates success.”


It seems obvious. If you’re a writer, you have to  read!

I know most of you are readers. But I’m regularly surprised at how many writers confess to not reading widely in the genre they’re writing. Or any genre, for that matter.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:




Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “ was the girl who survived the Nothing Man.

Now I am the woman who is going to catch him…

You’ve just read the opening pages of The Nothing Man, the true crime memoir Eve Black has written about her obsessive search for the man who killed her family nearly two decades ago. 

Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle is reading it too, and with each turn of the page his rage grows. Because Jim was – is – the Nothing Man. 

The more Jim reads, the more he realises how dangerously close Eve is getting to the truth. He knows she won’t give up until she finds him. He has no choice but to stop her first… 

So The Nothing Man came along at exactly the right moment. I was knee deep into “I’ll Be Gone In The Dark ” a book that should be read by everyone and I’d just finished listening to Man In The Window, a podcast about the Golden State Killer which focused quite a bit on giving his victims a voice.”

2. “The victim was his friend. So was the murderer.

Twenty-five years ago, troubled teenager Charlie Crabtree committed a shocking and unprovoked murder.

For Paul Adams, it’s a day he’ll never forget. He’s never forgiven himself for his part in what happened to his friend and classmate. He’s never gone back home.

But when his elderly mother has a fall, it’s finally time to stop running.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. A copycat killer has struck, bringing back painful memories. Paul’s mother insists there’s something in the house.

And someone is following him.

Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn’t just the murder.

It was the fact that afterwards, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again . . .”

3. “The Mirror Crack’d from Side To Side (1962) by Agatha Christie is an interesting read. The title comes from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem The Lady of Shalot which is quoted in the book.

In this book, Miss. Marple is brought to meet American actress Marina Gregg by her friend Heather Badcock. Heather is a huge fan of Gregg’s and met her in Bermuda many years before where she got her autograph. Gregg has just moved into Gossington Hall after buying the prestigious property with her husband producer Jason Rudd from a friend of Marple’s Dolly Bantry. Gregg and her husband host a housewarming party in aid of first aid charity St John Ambulance which Miss. Marple is invited to. Other guests in attendance are Lola Brewster, Mrs. Allcock and her husband Councillor Allcock, Ardwyck Fenn, General Barnstaple, Jim Galraith, Donald McNeil, Margot Bence as well as Heather and her husband Arthur. It is Heather’s last party as she dies from a poisoned daiquiri which many suspect was meant for Gregg. Gregg had been seen staring at a painting reportedly with a frozen look at the party. Miss Marple begins investigating as does Detective-Inspector Dermot Craddock.”

2 responses to “Three Links 7/25/2020 Loleta Abi”

  1. Thank you so much for including my post. 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, Lisa!

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