Friday Links

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you had a lovely week. Personally, I’m not quite sure where it went.

A quick reminder: I am temporarily closing to new submissions starting tomorrow, June 1st. You can find all the details in my announcement post from earlier this week. This does not mean I’m no longer seeking new clients, but simply that I have a pretty serious backlog of submissions in the queue and I really have to work my way through them without more piling up as I go. I’ll reopen to submissions again as soon as things are a bit more under control.

But you’re all here for Friday links, so let’s get to them. Quite a few this week, so I hope there’s something for everyone. Enjoy, and have a fabulous weekend. Happy writing!

How to Get Permission to Use Song Lyrics in Your Book – You know those quotes you like to insert? Not so fast. A nice guest post regarding permissions.

A Rare Interview with Master Storyteller Stephen King – Not sure how rare these really are, but it’s a good interview, and he addresses why he chose to go paper (and audio) only with his new book — no digital.

Work in Progress: How to Read a Novelist – Preview of a book on author profiles, focusing on Jeffrey Eugenides.

Inspired Cincinnati: The Library that Never Closes – Put up your own mini lending library and share books with your neighbors. (Thanks to Susan for the link.)

Vintage Typewriters Find New Life – I know several people who collect old manual typewriters, so I found this article charming.

SummerFest 2013 – Writing software company Literature and Latte (makers of Scrivener) have a sale going on until June 14th. Get 20% off their popular software offerings, including Scrivener and the new Scrapple — a mind-mapping program. Great deal. (No, I have no affiliation, I’m just a fan of the programs.)

PSA: State of Submissions

Greetings, all. This is just a quick announcement regarding submissions. I’m in the middle of digging out of a backlog right now, so I am going to be closing temporarily to new submissions. This is just me — I don’t speak for the rest of the agents at TKA. I need some time to play catch up and lately I’ve been getting new material in far faster than I’ve been able to read it, which has made it impossible. So…

I will be closed to new submissions starting June 1, 2013. While this will be temporarily, I’m not yet announcing a date when I will resume taking new material. I’ll post additional details both here and on Twitter when I have decided.

This does not include materials I have already requested, either at a conference or through general submissions. If I’ve asked you to send something already, please go ahead and do so, just make sure to label your email accordingly.

Friday Links

Welcome to Friday, which this week happens to kick off the long Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S., the unofficial start of summer. That means vacations, BBQs, sand and surf, lazy days, stacks of books to read, and — in the publishing world — summer hours (half-day Fridays). The reality, of course, is that work does not cease simply because we have a bit more daylight (Weekend? What weekend?), but it’s nice to dream.

And on that note, I offer up this week’s selection of Friday links, some of which are a bit dreamy, and all of which I hope you’ll find intriguing/entertaining/educational, etc. Enjoy, and have a fabulous weekend!

The Art of Staying Focused in a Distracting World – Social media, email, DVR queue, etc. There’s always something vying for your attention. How do you get anything done anymore? Interesting article.

Writing Excuses: The Short Story with Mary Robinette Kowal – A great podcast on short story writing, with excellent tips for anyone looking to give them a go or simply improve on their current efforts.

Kindle Worlds: Amazon Rewrites the Rules of Fan Fiction – A look at Amazon’s announcement regarding their new plans to monetize the world of fan fiction.

Amazon’s Kindle Worlds: Instant Thoughts – Author John Scalzi’s first take on why Amazon’s new program may not be the greatest thing for writers.

Neil Gaiman’s A Calendar of Tales – Gaiman’s collaborative short story project with Blackberry is complete. Check out the results, including some very cool art created by Gaiman’s readers.

Creativity and Talent

I think it’s important to try and separate your desire to do something creative and your desire to make a living at it. Not everyone who writes can become a professional writer. It isn’t even about talent and skill so much as it is about numbers and luck. There are so many people out there who are trying to get published, but the reality is that there’s only so much space for books in the world. Even if you make the decision to self-publish, that does not address the issue of finding readers who have time enough to read your particular work. People who read quickly and devour numerous books each year still have to make choices about what they’re going to read, and sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw whether they’ve heard of your book and it interests them enough to add to the stack.

This sounds discouraging, I realize, and I don’t mean it to be. If you want to write professionally, I urge you to go for it. Learn your craft and work hard, write a lot and read a lot, and educate yourself as best you can about the publishing process, whatever route you take. But… try not to let that interfere with the joy you feel as a writer. Writing should be your love, definitely, if you want to make a career of it. You won’t succeed if you’re anything less than obsessed about your writing. But don’t allow any frustrations with the business to overshadow the fun parts of the creative process.

You have to need to write. It’s said fairly often, but bears repeating. Writers write. They think about it all the time and scribble on whatever is at hand. Their characters invade their dreams. They love the creation process, the planning, the research, the agonizing over the perfect words. Writing is their best friend, their spouse, their secret bit on the side. Writing consumes writers. And you can be a writer without ever seeing your book in a bookstore.

Never mind how talented you are, or how long you’ve been writing, or how innovative your ideas. If you love writing, you should write. No one can say where your efforts will take you, but that uncertainty should never keep you from doing what you love.

This video by rosiefromthepast illustrates my point perfectly. It’s pretty short, and a perfect jolt of inspiration and encouragement. Give it a watch, and then go write something. Have a great week!

Friday Links

TGIF! I’m not sure where the week has gone, honestly. It seemed to be jam packed and in quite a hurry. I hope you’ve all had a good one, and are gearing up for a fun weekend that includes a little reading and/or writing time.

Per usual, I have links to offer for education and diversion. May they break up a slow afternoon or provide a bit of entertainment between tasks. Wishing you all a great weekend and happy writing!

Tsundoku – A Japanese word, the meaning of which fits me (and likely many of you) perfectly.

The Adjunct – An entertaining look at grading papers, sure to amuse anyone who has ever taught or even taken an English class.

100 Best First Lines from Novel – According to the American Book Review. Fun, regardless of whether you agree with the choices.

And finally, below, some thoughts on reading and rereading from authors attending the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books last month, courtesy of the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Friday Links

And we’re back! I felt very weird about not having a links post last week. I enjoy finding interesting tidbits online over the course of the week and choosing things to share with all of you. It’s become an entertaining habit. So I’m happy to report that this week was more the normal level of chaotic, and I once again have a selection of links to post.

I hope you all had a great week, and that you’re looking forward to the weekend. For those of you celebrating, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day on Sunday.  And of course I wish all of you good reading and writing time. Enjoy!

Bestselling Thriller Authors Confess Their Biggest Fears – Everyone is scared of something.

You May Be a Book Hoarder If… – I resemble that remark. I suspect I have plenty of company.

10 Haunted Libraries of the US – Okay, so it’s not Halloween, but ghosts are fun all year round.

Reading It Wrong – An interesting look at what we as readers bring to reading by way of our expectations.

Writing Excuses: Blocking – A great podcast on writing about characters and scenery and their places in your narrative.

Happy Book Day!

LadyVivianArtA very happy book release day to Samantha Grace, whose latest sexy Regency romance, LADY VIVIAN DEFIES A DUKE, hits stores today.

The Naked Truth

Lady Vivian Worth knows perfectly well how to behave like a lady. But observing proper manners when there’s no one around to impress is just silly. Why shouldn’t she strip down to her chemise for a swim? When her betrothed arrives to finally meet her, Vivi will act every inch the lady — demure, polite, compliant. Everything her brother has promised the man. But until then, she’s going to enjoy her freedom…

A Revealing Discovery

Luke Forest, the newly named Duke of Foxhaven, wants nothing to do with his inheritance — or the bride that comes with it. He wants adventure and excitement, like the enchanting water nymph he’s just stumbled across. When he discovers the skinny-dipping minx is his intended, he reconsiders his plan to find Lady Vivian another husband. Because the idea of this vivacious woman in the arms of another man might be enough to drive him insane — or to the altar.

Be sure to check out this fun, romantic romp. Big congrats again to Samantha Grace!