Friday Links: Reading and Writing in Tumultuous Times

It’s been a tumultuous week. I try not to get overly political on this blog, especially since I have no such qualms on Twitter, so I will simply say that as we watch our leadership charge forward with a seemingly endless attack on civil and human rights in this country, it’s important to keep an eye on all the reasons we’re standing up and speaking up for ourselves and the people around us. Real lives depend on the rules and regulations being tossed about, whether because they desperately require the safety net of health insurance, they seek asylum from a war-torn nation or an unsafe household, or because their words or art or music bring a bit of joy into our world. Our children deserve to breathe clean air and drink safe water. And we all have the right to speak out and hold our elected officials accountable for their words and deeds. The scope of this week’s insanity means I could easily continue listing off rights that are in jeapordy, but that’s not what you’re here to read. I’m just going to move on to this week’s links, and wish you all a safe, sane week to come. Try to take time for yourself, for some reading and writing, but understand that if it’s a struggle, you’re not alone.

Why “1984” Is a 2017 Must-Read – Orwell’s classic has been flying off shelves this week, and the publisher went back to print. Here’s a quick look at why.

Spine Design: 16 Sexy and Striking Book Spines – A little peek at the world of book design.

Writers’ Residences at Vermont Studio Center: Fellowship Applications Close February 15 – If you’re looking for a chance to get away and write.

75 Books for the Next Four Years – A list that includes politics, but also an excellent range of fiction, philosophy, history, and more.

How Screenwriter and “All Our Wrong Todays” Author Elan Mastai Writes: Part One – First segment of a podcast interview with the writer, looking at his love of science fiction, his early start in screenwriting, and his debut novel. Scroll down past the podcast itself for a transcript.

Roxane Gay Pulls Book, Protesting Breitbart Editor’s “Egregious” Book Deal – A quick look at Gay’s stand against publisher Simon & Schuster’s six-figure book deal with Milo Yiannopoulos.

Bibliomania: The Strange History of Compulsive Book Buying – I can’t help but relate, and I’m sure many of you are right there with me.

Friday Links: The Visual Side of Book Publishing

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week and are ready for a weekend of reading and writing, or perhaps some creative time to spark your imagination and refill that well. A good chunk of the northeastern U.S. seems to be battening down for the first snow storm of the winter, and all I can say to that is it’s perfect weather for a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. Stay warm, or cool, wherever you are, and take a little time for yourself and your goals.

All of that said, I have a bit of an art theme going on this week for Friday Links. It wasn’t intentional, but sometimes these things just develop over the course of the week. Not all the links are art-related, of course, but I think you’ll see what I mean. It’s a bit of a different look at the world of publishing, so I hope you enjoy.

By the Cover: Meet Will Staehle, Freelance Designer – A look at the work of a freelance book designer, formerly the Art Director at HarperCollins.

A Brief History of Book Illustration – Pretty much what it says.

R.I.P: Select Literary Obituaries from 2015 – A good round-up, and for reference if you’re looking to see whose work you might have missed reading.

Whom Do You Write For? ‘Pandering’ Essay Sparks a Conversation – NPR conversation between Clare Vaye Watkins and Marlon James that follows up on Watkins’s somewhat controversial essay for Tin House. A very interesting look at the writing process, and the audience a writer considers inside their head while they work.

Meet Jill Weber, artist and book illustrator/designer. In this short video (intended as a promo for a recent class at Sketchbook Skool), she shares a tiny handmade book she created to tell the story of her garden. A charming look at one of the amazing, creative forms books can take.

Cover Art: ROCK REDEMPTION by Nalini Singh

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ROCK REDEMPTION, Nalini Singh‘s next romance in the Rock Kiss series, won’t be out until October 6, 2015, but as you can see from the above, its shiny new cover is now available for all to see and enjoy.

Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John. Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness…until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart. 

Noah knows he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, but he’d rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret. All he has left is his music. It’s his saving grace, but it doesn’t silence the voices that keep him up at night. Chasing oblivion through endless one-night-stands, he earns a few hours’ sleep and his bad boy reputation. 

When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new “it” couple, Kit discovers her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave. Wanting—needing—to give Kit this, even if he can’t give her everything, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend. Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful…and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John.

Preorder now from your favorite e-retailer: Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo

 

Friday Links

Here comes the weekend! A holiday weekend, no less, if you’re in the U.S. But any sort of weekend is good, and I hope you all have plans to enjoy yours. I’m in San Francisco through Sunday for the San Francisco Writers Conference, so you know what I’m going to be doing. But I’ve left you a supply of Friday Links to entertain and inspire you. Enjoy, and happy writing!

The History of “Loving” to Read – A look at how reading became a passionate activity.

Lydia Davis: Advice to the Young – Some excellent words of wisdom for writers of all ages.

Legendary Songwriter Carole King on Inspiration vs. Perspiration and How to Overcome Creative Block – Thoughts on innovation and getting the work done.

4 Danger Signs to Search for Before Sending Off Your Novel – Good reminders for that final proofread/round of revisions.

Judging Books by Their Covers 2015: U.S. vs. Netherlands – An intriguing comparison of cover designs for the same titles between two different markets.

 

ROCK HARD by Nalini Singh: Sneak Peek

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ROCK HARD, the next book in Nalini Singh’s sexy Rock Kiss contemporary romance series, comes out March 10th, but you can get a sneak peek now.

In New York Times Bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…

Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

Head on over to Nalini’s website to read excerpts from the book, and for links to pre-order from your favorite e-tailer.

Cover Art: ROCK ADDICTION by Nalini Singh

 

 

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New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh stuns with a sizzling contemporary romance…

A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

ROCK ADDICTION releases September 9th, 2014. You can pre-order it now through iBooks, with additional pre-orders on the way. Keep an eye out here, or at Nalini’s blog, for further updates, including excerpts from the book.

Friday Links

It has become abundantly clear to me that everyone who has made publishing-related resolutions for 2014 is well on their way to keeping them. A steady avalanche of work began pouring onto my desk and into my inbox the first week of January, and it shows no signs whatsoever of slowing down. New projects, revised projects, updated projects; queries and partials; brilliant epiphanies; contracts; paperwork; problems, solutions, and random requests; new plans and old business. It’s insane. I have, easily, three times as much work as hours in the day, and I’m on a permanent caffeine high.

Now that I’ve shared that… I offer you some links for your entertainment and edification. I hope you all have lovely weekends planned. You can probably guess where I’ll be. Enjoy!

Judging Books by their Covers 2014: US vs UK – Always fun to compare cover art for different markets.

Russian Man Stabbed to Death in Poetry-Over-Prose Dispute – Because genre wars are happening all over.

Writing Diverse Fiction: A Practical Guide – In keeping with my post earlier this week on diversity in publishing.

This Six-Second Animation Short Is Better than Most Studio Movies – Prove that bigger isn’t always better. Very cute and creative.

Writer of a Certain Age – Fay Weldon on becoming an “older” writer (because ageism is an issue, up there with all the other forms of discrimination).

Friday Links

Happy Friday! How’s 2014 treating you so far? Getting things off to a good start? Personally, I’ve been working on getting back up to full speed. Coming off a longish holiday break is always difficult, but it’s good to stretch all my various muscles — mental and physical — and get back on track.

I’ve a pretty diverse assortment of links for you this week, including book lists, some business information, and beautiful book-related artwork. Wishing you a wonderful weekend, filled with reading and writing and whatever else is on your to-do list for the next few days. Enjoy!

2014 YA Fiction Preview – A list of upcoming titles for the first half of the year.

15 Fantastically Artistic Alternate Covers for Famous Books – Some interesting new looks.

When Books Enter Public Domain Around the World – A handy map proving copyright limits around the world.

28 Beautiful Quotes about Libraries – Along with some gorgeous library photographs. Makes me yearn to go on a pilgrimage.

Gorgeous Jane Austen Novel Illustrations from the Time before Adaptations – Recently released into the public domain, these illustrations date back to 19th century editions of Austen’s famous works.