Greetings all! Sorry for the delay this week, but I’ve been at the Romance Writers of America national conference in New York this week, and time for updates has been scarce. But before you get the wrong idea, I haven’t been carousing across the city. The links are hungover, not me. So without further ado, here are this week’s links. Enjoy, and have a fabulous weekend!
Writers to Watch: Fall 2015 Anticipated Debuts – A list of some newcomers to check out.
Umberto Eco’s Advice to Writers – Pretty much as written on the package.
The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups – Writers groups can be fabulous but it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
What Happens When Sherlock Holmes Retires? – A fun look at different take on the beloved character’s second chapter in honor of the new film, Mr. Holmes (which is wonderful).
TGIF! I hope you’ve all had a good week and have some wonderful plans for the weekend. Personally, I’m experiencing that summer drag, where I’m still quite busy but occasionally feel like the days have shifted into slow motion. Fewer people answering emails or their phones, more chatter about vacations on Twitter than usual, plus thoughts of things like outdoor concerts and sand in strange places. It’s the heart of the summer, at least here in the northern hemisphere, so I hope you’re taking a bit of time to enjoy it.
But you’re here for links, and so without further ado I offer you this week’s selection. Wishing you some excellent reading and writing time. Enjoy!
SF That Will Change Your Life – A great write up of the panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-con, with plenty of recommendations.
Where to Relive Your Favorite British Children’s Books – Travel ideas, with some lovely photos.
The Fantastically Normal Life of a Writer – A fun look at the writer’s day.
Dickens’s Marginalia Reveal Famous Contributors to His Journal – Dickens’s own copies of his magazine provide the names behind the anonymous contributions.
J.R.R. Tolkien on Fairy Tales, Language, the Psychology of Fantasy, and Why There’s No Such Things as “Writing for Children” – Some really interesting thoughts, backed up by a host of other well known authors.
Today’s public service announcement is brought to you by conference season. This is the time of year (frankly, most of the year) when materials I’ve requested at various conferences hit my inbox at a pretty rapid rate. It’s also the time of year when I can see in black and white just how many people bothered to make note of what I asked them to send.
Here’s the thing: You’re sitting in your pitch session, maybe still a bit nervous even after successfully delivering your pitch, and suddenly I (or insert the agent/editor of your choice) open up my mouth and say I’d like to see a bit of your project. And I hand you my card and ask you to send me something. You nod seriously, maybe your mouth opens and closes a couple of times, and you thank me. Maybe you ask another question, maybe I do. But that’s basically the end of the pitch, so you stand up and gather your things, shake my hand, and head out into the wilds of the conference.
So, what didn’t happen there? You didn’t take a minute to write down what I requested. Nope. You just tucked my business card somewhere and took off. Because I asked you for something! That’s huge! The moment is going to be imprinted on your brain forever!
Except… it really isn’t. And in a day or two when you sit down to send the material, you won’t remember the specifics of my request. So you’ll check the agency website and send what we ask for in a query (which, news alert, is not what I ask for when I meet you at a pitch session). Or better yet, a month or two will pass, because you learned something good at the conference that made you go back and rework something in your manuscript. And now you want to send what I asked for, all shiny and freshly polished, but again, you can’t recall precisely what I requested. Maybe you can’t even find my business card.
This problem is so easily solved. Bring a notebook with you into the pitch. The one you’re using to write down stuff at the conference. It can be big or small or even electronic. It can be the notes app on your phone. And when an agent or editor requests chapters or pages or your manuscript, write it down. Immediately, sitting at that table. If they’re chasing you out of the room because your pitch session ran long, write it down the second you step into the hall. Include the pertinent details off the business card while you’re at it: name and email address. That way if the card goes astray, you’re still in good shape.
It takes one minute. Just do it. Your future self will thank you. And so will I.
Happy Friday! Are you ready for the weekend? I certainly am. This week has been… trying, in many respects. Not bad, just the sort of week that keeps you scrambling to keep up.
Unsurprisingly, a host of additional things have popped up on my radar for the weekend, which also happens to be the weekend of the 24 in 48 Readathon, so I suspect I’m going to be burning the midnight oil no matter what I do. But there are worse things than staying up late to read, and I certainly have a sizable stack of books lined up for my reading hours.
Meanwhile, I have links! This week went very quickly and there were fewer things jumping out at me than usual, but I hope you find the assortment enjoyable anyway. Wishing you some excellent reading and writing time, and a wonderful weekend overall.
Kelly Sue DeConnick Is the Future of Women in Comics – Whether or not you’re a comics reader, this is a fabulous profile of a kick-ass woman and inspirational to anyone who has an interest in working creatively. I highly recommend.
Paper Chasing – On book collecting vs. book reading. Interesting, no matter what format you use when accumulating reading material.
Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2015 Book Preview – The Millions posts a bi-annual list of the most anticipated books for the coming half year (by their reckoning). Even if it doesn’t cover your own most anticipated titles, it’s a great resource for checking out what’s coming down the pike.
The Writers Who Invented Languages – A look at authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin who have created original languages for their characters.
Writing Excuses: Why Can’t I Just Jump to the Ending? – A really important lesson on writing the middle of the book. Part of the Writing Excuses year-long podcast workshop on writing your book from start to finish, but it works perfectly as a stand-alone look at what can be the most problematic part of a story.
A very happy book release day and congratulations to Samantha Grace, whose latest Rival Rogues Regency romance, THE BEST OF BOTH ROGUES, is out today.
The worst thing Mr. Benjamin Hillary ever did was leave his bride-to-be on their wedding day. The hardest thing he will ever have to do is watch her marry another man.
After two long years abroad, Ben finds Eve every bit as captivating as she was the first time he saw her, and he vows to set things right.
Lady Eve Thorne has a new man in her life, and Ben is nothing but trouble. She is no longer a starry-eyed young woman, and now that he’s back, he can go hang for all she cares. At least that’s what she keeps telling herself…
You’ll find THE BEST OF BOTH ROGUES at your favorite book retailer in paper or digital format.
Happy Friday! And for those of you here in the U.S., happy Independence Day weekend! Please make sure you stay safe in the midst of all your revelry.
As for my plans for the weekend, there’s a BBQ with friends on my calendar, but in the meantime I plan to be lazy and catch up on both sleep and my personal reading. It’s been a crazy few weeks and that’s about all my energy levels will allow. However, I’m leaving you all with this week’s links in the event you have a quiet moment or two and want something entertaining to check out. Enjoy, and happy weekend!
How to Write a Series: 8 Novice Mistakes to Avoid – Ever wonder how authors juggle series writing? This might give you a few clues.
10 Captivating Short Stories Everyone Should Read – Some great classics, a few of which you may have read before, but all worth checking out or revisiting.
Women Writers on Twitter: In Their Own Words – A number of women writers discuss their experiences with Twitter.
Travel Journals – A peek into Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s travel journals from 1960, 1961, and 1982, for a breath of summer adventure and some inspiration.
Where to Start with Brazilian Literature – A nice round up of titles for anyone looking to read more books in translation or just farther afield.