5 Links Fridays #11

I’m going to break from the recent trend of ever-lengthening introductions to my weekly 5 Links Fridays posts and make this the shortest one yet. But for a good reason! I began work this week on a videogame strategy guide, my first one since early 2014 when I finished up the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls book (gotta love these names). I can’t tell you what I’m working on — yet — but due to a serious time crunch and circumstances beyond our control, I should be done within a week or two at the absolute most.

There but for the power of coffee go I.

I do have one interesting anecdote to share though. I recently re-read one of my all-time favorite novels, Water for Elephants, and there in the back of the book was an interview with Sara Gruen detailing her transition from technical writer to novelist. She explained that it was only through her spouse’s urging that she finally devote herself to her fiction. But, even then, she was occasionally sidelined by the temptation to pick up freelance projects to help pay the bills (this I can relate to: this strategy guide covers my new mountain bike and our trip to Portugal later this year). Nevertheless, the spouse had gotten a promotion, she was between jobs, and he basically told her to take 1 to 2 years and focus on writing that novel she’d been dreaming of writing. At least then she’d have her answer and wouldn’t have to wonder “what if” the rest of her life. I’m paraphrasing, but the reason I do is because that was exactly the conversation I had with my wife as we decided to return from our trip. It worked out wonderfully for Sara Gruen; I’ll consider it a resounding success if anything I write reaches a fraction of her audience. On to the links…

Bookish Links

  1. Book Titles Never Come Easy – How does an author come up with a title for their book? This article by actress-turned-writer Katherine Wilson discusses the process of how she came up with the title for her book/memoir about moving to Naples, Italy. She even discusses the unsolicited suggestions she received from well-meaning family and how it was finally her editor who encapsulated the book in a simple straightforward title. For those curious, the working title of my novel is Tailwinds Past Florence. It had a different title for several months until a lengthy brainstorming session aboard the cargo ship landed me on that one. I briefly considered Tailwinds Past Firenze but a quick glance at Google Trends revealed that NOBODY uses the Italian word for Florence. At least not on the English-speaking side of the Internet.
  2. When a Literary Agent Says Yes  Indie versus traditional routes aside, this is a really informative article about what to look for in a literary agent and how to know which one is right for you, supposing you are offered representation. This even includes fifteen questions and topics to discuss with the agent as you interview them. The big takeaway: they work for you, make sure they have your best interests in mind.
  3. Writing the Book Was the Easy Part – My friend Jennifer Lesher wrote this several months after her first novel, Raising John, was released. In this post she shares the lessons she learned about how she successfully (and sometimes less so) handled the marketing of her book. In today’s world, all authors need to know how to do this, whether you self-publish or land a book deal. Some good tips here.
  4. The Seven Soul Types – What Do they Look Like? –This article, complete with illustrations, helps to understand what various archetypes look like in terms of facial features. From the Priest to the Scholar to the King to the Artisan, this article suggests that, over time (yes, there are exceptions) the qualities of a certain soul type wind up having specific facial characteristics. Or maybe they don’t and it’s just the eye of the beholder projecting our own interpretations onto certain face types. I don’t know. But I do know that, when it comes to helping with describing (and understanding) the appearance of your characters, this is a helpful article.
  5. 8 Reasons to Catalog Your Books – Has your book collection gotten out of hand? Do you struggle to find a particular book when looking to loan it to a friend? This article by Emma Nichols discusses why you should — and how you can — create a catalog for your book collection. Sadly, my collection resides almost entirely on my Kindle.

Bonus Link!

The Highest Unpaved Cycling Roads in the Alps  – I’m starting to prep for an off-road crossing of Washington State in early June and though it will certainly be an adventure, the terrain will be a far cry from what you’ll see in this article. Beautiful photos, elevation profiles, and route descriptions for 15 of the highest unpaved roads in the Alps is certainly enough to get my wanderlust juices flowing. Enjoy the weekend folks.

Post Image by Alexandre Duret-Lutz, used under Creative Commons

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