Link Feast vol. 65 – Writing & Book Marketing Tips


Episode 80: Workshop: Setting Writing Goals for the New Year by Holly Lisle and Rebecca Galardo

(The episode is over an hour long so you might not have time to listen to it right now. In that case, take a look at the worksheet. You can grog it even without listening to the episode. The episode is really worth listening too.)

The link to the worksheet (click) 

On Writing

Writer Resolution 2020: Write With a Knife to Your Black, the Cliff’s Edge at Your Feet by Chuck Wendig

Happy New Year! Welcome to a Blank Page by Jami Gold

Five Tactics to Battle Impostor Syndrome by Helen J. Darling

Un-Con Redux: Operation Phoenix by Donald Maass (how to reinvent yourself as a writer)

Pre-Publishing: Developing the 5 P’s by Janet Grant

Business Musings: Habits (A Process Blog) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (how our false beliefs and invisible scripts about our capabilities can limit us)

What Can Our Reading Choices Tell About Our Writing by Jami Gold

How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day by Rachel Aaron

How to Develop High Concept Book Ideas to Find More Success With Your Writing by Robert Lee Brewer

Six Ways to Add Novelty to Your Story by Chris Winkle

How to Choose the Right Antagonist For Any Type of Story by K.M. Weiland

Rian Johnson’s Looper and the Art of the Supervillain by Leah Schnelbach

SFF Needs More Incompetent Autocrats By James Davis Nicholl

The Best Employees Are Not the Agreeable Ones, According to Adam Grant by Oliver Staley (Is your character a giver or a taker? Is he/she agreeable or disagreeable?)

How to Navigate Editorial Feedback and Revise Your WIP by Tiffany Yates Martin

The Craft of the Short Story by Anthea Lawson Sharp

12 Lessons Learned From Writing Short by John Peragine

On Tackling Controversial Topics

Why Social Justice Is Intrinsic to Storytelling by Chris Winkle

Five Tips For Telling Stories of Resistance by Oren Ashkenazi

Sex Rape Tropes and How to Replace Them by Chris Winkle

Understanding Appropriative Worldbuilding by Chris Winkle

Six Tips For Taking Inspiration From History by Oren Ashkenazi

Publishing Paths & Book Marketing

What Path Should a Writer Take in 2020 by James Scott Bell

The Key to Long Term Success As a Writer With Kevin J. Anderson by Joanna Penn

Be the Gateway by Dan Blank

Are You Working On the Right Thing? By Tim Grahl

How to Promote Your Book Before It’s Published by Julia Hansen

Which Paid Marketing Works (and Doesn’t Work) For Books by Rachel Aaron

The Writing World

Why Does the RWA (Romance Writers of America) Implosion Matter to All Writers by Jami Gold

Where Does RWA Go From Here? By Sarah at Smart Bitches Trashy Books (she asks the important question of who the organization really serves)

Romance Wranglers of America by Chuck Tingle (a humorous take on the RWA mess):

Deep Stuff

How to Recover From Reader’s Block by James Davis Nicoll (a serious problem in my books)

Glass half full: how I learned to be an optimist in a week by Tim Dowling

The Lie of Little Women by Sophie Gilbert (the real life of Louisa May Alcott, what she really thought of this book, also stuff about the movie adaptations)

How to Break Up With Your Bad Habits by Judson Brewer

Fun Stuff

Hot Dudes Reading at Instagram

No easy mark: Female bodybuilder, 82, clobbers intruder ( crime news)

7 Quirky and Whimsical Books Like Good Omens by Andy Winder

16 Fantasy Authors Like Neil Gaiman by Annika Barranti Klein Reviewers’ Choice: The Best Books of 2019

Some of Our Favourite Movies of 2019 by Stubby the Rocket

26 Nerdy Things That Brought Us Joy in 2019 by Stubby the Rocket

10 Great Monsters of the Week Episodes From Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Kiersten White

(Almost) Every Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Adaptation In the Works Right Now by Stubby the Rocket 

(I was most excited about Kushiel’s Dart fantasy series being optioned. Holding my fingers crossed that it will end up in the screen as a movie or in the TV. Is there a book you want to see as a movie or TV series? Do share in the comments.)

Link Feast vol 64 – Helpful Writing Tips


If You Have Time For Only One Link

How to Know Which Parts of Your Story Readers Will Like Best (It Isn’t Always What You Think) by K.M. Weiland

On Writing Partners, Teams and Big Casts

How to Create Powerful Character Combos by Chris Winkle

18 Ways for Protagonists to Contribute by Chris Winkle

Five Underused Character Archetypes by Chris Winkle

Head, Heart, Gut (aka How to Create a Polarized Ensemble) – a collection of posts by Matt Bird, really worth checking out

Creating a Polarized Ensemble, Part 1: The Pros and Cons of Polarization by Matt Bird (the first post of the series)

On Writing

What Keeps You From Success? Are You a Prisoner of Unexamined Beliefs? by Anne R. Allen

How to Find Your Writing Purpose by Leanne Sowul

Resistance Wakes Up With Me by Steven Pressfield

Writing Tips: 6 Ways to Give Perfectionism the Boot by T. Thorn Coyle

A Prayer to the Muse by Steven Pressfield

For National Novel Writing Month, Two Vital Reminders by Chuck Wendig

3 Ways to Keep Writing When Times Are Tough by Chandler Bolt

When Your Writing Dreams Change by Julie Glover

The Benefits of Writing a Novel “Just For Fun” by Janice Hardy

How to Build a Long Term Writing Career by James Scott Bell

NaNoWriMo is coming… Are You Ready? By Jami Gold (how much do we need to prep for NaNo + resource links)

How Predictable Should a Story Be? By Chris Winkle

Five Archetypes That Can Steal the Hero’s Spotlight by Oren Ashkenazi

The Villain Has No Empathy by Steven Pressfield

The Villain Never Says He’s Sorry by Steven Pressfied

Six Ways to Make Your Villains Likable by Chris Winkle (what if the villain said he’s sorry. Or is he just sorry [not sorry]…)

Scene Layering With an Example by Rebecca Zanetti

Wow Your Fantasy Reader – 10 Tips For Writing Wonder by Yours Truly

Representing People of Color in Fantasy When Their Country/Continent Doesn’t Exist by Mod Lesya

10 Steps to Writing a Novella by Delilah S. Dawson

Book Marketing

Do I Need a Platform and If So, How High? by Anne Greenwood Brown

Book Blog Reviews and Bookstagram: How Influencers Help Authors Reach Agents, Publishers and Readers by Julie Valerie

Authors! Refresh, Rehab, Repair and Renovate: How to Rejuvenate Your Backlist by Ruth Harris

Deep Stuff

We Are the Weirdos, Mister: Power, Rage and Teenage Witches by Kate Racculia

If You Master This Listening Technique, You’ll Hear What People Don’t Say Out Loud by Cathy Salit

Fun Stuff

Episode 70: 2nd Annual Halloween Special Listener Edition – Part One (30 Halloween themed 500 word Flash Fiction stories read out loud)

Episode 71: 2nd Annual Halloween Special Listener Edition – Part Two (30 more Halloween themed 500 word Flash Fiction stories read out loud. My story, The Midnight Gamble, is read starting at 2:02:17)

Why I’m a horrible person by Ristay (a hilarious webcomic)

All the New Fantasy Books Coming Out in November at

All the New YA SFF Books Coming Out in November at

November’s New Releases by Amanda at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (mostly romance book recs)

The Midnight Gamble – A Halloween Flash Fiction Story

Ten minutes to midnight”, the dealer reminds me.

A warning. At midnight the doors will close and if I’m still here, I will be trapped in this cursed place until next Halloween.

A calculated risk. Now is the time for the game I came here to win. “Deal me one more hand.”

“Sir, you have already lost your soul and your firstborn. What more do you have to offer to the house?”

“Call me Michael.”

“Michael”, she agrees with impatience. My heart sings at hearing my name again from her lips. “Your bet, please.”

“My creativity, my Muse. I’m a writer.”

She closes her eyes and seems to confer with the house through the twisted connection I’m here to end.

“The house accepts. And your prize?”

“You, Miriel, with your memories intact. And all the claims of this place and all connections to it severed.”

She blinks in surprise and opens her mouth but no sound comes out. Then the power takes her over again, and she shivers and whispers. “The house accepts.”

“Then deal.”

And she does. Her hands are steady even though she refuses to meet my eyes.

She reveals her hand, one card at a time. Ten of Hearts, Knight of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts. Sweat beads on my forehead and my hands tremble. Her last card, Three of Spades.

And I have a pair of Nines.

I won. I fucking won.

“Mikey”, she breathes and finally looks at me. A smile blooms on her face, and she is radiant, more beautiful than ever. She remembers. She’s my Miri again.

A deep gong sounds. And again at steady intervals. Fuck. It’s almost midnight. I grab her hand and we run for the door like our lives depend on it. The house trembles like the earth is shaking but our momentum keeps us upright.

We rush through the door and halfway to the gate. Only then I dare to look behind me. The house is there one moment, then it blinks away. It’s over. We’re safe.

Miri stops us and pulls my head down for a desperate kiss. I crush her to me and never intend to let go.

I hold and hold until she finally pulls away.

“I love an idiot”, she groans. “Your soul, Mikey. You should have left me there.”

“Never. I love you, baby.”

“You promised away our firstborn”, her voice breaks. “The whole reason why…”

“I’m so sorry”, I say quietly. “We will find a way.”

“No! No. It isn’t meant to be. We get your soul back, and that’s it.”

“New try next year?”, I ask, only half joking.

She gives me a withering glare. “Don’t be a total dumbass. But we’ll find a way.”

I take her hand. We walk away, together, and right this moment all is well in the world.

Thank you for reading. And Happy Halloween!

If you want to hear the story read out loud, listen to Rebecca Galardo’s and Holly Lisle’s Halloween episode for their podcast Alone In the Room With Invisible People. My story starts at 2:02:17. I highly recommend you to listen the other stories too. They’re stellar.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments. What did you think of the story? And how are you spending your Halloween? Do you dress up? What has been your favourite Halloween costume?

Link Feast vol 63 – Writing Links


Cersei, Voldemort, Hannibal Lecter, Saruman, Joker… We love to hate a good villain. 

Since it’s almost Halloween, this Link Feast has a special section about writing villains and monsters. 

Drop a comment below and share who are your favourite bad guys and critters from books, films and TV.

If You Have Time For Only One Link

The Bodies of the Girls Who Made Me: On Fanfic and Storytelling by Seanan McGuire 

On Writing Villains & Monsters

The Brain Behind the Story: The Big Boss Troublemaker (BBT) by Kristen Lamb

Scaredy-Pants! 4 Breeches – er – BREACHES That Elicit Fear in Your Characters by Bonnie Randall

Five Tropes That Make a Villain Look Incompetent by Oren Ashkenazi

How to Plot a Mystery, Part 5: Figure Out What Went Wrong by Matt Bird

Storyteller’s Rulebook: The Mastermind Exception by Matt Bird

When to Narrate a Villain’s Point of View by Chris Winkle

Writing Monsters: What Makes a Monster Scary? by Philip Athans

5 Frankenstein Inspired Stories That Recontextualize the Monster by Natalie Zutter

The Evolution of Dragons in Western Literature: A History by Yvonne Shiau

On Writing

Author Mindset: 4 Practices For Overcoming Self-Doubt by Philip Kenney

Writing Boldly, Without Fear by Heather Webb

Writers: How to Ditch Distraction and Focus by Rochelle Melander

The Books That Get People Talking by Kathleen McCleary

Confession of a Lapsed Reader by Sarah McCoy

How Is Our Protagonist Challenged to Improve? (& a Worksheet) by Jami Gold

Analysis: Carnival Row Shows Us the Damage a Reveal Can Do by Chris Winkle

Five Reasons Stories Have Slow Openings and How to Fix Them by Oren Ashkenazi

Romance Beats vs. 12 Stages of Intimacy by Jami Gold

How to Describe Your Main Character by James Scott Bell

Seven Common Causes of Reader Confusion by Chris Winkle

How to Train Your Editor Brain by Tiffany Yates Martin

Professional Romance Novelists Can Write 3000 Words a Day. Here’s How They Do It by Thu-Huong Ha

Caveat 1: Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. If you just bought your first running shoes, you should not compare your output to authors who have been at it for years. Set a writing goal you can fairly easily beat so you are always writing to success. When hitting that goal gets easy, slowly increase your aim.

Caveat 2: Romance novels tend to have very clear story beats and structures. If you are writing something longer and a genre not so clearly defined, do expect more meandering and need to pause and figure out where your story is going.

Caveat 3: Many of the most recent super productive self-pub wonders reach their astonishing word counts by dictating their stories instead of writing them.

How Publishing Business Works, Being a Business-Minded Author & Book Marketing

Current Trends in Book Publishing by Jane Friedman

Business Musings: The Three Kinds of Writers (Rethinking the Writing Business Part 14) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Business Musings: But I Can’t Afford…. (Rethinking the Writing Business Part 15) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

(How to make sure your author business stays healthy, and to not overspend on business ventures that you don’t crucially need. How to analyse the costs and benefits.)

From Indie Author to Creative Empire With Michael Anderle by Joanna Penn

(Michael has been doing for years the kind of licensing Kris Rusch is talking about in her blog series)

He Has Come to Solve Your Plot Problems by James Scott Bell (now here’s how you puff your own book in an entertaining way)

Influencer Outreach 101: How to Get Other People to Promote Your Book by Tim Grahl

Deep Stuff

How to Automate a Habit and Never Think About It Again by James Clear

These Poverty Fighting Startups Are Slaying Silicon Valley’s Sacred Cows by Ciara Byrne

Japan’s most remote onsen (hot spring) by Lily Crossley-Baxter

Fun Stuff

The Rec League: Books For Your Inner Goth by Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Beyond Frankenstein: 7 Contemporary Monster Books Written by Women by Mallory O’Meara

Link Feast, vol 62 – Writing Advice For Authors


The Seductive Power of a New Book Idea: When to Give in to the Romance? by Ruth Harris

On Writing

Adulthood 2.0: After Your Dream Comes True by Bryn Greenwood

The Blank Page Is Not Neutral by Steven Pressfield

Writers, Remember. The Wand Chooses the Wizard by Michelle Barker (Always sound like yourself. Only you can be you. When you try to be someone else, you are only a weak copy.)

On Getting Feedback by Elizabeth S. Craig

Lessons Learned From a Decade in Publishing by Janice Hardy

Stories vs Situations: How to Tell If a Story Will Work by Jeff Lyons

Story Development Tools & Techniques: The Whistles and Bells Test by Jeff Lyons

How to Tell If Your Story Has Too Much Plot, Not Enough Character by K.M. Weiland

Pulp Heroes by Steven Pressfield

The Secret to Writing Fascinating Villains by Laurence MacNaughton

12 Signs You’re Afraid of Your WIP by Kathryn Craft

Writing Tips: Unforgettable Endings With James Scott Bell by Joanna Penn

Endings Are Not Stoppings: On Game Of Thrones and How We Conclude Our Stories by Chuck Wending (warning: language and spoilers of the final episode of the series) 

Tearing Down the Throne: Interrogating Power Structures in Western Epic Fantasy by Jenn Lyons

Writing a Future in Which You Choose Your Own Nation by Ada Palmer

Manuscript Evaluations: What They Are and What to Expect by Sarah Chauncey

Collaborative Writing In a Shared World by David Mark Brown

Jerry Seinfeld’s 5 Step Comedy Writing Process by Jess Zafarris

The Publishing World

How Reese Witherspoon became the new high priestess of book clubs by Constance Grady

7 ways book publishing will change over the next few years by Mike Shatzkin

People In Publishing I Learn From by Jane Friedman (The Who is Who in the Publishing news and blogging world)

Book Marketing & Blogging

To Sell More Books, Change the Story You Tell to Yourself About Marketing by Sue Campbell

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – August 2019 by Amy Collins

Please shut up: Why self promotion as an author doesn’t work by Delilah S. Dawson

How to Improve Your Amazon Book Descriptions by Penny Sansevieri

5 Simple Ways to Open Your Blog Post With a Bang by Brian Clark

Deep Stuff

The Benefits of Optimism Are Real by Emily Esfahani Smith

The Inuit don’t shout at their children – so why do we? By Will Coldwell

Why Routines Are So Important to INFPs (Even Though We Hate Them) by Darcy Ritt (you can replace INFPs with Creatives or Spontaneous People)

How to Create a Chain Reaction of Good Habits by James Clear

The biggest lie tech people tell themselves – and the rest of us by Rose Eveleth

Fun Stuff

Watch the First Trailer For Robert Downey Jr’s Doctor Doolittle Reboot by Stubby the Rocket

7 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books to Curl Up With This Fall by S.W. Sondheimer

Hot Girl Summer Is Over, Long Live Hot Nerd Fall by Stubby the Rocket (The Doctor, Q, Joan Watson, Aziraphale, Henry Jones Sr., Rupert Giles… so many cool ones)

12 Popular Movies With Introverted Main Characters by Savanna Roberts


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