Launching my first newsletter

This is something else (along with a book trailer) that I’ve been meaning to do for years, but never quite had the courage, or the first idea where to start. Now, thanks to some amazing advice from several kind (and incredibly patient!) friends, I’ve finally pulled out my finger and done something about it.

Naive!Me (TM) thought that it was just a question of writing a newsletter, getting a few names signed up somewhere, and Bob was promptly my uncle. Needless to say, the process is a whole lot more complicated than that. I didn’t just want to throw my newsletter at potential readers; I wanted to give them something in return for them taking an interest in me. That meant a free short story, which meant writing it, editing it, proofreading it, designing a cover for it, formatting it, converting it, and uploading it somewhere where new readers could download it from.

The process also involved signing up to a mailing list provider to manage my list for me. One week, three separate new software packages/platforms, several new author accounts and a vast amount of learning later, I feel it hasn’t just been a steep learning curve, it’s been like trying to walk up Striding Edge, backwards, blindfolded. But I made it through the silly mistakes, the accidental sign-up loops and everything else, and the good news is that I’m finally ready to launch my newsletter onto the world.

Of course, before I can send it out, I need someone to send it to! Which is where my readers come in. Particularly any readers who enjoy my LGBT romances, since that’s what I’m concentrating on just now and what the newsletter is likely to be focused on. So, if anyone wants regular, monthly(ish!) updates on my writing, my books and my general day-to-day life, together with occasional book reviews, announcements about friends’ releases, and anything else that might be vaguely interesting, you can sign up here.

And as mentioned above, there’s a FREE short story as a reward. Monster in the Maze is a short, ultra-sweet, no sex romance loosely based on the old Minotaur legend, but moved to a stately home somewhere in England. Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite. Don’t forget – this story won’t currently be available anywhere else, so to read it you need to, you know, *nudges*, sign up!

I hope you enjoy the story, and look forward to chatting to you via my spiffy new newsletter in the next few weeks.

A low growl echoed through the undergrowth, raising all the hairs on Theo’s arms. It was followed by vague snortings and snufflings, and a sound that could only be described as pawing the ground. And what cow did that? This wasn’t good. This wasn’t good at all. Monster, Christian had said. He could start to believe it now.

 It was tempting to follow the gardener’s suit and turn and run, but he wasn’t sure he could face Christian’s disappointment afterwards. Besides, a small part of him was intrigued. What, exactly, had taken up residence in the Coseley maze? A prize bull? Something big and nasty that had escaped from a wildlife park? Something big and nasty and carnivorous? Well, that was a risk he’d have to take.

He clutched the torch, more as a potential weapon than a source of light, and tiptoed round the final bend. And stopped, heart thumping so hard it might actually burst out of his chest. The pavilion was just as he remembered it: a few feet square, with a pitched roof and a flight of steps up to its white-painted door. A pretty thing, a folly for a rich and bored family back in the eighteenth century when it had been built. But it wasn’t so pretty now. On the steps stood—lurked—a strange, huge figure, hunched and twisted, with a bull-like face and—were those horns?

Theo tried to swallow but all the moisture had vanished from his mouth. The beast’s head swung from side to side; its eyes gleamed yellow in the gloom. And his feet were stuck in concrete and he couldn’t move. For a second he thought perhaps it hadn’t spotted him, here in the shelter of the last bit of hedge. But then the vast head turned, and the eyes locked on to him, and the great maw opened wide and—

‛Out of my way—you shouldn’t even be in here. I told Christian to keep everyone out.’

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