Author Newsletters

Image Credits:-
All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes. Hope you have had a good week. Weather turning autumnal where I am but I like that. I think autumn is beautiful and September is a lovely month.


Facebook – General and Chandler’s Ford Today

Am pleased to share Author Newsletters, my latest post for Chandler’s Ford Today. Some writers have them, others don’t. Still others won’t!

I look at why I do have one now and what I use it for. I share some thoughts I hope will be useful to anyone considering going this route. Hope you enjoy it. Comments also welcome over on the CFT page about what you find useful in a newsletter.

As with my story writing, I have my readers in mind when I prepare mine. Having your audience at the forefront of your thinking is a good idea – why?

Because by writing with them in mind, you’ll be seeking to entertain, provide them with useful information etc. It is a great way of ensuring you don’t waffle on as well. All win-win there and useful for newsletter writing in particular. Readers don’t have to read them after all!

Author Newsletters

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Hope you have had a good day. Author newsletter out earlier today. And I’ll be talking about that topic for Chandler’s Ford Today – see link tomorrow. Link above.

I had held out against having an author newsletter for a while but am glad I do one now. It’s another way to be creative as I engage with readers. Mind you, I held out against having a smart phone for ages. Now I wouldn’t be without one. I live and learn!

Is there one aspect of the writing life you really can’t stand? For me, it’s how time vanishes down a great big black hole when I’m right in the middle of things, am keen to keep on writing, but tiredness strikes and that’s it. For me the days of being able to stay up until all hours to finish something have long gone. Probably a good thing I must admit.

Still having to go to bed at regular hours these days does mean I get more reading done so that’s more than okay.

Reading can encourage empathy

The end of August already – where has the time gone? I must admit though I do like September. I think it is a beautiful month – even the name of it sounds a little poetic to me. And I love the changing colours of the leaves (though it has been a bit sad to see them dropping off the trees so early this year).

My Chandler’s Ford Today post this week will be about Author Newsletters and I will be sending out my latest one of those tomorrow. Timely, eh?!

Look out for Mom’s Favorite Reads too – will share the link here when I’ve got it.

Looking forward to giving another Zoom talk later on in September too and am making good progress with the third flash fiction book. Am on track to submit that this autumn.

And don’t forget to review books where you can. It does help authors. Yes, I review as well as seek reviews. It seems only fair to me to be prepared to give reviews as well as (hopefully) receive them!

Reviews help writers

From Light to Dark and Back Again

Am pleased to share The Arrangement, my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction. This one is loosely based on fact too. Hope you enjoy it.

Screenshot 2022-09-02 at 09-11-55 The Arrangement by Allison Symes

Many thanks for the great responses to my Writing acrostic yesterday. See below. These are good fun to do – works best with relatively short words though. I sometimes tell flash tales in acrostic form – it makes for an interesting challenge.

The challenges that face your characters should hook in the readers. For flash fiction, it is one major challenge for a character to deal with but I think it makes the emotional response of your character more powerful. They know they are going to have to solve this one and they don’t have a lot of time (or word count room) in which to do it.

That mean your readers get the payback quickly (which for me is another joy of flash – I like the fast turn around. I love reading novels funnily enough and expect the payback to me much slower there but I also expect lots of sub-plots along the way)). You pays your money etc etc.

This is where knowing your character pays off. You find out about them. You work out what makes them tick. You then find would would be a challenge for them and then you get your story to be where they have to face up to it and deal with it. Nobody says you have to be nice to your characters!

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "WIA ()EVER()TOP EVER (s)TOP LEARNING Good idea. It can be great fun though getting your characters to learn their lessons the hard way. Makes for good drama."

W = Write what you would want to read.

R = Recognise the need to edit and re-draft is part of the process.

I = Imagination needs feeding – give it a good book and story diet!

T = Timing sometimes plays a part in rejections so see if you can rework your story and sent it out somewhere else.

I = Investigate your character and know what their traits and attitudes are – that will trigger their actions and reactions.

N = Names can reveal age and class of characters so play around and see what would suit yours best.

G = Go for it – whether you write for pleasure, to try and be published, or whether you can write a lot regularly or a little regularly.

The writing journey is full of twists and turns

Fairytales with Bite – Spreading the News

What form does the news take in your fantasy world? Newspapers? Technologies we don’t know here? Or is your setting behind us in terms of tech and things like that? Are there parts of your world where even older methods of spreading the news exist (e.g. town criers etc)? Is the news reliable or dependent on sources close to government only?

As well as news, people like a good gossip to spread their own news so how do your fairy godmothers etc get together to do this? What hierarchy do they have (someone is bound to be boss)? Which fairy godmother always brings the best gossip to the party and how does she get to hear it? (I could see there being a humorous tale there).

Is magic used to control what “ordinary” people get to hear/see news-wise? Is news from other worlds welcome or are your characters kept in ignorance other worlds might be out there?

Stories could be found too in working out who prepares/writes the news? What conditions do they work under? What pressures do they face? And who goes against the status quo? (Someone usually does!).


This World and Others – A Free Media?

Tying in with Fairytales with Bite, is your media in your setting a truly free one? If not, who controls them? Are people free to criticise or analyse what the government is up to? If the media is a free one, what are the pressures and threats they face and how do they deal with these?

What do people from different levels of society make of the media and why? Has your society always had a media or is this a recent development? Who were the pioneers here? What kind of tech is used by the media?

Can “ordinary” people make their voice heard this way or is this only the privilege of the elite? No matter what world you’re on, there is an elite somewhere, there always is!

Is there a media watchdog and how much has it got in the way of teeth to deal with the errant journalists etc? Also, who decides what errant is and how did they come to be in that role? There are stories here.


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