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Newsletters

Newsletters are used by many authors to keep in touch with readers. There are good services available (Mailchimp comes to mind) to easily distribute your newsletter.
If you haven’t done one, or are not satisfied with the one you are doing, consider blending a bit of humor with interesting, and sometimes personal, information.

Here’s a great example of a newsletter.
It’s from Curtis Bausse, author of the Magali Rousseau mystery series.

Bonjour, bienvenue à La Lettre
Today it’s all about…
Victims and villains

Newsletter 6

   And let’s leap straight in with the question:       
Who is the greatest villain of all time?
As you may know, the mystery writer Dashiell Hammett worked for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. What’s less well-known is that Allan Pinkerton, who founded the agency, died after biting his tongue. More precisely, he slipped on the pavement, and his tongue, which he bit in the fall, became infected with gangrene.

Maybe we can put that down to the Moirai – the three fates in Greek mythology. Clotho spins the thread of life, Lachesis measures how much each one of us will get, and at the appointed time, Atropos, known as ‘the inflexible’, comes along and cuts it.

Last year, the French fitness blogger Rebecca Burger died when putting whipped cream on her dessert – the canister exploded, hit her in the chest and gave her a heart attack. Atropos clearly has all manner of tricks up her sleeve. As this list of ironic deaths shows (my favourite is Clement Vallandigham).

Of course, it may not be fair to think of Atropos as a villain. Since we’re all bound to die, she’s only doing her job, after all. But she seems to delight in setting about it in a totally arbitrary fashion.

Her male counterpart, The Grim Reaper, with his long scythe and hooded robe, appeared in the 14th century, decimating a third of Europe’s population by means of the plague. Who survived? Who didn’t? Only he decided.

It’s the same with terror attacks – the villains are easier to identify, and hopefully bring to justice, but for the victims, it’s a matter of wrong place, wrong time. Or serial killers – the villain in One Green Bottle devises an elaborate system for choosing his victims, but for them it might as well be the Grim Reaper.

While death may at times seem arbitrary, it’s a sad fact that all too often, it isn’t: the victims aren’t chosen at random – they live with the person who kills them. And it’s worth bearing in mind, this 8th March, that most of the time, they’re women. In France, on average, a woman is killed by her partner (or ex) every three days.

It isn’t always murder, though; there’s psychological torment too. Magali Rousseau’s husband is a bit of a bully that way – no wonder she finds herself much better off without him. Even if, thankfully, his villainy falls way short of Gregory Anton’s gaslighting in the film which gave its name to such bullying (video, 2 min 30).

Though Magali’s resourceful enough not to be victimised by anyone, one skill she doesn’t possess is jiu-jitsu. So if you’re looking for women who kick ass, how about The Arrival, the first (free) book in Nicole McDonald’s Birthright Trilogy, ‘an Epic Fantasy Romance with women who know how to wield a sword and swing a punch.’

And while we’re on the subject, here’s a link to a few more victims in six cosy mysteries for just $7.99.

The Fatal Cloth

Billy was burly, brutish and rough,
Millie so fearful, fragile and weak.
‘This time I’ll tell him I’ve had enough,’
She said to herself – but dared not speak.

All her efforts to placate her man
Only managed to increase his wrath.
Until, demented, Billy began
To strangle Millie with a strip of cloth.

Sobbing, she realised this was the date
Chosen on high for her life to end.
And Millie was ready to meet her fate
When she remembered she had a friend.

‘Billy, this cloth will be your loss!’
She cried as she unravelled a thread,
Then summoning faithful Atropos
She grabbed some scissors and left him…

Finally, episode 6 of the Authorised Biography of Curtis, both as text and in audio, complete with sound effects.

‘Poor me,’ said Curtis to his constant, cuddly companion, Kenny Koala. ‘I am a victim.’

‘Crikey!’ Kenny was surprised. ‘Of what?’

‘That’s just the point. I don’t know. A scam? A cruel joke? A gross miscarriage of justice? Or all of the above combined. Together with an entirely gratuitous act of perversity that has resulted in me being alive. They say that life is a gift, Kenny, but what am I supposed to do with it? There’s no instruction manual. Is it something to be enjoyed? But why, in that case, am I so helpless? Everyone else can walk and talk, but all I can do is crawl, and poorly at that. I simply end up bumping into chairs and falling on my chin. Life hurts, Kenny! Life is an endless succession of cuts and bruises. Not to mention a runny nose, a sore botty and teething pains. A gift? What kind of sadist comes up with a gift like that? And the worst part is I’m not even sure it’s going to get any better. Have you heard what happens in the world beyond our pram? Here, let me switch on the wireless for you.’

Kenny listened for a while, then nodded sagely. ‘Terrible indeed, mate. But let me put things into perspective. Not so long ago I was up a tree in New South Wales, happily munching a cheese and eucalyptus sanger, when along comes some scungy mongrel and throws a net round me. I was devvo, mate, no two ways about it. And before I know it I’m in a cage on some stinking boat bound for the UK. Where I fetch up sharing a pram with a first-class whinger who spits the dummy every two minutes and demands to know what the meaning of life is. Strewth! Call yourself a victim – what about me, mate? But have you heard me complain? Not a bit of it. Life is absurd, Curtis. That’s all there is to it, so you’d better get used to it. Now let’s just twiddle that knob and see if there’s something better.’

Curtis, anxious not to upset his only friend, heaved an existentially calibrated sigh. ‘Ah, well, Kenny, I guess you’re right. There’s nothing for it but to make the best of a bad job.’

‘Good onya, that’s the stuff!’ Kenny gave him a hearty slap on the back. ‘Fair dinkum, mate!’

Sadly, Kenny Koala is no more, but his is an excellent lesson in life, which has stood me in good stead ever since. Much as I disapprove of the scungy mongrel who captured him, I would never otherwise have had the privilege of sharing a pram with such a capital koala.

Bien à vous,

Curtis

Episode 5: A Precautionary Measure (3 min)
Episode 4: Wet and Wetter (3 min 30)
Episode 3: The Middle of Nowhere (3 min30)
Episode 2: Why? The discovery of nothingness(3 mins)
Episode 1: The Vaginal Voyage. (3 mins)

Copyright © 2018 Curtis Bausse, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Chemin du Viaduc, Aix en Provence

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8 thoughts on “Newsletters

  1. mimispeike says:

    This is excellent information, that I have to read carefully. It’s nice to know where to find it when I need it. First, I have to get my website finalized look-wise, then up, story complete (with illustrations), ready to be advertised. Then, I collect email addresses. Somewhere thereafter comes a newsletter.

    Curtis. Crikey. Love that. I’m gonna pinch it for Sly. Uh oh. Google says: first known use 1826. Google also says: interchangeable with struth. (You make it strewth.) I assume short for God’s truth. They did a lot of that in my time. Sblood was commonplace. Struth is neat, but crikey is hilarious.

    Sly used to say Christ! Dee, a believing man, objected to it, so Sly started saying Crikey! Dee lambasted him for that as well, though the cat insisted that the term referred to the games of cricket he had organized in the barnyard with the chickens as a child. The chickens clucked their excitement when they scored a goal, a sound that he heard as crikey! He has used the term ever since.*

    __________________________________________

    *The sport of cricket began in the late 16th century. Back then it was spelled creckett. The name may have derived from the Middle Dutch kricke, meaning a stick; or the Old English cricc, a crutch or staff.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ah, GD, indebted to you for the highlight – thanks! It’s fun to write but for me the jury’s still out on how effective it is as a strategy. You’ve prompted me to put together a post about that. Next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mimispeike says:

    I tell you what most intrigues me about this newsletter: the titles of the episodes.

    Wet and Wetter – The Middle of Nowhere – Why? The discovery of nothingness.

    Last but not least: The Vaginal Voyage. (That one I gotta look into.)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: The power of a newsletter. I hope. | writers co-op

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