Hey all!

I’m really delighted to have the newsletter to work on today, because I’ve been laying out the new cover in Adobe InDesign, and can I just say how much I hate working in InDesign? But we’re a small company, so anything we can keep in-house, we must, and that means I am stuck laying out the books, because I technically can, even if it makes me miserable for a few days, every time a book is ready for publication ?

We need to grow this company fast, so that I can find an employee to do all layout stuff, and never have to deal with InDesign again ?

Actually, that brings up a point. I talk about “we” and “our company,” but you haven’t met the other two people who are involved. That’s all about to change! We spent December and January having many meetings and writing up a business plan for the year, and generally doing the “fake it ‘til you make it” model, which, according to one business advisor we talked to, said that that is literally the only business model there is. Which made us feel better! ?

I can do a “soft announcement” here about the company name change, since I really didn’t talk about the old company name. I was so stressed out when we first formed the LLC that I had no space left for imagination for coming up with a good company name, and we just went with Raven Belasco, LLC because it was the easiest thing in the moment. But I’ve regretted it, since, and so a bunch of meetings went into choosing the new name: ??? Immoral Influence Publications.

Here is the relevant quote which inspired it:

Anyway, I spent last week creating a logo, below, and I’ll be spending this week making a website. Happily, social media will be in the hands of our Marketing Gal Friday, who you will get to know in an upcoming newsletter after the site goes up…

Immoral Influence Publications! You’ll soon be sick of me talking about this!

We also now have a third in the team, and she will be getting lots of attention in future newsletters, so I’ll just leave that as a tease for now…

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add ravenbelasco@gmail.com to your email system’s address book or contacts.

You were all lovely and patient when I was teasing about the cover last newsletter, so in reward, here is one of the four “faces” on the cover. Here is a character you know from Blood Ex Libris, Blood Sine Qua Non, and from “Abyssinia,” the inimitable Astryiah!

In “Abyssinia” in Blood Triad you get her backstory!

The cover was a chance to work with Kwasi again, which is always such a joy, as he brings my characters to amazing life. I mean, I’ve been seeing them in my head this whole time, but to see them outside my head is just the most glorious moment, and I am delighted to share it with you ?

This is now hours later that I’m coming back to finish this. I needed to take my furry co-author Archibald out for his afternoon constitutional, and then since doing the layout in InDesign was so frustrating I decided today was the best day to make a big pot of gumbo, so I’ve been happily chopping the holy trinity and a bunch of meats instead of banging my head against the mean brick wall that is InDesign, and I am much happier for it. That does mean I’ve put the problem off for tomorrow, but right now, I’m good with that…

I’ll be sending out a short extra newsletter next week, because this year we are doing “Villaintine’s Day” and Kwasi did up a gorgeous image of the Biggest Bad in the whole series (so far!) and I absolutely cannot wait to get that out into the world ?

Oh! I keep intending to end these newsletters with recommendations, so let me highly recommend Fool Me Once, a Netflix limited series based on a thriller by Harlan Coben, which totally knocked my socks off by red-herring-ing me all over the place, until the final episode totally blew my mind. It also has the absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley in it, which on its own is a reason to watch any show ?

If you fuck with Netflix, go watch this immediately!

And here is a song I’m loving: That’s You by Lucky Daye ?

Until the next newsletter, stay well my friends!

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