Hey Friends of the Am’r,

The results of the Villaintine’s poll were interesting: it was a three-way tie!

The other obvious result of this poll was that you lot didn’t like the polling option offered by Beehiiv. There’s currently 56 of you (welcome newcomers! ?) and since only nine of you made it through to vote, I’m thinking the fact that you had to login to do so made most of you bounce.

So if I want engagement with you all, I’m going to have to figure out other ways…

Let’s try this poll thing again, but with a difference. I’m going to make a second poll, but if you can’t be arsed to login to do the poll itself—which I totally get!—just hit “reply” and send me a one-letter answer to the following question.

I am doing a second short story in the Am’r universe. (Because my Marketing Gal Friday has demanded it…but I’m making it fun for myself) I’ve narrowed it down to two options for the next story:

If you don’t want to formally do the poll through the Beehiiv site, then just hit reply and let me know 1 or 2!

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.

The other short story that I’ve done is with the sensitivity editor now! This story will be used to entice people to sign up for the newsletter. Which means that you lot will get this free story, because you, lovely reader, are already signed up. What excellent taste you have! This also means that I will have to figure out how to securely automate sending free stories to people who sign up, which will either be straightforward or a nightmare, we shall see! 

I did a fun reply to a reel on Instagram yesterday, for those of you who didn’t see it, here it is:

Instagram post by @raven.belasco

Here’s the review from the person who was dismayed by all the time Noosh talks about having to use the potty in the first book.

It really goes to show that as an author, I cannot make everyone happy. Dan and I were totally on the same wavelength: that that level of reality is vital, and not having it throws us out of the story. But this reviewer was clearly grossed out that Noosh even mentions it, never mind mentions it more than once. (I think it comes up like five or six times in the story? Noosh really has more on her mind than needing a wee!)

As I move forward with the short story, I’m also doing a thousand thousand other things to prepare to Blood Triad’s publication, getting IIP rolling as an effective business, and then other life stuff, like, you know, training Archie to be the best service animal / co-author he can be.

Terrier Luv!

I’m actually remembering to do my recommendations! And I actually have a book recommendation, for once!

I only picked this book up because a friend noted it was set in the town in which I’m currently residing. I never saw the show “Spenser for Hire” nor read any of this series. I actually took it out it from our local library and all!

I was so pleasantly surprised! I love the writing: crisp prose with occasional lines of sheer poetry.

I really cannot go into why I loved it so much without too many spoilers, but suffice it to say that I ended up taking the day off and reading the book cover to cover. If you are looking for a book that gets you thinking in surprising ways, has a wonderful and strong Black character (even though it was written in 1981 by a white man) and just leaves the action about halfway through to go build a house in the woods (don’t worry, plenty of action follows!), this is what you’re looking for. It’s honestly a lovely, refreshing surprise. I wish I had more spare time right now, or I would plough through this entire series right away.

For my music rec, I love this moody, soft-goth instrumental piece perfect for late winter: Crushed Velvet by Molly Lewis and Thee Sacred Souls

Have a wonderful two weeks, and I’ll see ya in March!

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