Photo by Clay Banks / Unsplash

The other day I sent out my first newsletter aimed exclusively at paid subscribers. I've been told my writing is worth paying for, and, besides, my cat food dinners are losing their charm, so I am giving it a try.

My journey as an author is a bit different than many. I've been writing all my life, but, aside from a bunch of nonfiction computer books for places like Wiley and Sybox under my real name (Charles Bastille is a pen name), I made no effort to publish anything.

Why? Life is a grind. I worked regular jobs to keep food on the table.

I have no idea how successful authors have been able to achieve their prosperity and writing goals, especially when the typewriter was their main tool instead of the computer. It's pretty amazing when I think about it.

While I worked regular day jobs and wrote whenever I could, these people were managing to get published.

But I will say that getting a few computer books published did teach me a few things about the publishing business, agents (I had an agent do the hard work of finding homes for the books), and the editorial process. All the books underwent a lot of editing. A lot more, I think than publishers do today.

Each book first went through a technical editor, who, through Microsoft Word's reviewing functionality, would frequently yell at me for technical boo-boos. Then it was a regular editor's turn to compress my writing, since I have a tendency to go yawn and yawn sometimes.

Now that I'm entering my retirement years, I've decided to make a concerted push into fiction publishing. The agent and editing process I experienced in the nonfiction realm should help with that.

Part of that push is a paid subscriber section here. But also, of course, a concerted effort to find an agent and a home for my newest novel, Restive Souls.

So first off, thanks for subscribing. I hope you'll consider a paid subscription, too. But hey, if anybody understands the "I'm strapped, can't do it!" response to subscriptions, it's me. I'm just glad to have you here either way.


The newsletter I sent out yesterday introduced the Continue? section:

Walking with Hemlock
This is the first “Continue?” story for paid subscribers. I’m currently leaning toward turning it into part of The MagicLand Chronicles, but so far, that is not its role in life. An astute reader who is familiar with MagicLand and the MagicLand Chronicles may be able to guess the delta

The Continue? feature will be a regular addition to this newsletter. The concept is simple: I'll post some stuff I've been working on over the past few weeks, or months, or even years. It might be something I started last week. Or, maybe I dug something up and forgot about it. Who knows? And whether you like it or hate will help me decide if I should continue it.

Sub Club list of agents

If you're a writer, and I know many of you are, you'll want to check out Sub Club on the Substack platform. It's full of submission possibilities. Subscribe, and tell them I sent you. I don't know the folks who run that pub aside from my relationship as a subscriber, so this isn't affiliation noise. I simply happen to like what they're doing.

They recently issued a couple of newsletters listing some agents. Agent coverage is a new thing for them:

9 Literary Agents Accepting Submissions
These agents are building their list. They want to see your shit.


9 Literary Agents Looking for Debut Authors
The keys to the castle are people-shaped. Specifically? These people.

Remember, folks, we writers aren't all in competition with each other.

We are, however, in competition with AI. We should join hands in this fight. So I will continue to share stuff that helps my fellow writers.

I saw an article the other day on Platformer that stated that Amazon is getting flooded with AI-written books, which even further buries your writing into the recesses of Amazon's awful algorithms. Worse, there are indications that Amazon is encouraging this.

We are all in this fight together. I'll have more on this in an upcoming newsletter.

Thanks for reading!