Authors, Inspiration

7 Reasons to Sign Up For the Newsletter

photo by Binti Malu for Pexels

Yes, I know. Everyone and their mother (except mine) writes a newsletter. There are quite a few good ones that offer marketing, book reviews, writing, and saving the planet tips. They are all valuable.

Reasons to sign-up for my newsletter:

1- Most of the followers of this blog are on an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed handled by WordPress. While it’s possible to manually add your name to an email list, I’d never add anyone unless they gave me permission.

2- The current MailChimp newsletter subscription box is the only way to get permission. (On the right side above the teal button or if you are on a mobile device, the sign-up is at the bottom). When you sign up, I know you trust me with your inbox, and more importantly, you trust me with your time and attention.

3- Sharing news about my upcoming book (June 2023) will be easier. We can discuss why I wrote this specific book, answer questions, and link to podcasts or interviews about the book’s subjects and themes.

4- When the time gets closer for the book’s debut, the cover reveal, pre-orders, giveaways, and Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) will be announced first in the newsletter.

5- I enjoy sharing inspiring writing, poetry, and links with other readers and don’t want to lose communication with you all.

6- A newsletter is one connection I can make with readers that aren’t part of a Facebook, Twitter, or other social media algorithm that decides what to show to whom.

7- The email list is mine, and I don’t have to worry about a social media network canceling my account.

The monthly newsletter will be sent on the fourth Saturday of the month.

The blog will still exist, but updates will be sporadic and brief. Pretty much listing the subject of the newsletter.

So, I’m ready to get started with this new venture. Delivery will be on the last Saturday of the month (July 23, 2022).

I hope you will sign up. My friend over at The Story Farmer reviewed my trial newsletter. She sent me the nicest comment:

I really enjoyed the (letter) We Are Made For These Times. Your newsletter is comforting and hopeful.

Mikko Cook

And that’s what I intend with the newsletter. To provide a bit of hope. Talk to you soon.

Authors, Inspiration, Shelly Lowenkopf, storytelling, Toni Lopopolo, Writing, Writing classes, writing tips

Some Things You Should Know about Story (Six, to Be Precise)

The Storyteller-Michael Shaheen, Flickr
The Storyteller-Michael Shaheen, Flickr


Writers want to write the best possible stories they can. Often, like me, writers have the best of intentions but fall short on delivery.

There is an art to storytelling, in the written form, and we writers flock to find out just what makes up this art.

One of the best teachers I’ve come across is Shelly Lowenkopf, a USC professor, who has a Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a consultant and author.

I’d like to share a recent post he wrote on his agent’s blog

Toni Lopopolo Literary Management

By Shelly Lowenkopf

(1) Whose story is it?

A dramatic work has only one central character. There may be secondary characters of equal importance to the overall narrative, but in the vast majority of literary accomplishments from Dracula to Candide, Tootsie to RichardIII,Madame Bovary to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, there is only one central character. This character’s motive—what he/she wants in terms of a goal or objective–drives the story. This is the engine, the seminal force of the action. Action is the operant word in story, fluid and unrelenting, not to be confused with activity, which is often casual and directionless. The central character’s determination to follow what is often an obsessive course propels the action. This energy connects us to the central character. This dominant skein in a story commands our attention.

This imperative may also be subtle. Take Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet;

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