THE PASSION STROLL...
a blog by author Ashavan Doyon
ARDOR was a bit of a passion project for me.
I knew newsletters were the gold standard for keeping in touch with fans. I wanted desperately to do something new and different and worthwhile. I've gotten some crappy newsletters.
I didn't want fans to associate that with me... news just being crap.
I also didn't want to email the damned newsletters, but it turns out you pretty much have to for them to do what you need them to do as an author.
In the end I was left with a big mess. The PDF newsletter is beautiful, but it translates badly into email format. Emails also won't support the length I need to do the articles I need in the newsletter—the excerpt, the short. I was using tremendous resources designing a cover for each issue, writing the short, creating the graphics. Too many resources and too much time for an audience that, at least right now, is still rather small. I was spending all my time on the newsletter and not enough writing.
It hurts me tremendously to let it die.
I've been filling alternate months with the ARDOR News Briefs. These are something quick from me. A brief bit of promo. Something I'm reading. Short and sweet. That's going to be the future of the newsletter moving forward.
The good news is that this frees me up to write shorts that are a bit longer, and a bit more substantial. Many of these will probably go on sale as novelettes for 99 cents at Purple Horn Press. But subscribers will get access to a lot of them (I won't say all of them) for free. I'm not talking about the 1500 word shorts I had in ARDOR. I'm talking about something probably closer to American Pride, which subscribers already had the opportunity to pick up for free.
Where will the other content go? The news in ARDOR News Briefs will be a combination of what we saw as the Editorial and the Works in Progress. Some of that content will overflow into the blog. Excerpts will go entirely to the blog. The 1500 word shorts will mostly go away unless I have something very particular to promote and I know well in advance that it's coming—subscribers will have some special access to longer shorts, but they'll be more spread out, maybe one or two a year depending on what else I'm releasing.
I hope that this new format will work better, maybe be better read and received, and give you all as fans an opportunity to really get something more substantive in terms of an occasional free read than the brief 1500 word stories I was doing before. Let me know what you think and if I'm missing anything!
The next Ardor News Brief is due out this week!
As promised, the February issue of ARDOR includes musings on Valentine's Day. My own this year was spent finally getting the curtains in the new house hung. I did little else, as it was seriously cold here in New England -- record breaking in fact. I spent most of it worried for my puppy, who is not really a puppy anymore, but quite elderly and suffering from the cold.
The excerpt in this issue is from Gerry's Lion and speaks toward the title. Gerry's Lion is organized as glimpses of life for the characters centered around major holidays, and appropriately this one is pulled from Valentine's Day. The parts of this story are more sections than chapters, and I love the Valentine's Day section in particular. I get a lot of flak for Gerry taking a long time to let go of his partner and be open to a relationship with Leo, and I confess, I don't see it. Gerry lost his husband and lover of over ten years. In what universe should that make finding love after his partner passes easy? It would be hard. It should be hard. I don't regret showing that difficulty for an instant -- in the end, I believe working through that loss with a partner is essential, hopeful, and powerfully important. Too often gay men are told that our love isn't real. Gerry's grief is a testament to how real it can be.
Ok, rant over, on to other exciting topics.
The new issue of ARDOR also contains a short, this one based on The Colors of Romance. I knew I wanted to do a Valentine's Day short from a Valentine's Day story, but I struggled a lot with a topic. Finally I settled on "The Shades of Romance" -- a story about TruClrs4vr, our mystery suitor. In the published story, TruClrs4vr comes across as, I hope, suave, romantic. He's a heroic figure, determined to woo Theo from despair and loneliness. But The Colors of Romance is a short story, and it suffers from the usual difficulties of characterization caused by brevity. The focus is so powerfully on Theo that TruClrs4vr can sometimes feel a little like one note. So with "The Shades of Romance," I tried to bring that focus onto our mystery suitor, make him live a little more. I hope I succeeded.
I definitely hope you'll check out the February issue of ARDOR (it's free), and tell me your thoughts.
You can always find the current issue of ARDOR at my website.
Gerry's Lion is available in paperback and ebook from Dreamspinner Press.
The Colors of Romance is available in ebook format from Dreamspinner Press.
Writer of the mysterious, fantastic, and the romantic. Sometimes sappy. Often angsty. Always searching for the sexy. Stories about men who love men.