I’m no different from anyone jumping around the internet these days like a honey bee in summer, landing on websites and pages and blogs whose varying degrees of wow-that’s-interesting catch my attention. Every now and then, I’ll find myself on one of these places and I’m so impressed that I want to keep up with their latest news and events. But of course that entails sharing my email address with someone I don’t know, and my fingers hover over the keyboard while I’m thinking, Well, they seem cool, but if I hand over my email address, will it end up on some mega-super-masterlist used by people trying to sell me a bride from Belarus, 20 quarts of testosterone, or wanting to tell me how a single mom now earns $84,988 per year online without selling anything?
It wasn’t until recently that it occurred to me that I’m one of those people too. I may not be hawking Belorussian brides or buckets of testosterone, but I am hopeful that people might be interested in hearing any news I may have to share concerning my Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels. So on my website and each of my blog posts, I give people a chance to sign up to my mailing list. All I offered in exchange was the promise that I wouldn’t share it with bride pimps or drug traffickers.
Then, recently, I read a blog post by a fellow indie author who talked about his theory that these days our email addresses are a precious commodity, and it isn’t enough for us authors (and bride pimps) to ask someone to give up theirs in exchange for a mere promise, no matter how sincere. He suggests that we offer up something more tangible than I really really really really do promise to not give your address to anyone. That author wrote a longish short story parallel to–but separate from–his main fiction, and made it available exclusively to people who signed up for his mailing list. He said that what happened next supported his theory: people started signing up to hear his latest news at a much greater rate than before.
So that got me thinking. Perhaps I could do something similar with the world I write about – life in Hollywood during the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
I was still musing what that story might be when I heard from a Canadian fan, Charlie Kaus. He contacted me to say that he was re-reading my first book and it occurred to him that “Subway People” would be something he’d love to read if ever I got around to writing it.
In my first book, The Garden on Sunset, one of the main characters, Marcus Adler, experiences his first success in 1935 when he sells a story called “Subway People” to the Saturday Evening Post. MGM director, George Cukor, sees the story and takes the time to contact Marcus. Subsequently, the two men become friends.
When Charlie suggested that I write “Subway People” I all but slapped myself across the face. Of course that’s what I should write! His suggestion was all it took for my creative wheels to start turning, and the story was done a week later. I am now offering it up to anyone who would like to join my mailing list.
If you haven’t yet signed up, click on the Subscribe me! image below. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be directed to a page where you can download the short story in the format of your choice.
And if you’ve already signed up and would like to read the story, EMAIL ME from the address you signed up with, and I’ll be happy to send you the link.
By the way, The Garden on Sunset is available free in ebook format.
Click HERE to take you to the book’s page on my website which lists all the links to all the formats available by the various retailers.