Friday, August 10, 2007

Failure, widgets, and more

A while back I mentioned a forthcoming interview with Josh Giddings, the author of Failure, on NPR's 'Weekend Edition Sunday'. Now he tells me that scheduled interview with has been cancelled due to a family emergency just suffered by the host, Liane Hansen. This is an almost inevitable fate, one might think, for a book entitled Failure.

Over at Jane Holland's blog, she recently published a piece about whether one should write in the white-hot heat of passion, so to speak, or whether it's best to write with a more detached, objective approach. I'm a supporter of the latter method myself, as is she, but the former has its advocates.

One of the commenters on Ms Holland's essay is Edmond Clay, who refers you across, by way of example, to his own imagined dialogue between Eros and Psyche.

Also, if you've ever wondered about the backstory of Rick and Ilsa in Casablanca, Edmond (writing as The Griffin), has an answer.

On the same Eros and Psyche web page you will also find links to two sets of hints on how to win the love of a woman.

Long-tail theory tells us that no matter how obscure or specialised your taste (Gor novels, anyone? Westerns?) there is a book for you somewhere. Suppose, for example, you fancy reading a free-verse novel about Californian werewolves. No problem, sir or madam, Mr Rundkvist has found one for you. Further information about Sharp Teeth can be found in the New Statesman.

John Howard's success may give some encouragement to self-publishers. His children's book The Key to Chintak has enjoyed substantial sales (for a self-published book) in the UK. Nielsen Bookscan's data show it as the second best selling children's paperback amongst small publishers in the second quarter of last year. The Nielsen's Small Publisher list contains the likes of Faber so John is well pleased.

Furthermore, Chintak was the only self-published book in the top 500 for the whole year, finishing in 25th place. It is worth pointing out that in addition to the sales recorded by Nielsen, John sold just as many books again direct into schools, libraries, independents, book clubs, et cetera.

Now he has sold Italian rights to Mondadori. Details of this, and a lot more, on his web site.

I've only ever had one widget, and it didn't work so the hell with 'em. You may be more tolerant. Now you can get one which gives you videos of authors talking. Coming soon: authors who juggle, authors who tap dance, authors who cook spaghetti for their Italian mothers-in-law....

Once there was (and probably still is) a series of children's books called Write Your Own Adventure. This allowed kids to have a story go in whichever direction they preferred. Now adults can do it too, through interactive fiction as offered by Malinche Entertainment.

Despite what is said above, some videos which are developed to arouse interest in books are works of art in themselves. To see a quite exceptional piece of computer graphics, take a look at the video created by Ian Irvine's son Simon, to publicise the latest book about Runcible Jones.


Anonymous said...

I think it quite enough to read an author's writing--but for some reason, they seem to feel I want to hear them babbling at me as well. "Hi, I'm an author and I thought (chamber music background) I would take a moment from being creative (shot of fingers typing on keyboard) to tell you how I announced my desire to be a writer as I exited the womb."

Never mind, now I don't even want to read the book, after all.

Anonymous said...

Who decides which books get press (Harry Potter) and which get censored? After all, censorship is becoming America's favorite past-time. The US gov't (and their corporate friends), already detain protesters, ban books like "America Deceived" from Amazon and Wikipedia, shut down Imus and fire 21-year tenured, BYU physics professor Steven Jones because he proved explosives, thermite in particular, took down the WTC buildings. Free Speech forever (especially for books).
Last link (before Google Books caves to pressure and drops the title):
America Deceived (Book)

Anonymous said...

Hi there. You imply that interactive fiction for adults is a new thing, but it's been around for ages - see the Wikipedia entry. There's some very well-written work out there (some tosh too of course).