Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Internet as a Tool for Writers

In the past week or so I have been thinking about cover designs for When Dreams Come True and after hours of trawling through stock photography sites I had three photographs, one of which I loved, one I didn't like much at all and one I found was growing on me.  I asked some of my friends for their thoughts, which they duly gave. These friends are all people who I have got to know online.

The photo that I loved had some issues with it. The girl in the photo Is My Character. You know, when you look at a face and think, YES!

But I don't ask for feedback from people who I respect the opinion of for nothing. Some of them had issues with the emotions shown in the image.

I did something I felt really cheeky doing yesterday. I emailed the photographer - who lives in the USA, to see if she had any more shots from the photo shoot with a slightly different expression. Her reply pretty much took my breath away.

In summary, while I was sleeping last night, the photographer did a reshoot with the same model, using my exact requests as guidelines. I now have 26 images to choose from, which is a task in itself, as they are all totally gorgeous.

I can't help but think about how hard it must have been back in the time when Dickens was writing. He had to get on a boat to go to the US and travel around doing readings to speak to people.

These days we are so blessed with the Internet. Not only was I conversing with a photographer in another country yesterday, I was also giving advice to a new book blogger in the US, emailing a friend in yet another country about our writing goals and progress, and having email exchanges with several other writers in the UK. These things would have been impossible before the Internet. Sometimes I wonder if we realise just how lucky we are.

Thanks for reading - this post makes my blog title seem quite apt don't you think?


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Short Stories on Wednesdays: Not So Perfect by Nik Perring

This week I have read Nik Perring's collection of stories, Not So Perfect.

This is a collection of contemporary short stories and flash fiction which made me smile, wince, and yes, I'll admit it, it did bring a tear as well. It's a great mixture of stories, and despite being a paperback fan, I found once I had started reading this book on my Kindle, I couldn't put it down. I actually read the whole collection in one day, which is very unusual for me.

Not So Perfect is a collection I will definitely be reading again.

If you want to find out a bit more about Nik Perring you can read the interview I did with him at the end of last year, shortly after he edited my own short story collection.

Not So Perfect is published by Roast Books and can be found on Amazon here.

Find out more about Short Stories on Wednesdays by clicking on the link.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Short Stories on Wednesdays: The Machine Stops by E M Forster

Today for Short Stories on Wednesdays I dug out the short story book I  read for my O'Level English Literature. My copy of the book itself was printed in 1986, and you will see from the picture it is accompanied by a very fetching home made bookmark which I can only imagine I made in the early '80s.

I re-read one particular story which has always stuck with me, The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster. One of the first Sci Fi stories I ever read, this story was originally published in 1909, and foretold of a world where humans become dependent on technology. Video conferencing is the norm, and the surface of the Earth has been ruled unfit for habitation.

The story hits home even now, but even more so when you remember that it was written long before the Internet, webcams or Global Warming were heard of.

You can find a full page with much more detail about this story over on Wikipedia.