Thursday, 29 August 2013

Introducing Our Newest Members...

          The 29th day of the month, and the introduction of a
new page for Authors Electric.
          The 30th - and the 31st, if there is one - have always been given over to Guest Posters, and that will continue, under the very able management of Debbie Bennett.

Debbie, Guest Wrangler
          The 29th was, until recently, Hywela Lyn's day - but we're sad to say that Hywela has had to resign, because her other commitments make it impossible to keep up with Authors Electric. Blogging is time consuming - thinking of a new subject every month, writing it, rewriting it, finding pictures, rewriting it... (Because writers obsessively rewrite: that's what we do.)
          So we well understand Hywela's reasons for leaving us, and we wish her well for the future.
          But as we now have a free day at the end of the month, it seemed a good idea to use it to spot-light one or another of our members, or one of the several genres we write in. I think it's true to say that we love being members of Authors Electric - those of you who only read this front-page don't see all the jolly japes and merry banter that goes on behind it. And the good, solid advice and help that's given.
          But it's also true that, when there's 29 of you - 28 now - you can get lost in the crowd.
          And we Electrical Authors, we're a dynamic bunch. There's always somebody leaving, and a new member being welcomed. There is also, I'm glad to say, a large group of members who've been with us almost since we started in June 2011, and it's they who make it work, who welcome new members and help them out. I'd be very sad to lose any of them (and I'm sure they know who they are.)
          But I thought I'd kick this page off by introducing the newest members. There are eight of them, so I can't do more than quickly mention them. Perhaps, in the future, they'll get this spot to themselves, to tell us more.
          The newest of the new is Die Booth, who joined just a few
Die Booth
days ago. I think Die is also one of our youngest members. Die's only ebook at the moment is ReVamp! - a collection of stories from the ReVamp site, which ran a short-story competition, the aim of which was to restore the true, original frisson to vampires, werewolves, ghosts and all their supernatural ilk, while moving away from the modern trend for wispy, heart-throb Undread. I think the competition succeeded in this.  I remember, among other pieces, Die's excellent take on the classic 'Monkey's Paw' which I very much enjoyed. So when I heard that Die was soon to publish a new book, Spirit House, and was wondering how to drum up some publicity, I quickly issued an invite to join A-E. (It's a start.)

          Then we have a contingent of children's writers who have joined us from the Scattered Authors' Society - Nick Green, Elizabeth Kay and Sandra Horn. I daresay, like me, they have been asked, innumerable times, 'When are you going to write a proper book?' Oddly enough, we Scattered Authors for children consider the books we write to be 'proper books' - and not just in the sense of upright and moral. A book for children is not easier to write than a book for adults. It is not more lightly or carelessly undertaken. It is simply another genre.
          'Adult literature concerns itself with the important stuff, such as career success, marriage, divorce, adultery - while children's literature deals with the trivial stuff that's left over, such as Good, Evil, Life, Death, Time, Infinity and beyond...'
 
Nick Green
        You may have read the very witty posts Nicks has written for us - indeed, I invited him to join because he has a gift for being funny. (Though I suspect, like most such 'gifts' it takes a lot of thought and hard work.) I've just finished reading Nick's 'The Storm Bottle'. It's excellent. You think dolphins are sweet and noble? - Nick gives us the real low-down. As well as giving us a real feeling of the heat and light of Bermuda, creating a completely engaging heroine - and a very brave ending!

          Elizabeth Kay is an artist as well as a writer. Those beautiful
Elizabeth Kay
covers on her books? - She did them herself. I have read and much enjoyed all the books in her 'Divide' trilogy. I always marvel at how effortlessly she fills her characters with personality and makes them loveable. In the Divide books there is a fantasy creature - a sort of fantastical hyena - whose only aim in life is to disembowel and eat every living thing he meets. And yet he is the most loveable character. (But it should be said that Liz doesn't restrict herself to children. Her very funny 'Beware of Men With Moustaches' is for adults.)
 
Sandra Horn
        Sandra Horn is another who's joined us very recently. Sandra
specialises in picture books for the very young, or for early readers - and anyone who thinks this is easy should have a go! The ebook market for picture books is very small at the moment, so Sandra is a pioneer. Formatting these books also has its own difficulties, and Sandra has already shared some of them with us - but the market can only grow. I know that schools are buying ebooks to use in conjunctionwith their interactive white boards (because teachers have contacted me about it.) Also, full colour pictures are cheaper to put onto an ebook than they are to print, and with the illumination behind them, look gorgeous.
          Jan Ruth is one of several of our writers who would probably
Jan Ruth
be labelled 'Romantic' by the publishing world - and then dropped because their books aren't quite what the publishing world think 'Romance' should be. They aren't pink enough, somehow, don't have enough lace and ribbons. After all, it's quite a common experience, among men and women, that they meet someone, of the opposite or same sex, and fall in love. Sometimes that works out well, sometimes it doesn't. Many other factors may be involved, such as politics, or the tension between the expectations of society and the wishes of an individual - but if a book is written by a woman and explores the theme of love at all, it will probably be labelled 'Romance.' Even if it's a lot more.
          This is another reason why writers are publishing e-books.
Jo Carroll
          Jan lives in North Wales, and has a great love for the landscape and history of the area, which comes through strongly in her books - and her blogs! 
Jo Carroll is our travel-writer: and a very adventurous one too. I was familiar with Jo from her comments on blogs - and then another of our members, Cally Phillips, praised her books of travel writing. The books sounded fascinating, and I thought, 'We haven't got a travel writer,' - so I invited Jo to join. Jo's books tell how she decided that there had to be something 'between retirement and the zimmer frame'. Her answer was to travel the world. Alone. Meeting gun-men and tigers and butterflies.
          Finally, I'll introduce our American connection: Reb MacRath and Leverett Butts. When Authors Electric began, it had a rule: UK writers only.
          But as time went on, this made less and less sense. After all, on the various ebook platforms, we sell all over the world. And Do Authors Dream of Electric Books? has a larger audience in the USA than it does in the UK. We also have readers in Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China, India...

So when Reb MacRath expressed an interest in joining, we thought, why not? We have certainly not regretted it. Reb writes lively, stylish, funny thrillers - and his blogs for us are also full of vim and verve.
   When we needed to replace another blogger, Reb suggested Leverett Butts, who joined us last month. He has a book of linked short stories already available, and will soon be publishing 'Guns of the Waste Land', which will retell Arthurian myth as a Western. And since 'The Wild West' has already become mythic, that is a very intriguing idea.
Leverett Butts

So those are the eight new bloggers and writers I wanted to introduce. Six of them from the UK, and two from the USA.

          Which brings me to another point. We are down to 27 bloggers, and we need 28.
          Now we are always going to be, mainly, a UK blog. But we would like to offer that blogging spot, the 26th day of each month, to someone from outside the UK. Is there an Australian, Indian, Canadian or South African writer and e-booker out there who would like it?
          Whoever you are, you will be expected to post a blog every month on your day. You will be expected to help publicise us. But there are benefits.
          If you're interested, contact us at the email in the sidebar to the right.
          We look forward to hearing from the world!




        


7 comments:

Chris Longmuir said...

I'm sure I've welcomed all the new members before, but here's another welcome, and what a great post to introduce you all.

madwippitt said...

Yes, welcome all!
And have we really been around that long? Seems like only yesterday ... :-)

Lydia Bennet said...

welcome all new AE bloggers, and yes let's have some new blood from far afield! ebooks can travel anywhere after all.

Bill Kirton said...

Hear, hear to all the above. (I know, but I'm a lazy sod.)

Dennis Hamley said...

Yes indeed, welcome all.

Reb MacRath said...

Great update on the current roster. And thanks for the kind words.

Lee said...

A good introduction to all the new members, thanks - and welcome.