There are now many ways to publicise a book on the internet. One of the most exciting and perhaps the most creative is the use of video. Digital cameras are relatively keep and readily attainable. Most have automatic modes that enable point and shoot which makes them simple to use. Many people have webcams that can easily be utilised. Practically all this equipment comes with easy to use software and can be attached to the USB port of a PC.
By using a tripod a simple story can be shot single handily. All it needs is a minimal script, some graphics and someone to stand in front of the camera. Many social networks such as Utube encourage uploading of short video clips so that your visual advert can be distributed worldwide free of charge in no time at all.
The Independent Publisher, Salt Publishing, provides a good example. Wena Poon is interrupted whilst being interviewed about her forthcoming novel, Alex y Robert
Choosing names for characters can be a chore for any fiction writer. There are many limitations which come into play. They must not be relatives or close friends in case any of these feel you are writing about them. Even remote acquaintances might take offence.
A good novelist will take traits observed from people encountered in all walks of life. If successful the reader will know or have met someone just like them but they must never think that that character is them. A good trick to use when stuck for a name is to watch film or TV credits then take a first name that might fit and mix them with a different surname
The protagonist is the most difficult of all to conjure up. He or she should be easily identifiable to reader and author so that they should care what happens to them. It is no wonder that the writer puts so much of himself in his central character even when that character is the villain.
David James has painted a vivid picture of 1950s south London following the lives of Jude, a young woman raised by care homes and Harry, otherwise known as Ape, an aging ex boxing coach. Jude has a talent for scrapping, a talent which might save her from a life of crime and spells in and out of prison. Ape can help if she will let him, and if he can survive bouts of drinking and depression.
The story follows their struggle through the underclass of their time. They could both help each other to survive, and maybe even prosper, but may not realize it.
The story is raw. You can smell the drab dirty streets, pubs, boarding houses and the blood and sweat of the ring. It tells of a world of women’s championship boxing, of fixed fights and a chance for the big time. Judy, ‘The Slugger’, Smith and Apeman Harry O’Riordan are sympathetic characters and we are compelled to know what will happen to them as they move through backstreets inhabited by colourful and grotesque characters.
Books, cameras, music, watches, TV, radio, audio have all been revolutionised by digital technology. Reel to reel tape recorders, 35mm cameras, pen and paper still exist and are used less but will never die. Their legacy has been passed on to the digital age. Book publishing, recorded music, radio and TV were once the domain of the professional or the serious amateur enthusiast but not anymore.
The analogue recording/film studio may be a thing of the past. Photography meant taking time to get the exposure right followed by many hours amongst chemical solutions, tanks and trays in a dark room. Not anymore. The new technology makes it is so much easier for anyone to produce work of expert quality. The artist is freed from having to translate his or work for the technical specialist and can take direct control.
This is a compelling story with a moving central character. It has a poignant theme showing that no matter how much you strive to succeed in life the motives and actions of others will affect the outcome.
The descriptions of the various forms of bullying Bernard receives are unfortunately very believable and highlight attitudes of many who make no attempt to understand persons less able than themselves. Those that suffer with learning difficulties are particularly at risk since their problems are not outwardly apparent. The attitude of some of the social service professions encountered by the family was most disturbing and shows the fallibility of modern day bureaucracies that are there to protect the vulnerable.
The meeting between Katie and Bernard seemed on first reading to be too much of a coincidence but such coincidences do happen and at that point in the story Bernard needed a break.
Bernard’s tale is one of heartache and struggle but shows with help and understanding it is possible to win through. Much of that help is provided by Zack and Rose, who come across as examples of life’s unsung heroes and heroines. Without such people it is impossible to see how any of us, let alone the intellectually disadvantaged, can adapt to the everyday stresses of living which is a point that comes across strongly in this thought provoking narrative.
Lewis Carroll’s story of a young girl entering a strange dream world has delighted and entranced adults and children alike. It is a tale of a world turned upside down where logic and words are played with and juggled to remarkable effect.
Stories work well when the narrative seems illogical. Alice’s wonderland has a disappearing cat which defies all logic. Peatmore’s Cogrill’s Mill has a cat which does not exist. The reason for this is logical. The Wonderland character is magical and defies all logic but was the inspiration behind the Cogrill’s Mill cat.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been adapted to film, animation, TV, radio and live performance and all these media have gloried in bringing it to life. I have heard that the latest digital effects in cinema and the iPad are stunning although I have yet to see them myself. The magic is there in the words but is at its best when they are read for the first time to a small attentive child.