The kindness of strangers

I’ve noticed a new phrase in the daily lexicon of Irish people. It’s one that I haven’t heard around this land in a long time, until this week – “the kindness of strangers.”

Snow drifts and financial storms happen for a reason. Trouble brings people together.

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Add comment December 3rd, 2010

Broken Evolution is published

Broken Evolution is now finally published in paperback and ebook. Publication feels more like relief than victory after such a long journey to get here. A long-overdue holiday is calling me too — just a few days away.

After I get back the REAL work begins – promoting it! And then a first draft of the next novel. Busy, busy.

See you in a couple of weeks!

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Add comment September 1st, 2010

A Welcome Review

I got word of the first of the pre-publication reviews to come back for Broken Evolution. I must say it was one thing to get good feedback from beta readers, friends and family, but it takes it to a whole different level when the opinion comes from a person I’ve never met – and a person with a high profile in the field of bioethics.

To read about my own work things like “enjoyable and a very good read” and “the author does seem to have done his homework both from an ethical and scientific perspective” and “I really believe this book should be made into a film” is wonderful and great validation of the years of work in getting it to this stage.

But the nicest surprise is this: a totally independent view of the meaning of this story.

Of late, I had been so mired just getting it all right, making a good thriller, tweaking the pace, or editing the grammer and punctuation, or fixing typos, or submitting to agents, or receiving the obligatory agent rejections and false starts, only to be left spinning and wondering what I actually had in this story at all. How nice to get this assessment – pinpointing with laser precision – the true meaning of this tale: “this book raises the fundamental bioethical questions about the definition of human dignity, how it is conferred and the manner in which a person understands his or her identity.”

Thank you Dr. MacKellar; you have reminded me why I sat down to write this book in the first place.

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Add comment August 11th, 2010

Judge a book by its cover? – Redux

The old cover for Broken Evolution has been revamped, to make it a little more bookstore shelf friendly. I just received the printed proof, and I really love it.

Broken Evolution Front Cover

It’s just a quick snap that doesn’t show the full detail, but it looks gorgeous in close-up. Getting there …. bit by bit. The new web site is underway too, and should be live just before publication.

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Add comment May 24th, 2010

Why eReading came of age

As I assemble an eReader app for my novel, I get a great sense of deja vu. It was my final year project in college to write an eReader for the PC. The technology hasn’t changed much – got a little smaller. My latest foray into eReading has made me wonder why it is such a popular option now, whereas it never really took off in those “olden days” (15 years ago) when it was limited to just a few curious early adopters.

Oh sure, the old arguments against eReaders are still there: “nobody will read an entire book from a screen.” Those arguments haven’t changed. There are only two factors that have changed in the intervening years, combining to make eReading a viable medium in this era: portability and ubiquity.

No one was ever going to sit down to their PC to tuck into a good book. PCs were for work; the last thing you wanted to see when you felt like a recreational read. Reading was always something to take to a special place, or fit in when and where you had some down-time. Neither of those apply to a PC. But the era of personal portable computing devices has arrived. Like a book, we can take those personal devices around with us; unlike a book, we can even slip a computer into our pocket.

In the olde days, the only way to get the book bits onto an eReader was on a “floppy disk” (look it up), or the very fancy new medium of “Compact Disc”. No USB keys back then. Now we have the ultimate form of digital distribution – the wireless internet. Download any book over-the-air from anywhere. Book access is now ubiquitous, as ubiqutious as the marketing-driven popularity of Amazon’s Kindle or Apple’s iPhone/iPad – the eReading devices that have become de rigueur.

There is nothing new in software technology, only hardware. All the software tools and techniques I use every day were all invented decades ago. But what is new, is this singularity – the creeping convergence of all technical factors to make the right time and the right place for something to just … take off.

Next … eReading moves beyond the constraints of the old medium to which it is currently compared … matures in its own unique aspects … comes of age … and becomes something new.

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Add comment May 21st, 2010

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