AN AUTHOR'S PERSPECTIVE
When authors talk about their work we get an insight not only into the book - the psyche of the characters, the social setting, the storyline - but also on the whole creative process and the inspiration behind the book. As you know, the stories behind the books can often be as fascinating as the books themselves, giving us a much richer experience!
The development of Web 2.0 technologies - podcasts, email newsletters, RSS feeds, social networking sites, Twitter, chat groups, online forums - has brought information about authors and their works to our screens and made it all accessible to us with these easy to use technologies.
Here is a selection of websites that make use of these technologies to bring the authors alive!
Authors on tour live. Podcasts of authors and their books - from the Tattered Cover Book Store. Has an archive of previous podcasts which includes an alphabetical list by author name. Offers email alerts, can subscribe to the RSS feed or follow them on Twitter.
The Open Book Club - TV programme - interviews with authors on their latest books. Has an archive of previous author interviews. Get their email newsletter or follow them on Twitter for the latest news and updates.
Authors@Google - are author interviews on video hosted on YouTube. It is part of the AtGoogleTalks channel. From their web page: "The Authors@Google program brings authors of all stripes to Google for informal talks centering on their recently published books."
BookBrowse - has an author section featuring interviews, biographies, websites and pronunciation guide. BookBrowse is a subscription book recommendation service, though some information is freely available to guest visitors. They have a blog, two email newsletters (previews and recommendations). They have a Facebook page and can be followed on Twitter.
Open Books, according to the introduction on their website is "an hour-long, Chicago-based radio program on which I speak with writers whose work I find enlightening and affecting, perhaps beautiful, funny, urgent, profound, or all of the above. Open Books is rooted in my work as a reviewer and editor for Booklist, and my lifelong love for books." It offers a selection of free down loadable audio files of author interviews divided in fiction, non-fiction and poetry categories. There is also a blog.
The Paris Review Interview Archive - "Since 1953, when the first issue of the magazine appeared with an interview of E. M. Forster, our Q&A encounters with the great writers of our times have come to be recognized as a sort of literary genre unto themselves: the Paris Review interview." Featuring poets and writers interviewed from the 1950s to present. The archive is arranged according to decades (in which the interview was published), though you could switch to alphabetical author index, or search the archive for a specific author.
Powell's Books: Author Interviews. Contemporary writers interviewed by Powell's, the used books seller. The authors interviewed are listed alphabetically in the left side bar. Has a Facebook page, various RSS feed subscription options and can be followed on Twitter.
Free Library of Philadelphia has podcasts of author events - also on Twitter.
Author Interviews by Don Swaim "Listen to the voices of many of the best writers of the English language. These uncut, behind-the-scenes interviews were the foundation of Don Swaim's long-running CBS Radio show, Book Beat." Extensive list of well known and popular authors.
Reading Rockets: Video Interviews with Renowned Children's Book Authors and Illustrators - from the Reading Rockets site which is all about teaching and encouraging children to read. They have a sister website - Adolescent Literacy, also featuring author video interviews. Both organisations have Facebook pages and can be followed on Twitter. Subscription to newsletters and RSS feeds are available for the latest news.
Children's & YA Book Authors and Illustrators on the Web . "Collection of links to children's and young adult book author and illustrator web sites and pages. Some are official, others tributes or interviews."
For more information on children’s authors have a look at:
- Wikipedia list - a list of notable children's literature authors and their most famous works.
- The Christchurch City Libraries have a wonderful list of New Zealand children’s author interviews .
- Storylines has an online database which contains information on New Zealand Writers, illustrators, their books, storytellers and others involved with children's books.
- Literaturelive - "A series of 10 videos that explore the creative process with 10 of New Zealand’s most highly acclaimed authors and illustrators."
- NZ Book Council's NZ writer files - author information, alphabetically listed, and searchable.
- New_Zealand_writers – Wikipedia listing of New Zealand writers, but not extensive.
- Fantastic Fiction has a list of NZ authors with an indication of the genre they write in where applicable. It isn’t an exhaustive list of NZ authors.
- Pulse interviews with authors on Christchurch City Libraries website.
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