Sunday, 9 June 2013

Technology 1, Me 0... oh dear, not again!

I came across this picture online today and it made me laugh. This is exactly how I sometimes feel!

Wrestling with the methods, the internet sources and after three hours suddenly finding you're no further forward... Am I alone in this?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for advancement. I happen to like the possibilties we have today and I've tried in vain to get my feeble technical skills around them!

As an operator of Microsoft progammes and fully fledged diploma holding professional personal assistant, I have no trouble working the computer. I can manipulate the programes to suit, fomulate spreadsheets with complex data, handle databases, mail merges, format word processed documents with charts and graphs, write essays (and the occassiona novel!) type up important meeting minutes and answer a phone connected to the PC without a hint of trouble.

But... when it come to websites, blogs even, importing data into posts and linking various things to each other online, I find myself a long way behind the technical trail blazers. There are apps to link Goodreads to Facebook, Facebook to Twitter, Twitter to your website and now there are blogs too.... help me please. I just about fathom something but by the time I've managed that the world has announced a fabulous new invention... If anyone fancies setting up business instructing people how to operate an effective online profile, they'll be raking the pounds in, I'm sure.

Oh dear, let me struggle on. If there's anyone out there who knows how to magic these things up then I'd be grateful to hear from them, before I crumple yet another computer with frustration!!

Monday, 3 June 2013

CrimeFest 2013

Last weekend saw CrimeFest 2013 at Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel. The above panel was an interesting discussion on violence in crime fiction, and questioned whether it ever went too far.
The panel consisted of:
  • Ruth Dudley Edwards
  • MR Hall
  • Simon Kernick
  • Kevin Wignall
  • Moderator: Steve Mosby
Ruth Dudley Edwards led the argument that violence isn't necessary to evoke powerful imagines for the reader. Matthew Hall told an interesting tale relating to a book by Stephen King entitled 'Rage' that he withdrew from publication following a savage attack on school children by gunmen. The book came out before the shooting but mirrored 'Rage' sufficently to upset the author, understandably so.  The discussion was perhaps the liviest of those I saw, but was chaired expertly by Steve Mosby and left the group with many thoughts to ponder over!

I also attended the panel called, 'Crime & Crossover: Different Genres, Different Audience?' with the following:
  • Colin Cotterill
  • Yrsa Siguroardottir
  • Dana Stabenow
  • Evonne Wareham
  • Moderator: Kevin Wignall
 The discussion questioned the need for marketers and book shops to put a book in a specific catergory and theorised that the new electronic format gave readers a wider range to see by ignoring such categories.  It's an interesting view - what is your take on this? Any comments appreciated.
My personal favourite panel was the Fresh Blood, Debut Authors 1, consisting of:
  • Alex Blackmore
  • JC Martin
  • Tom Vowler
  • Fergus McNeill
Alex Blackmore's 'Legal Profit' sounded like an excellent read and has since been added to my shelf. From a corporate city background, Alex has forged a unique tale that will probably prove quite illuminating!  JC Martin told us about her new detective novel, in the run-up to the London Olympics. Fergus McNeill told us about his road to publication and his dedication to his new career launched by his debut novel 'Eye Contact'. Tom Vowler made up the panel with his debut novel 'What Lies Within', which again sounded like a must-read psychological suspense.