Thursday, May 19, 2011

You Say You Wanna Revolution with Guest Blogger: Frances Pauli

Welcome author Frances Pauli to the Book Boost today!

She's here to talk about the e-book revolution and here's what she had to say...

A Reading Revolution?

I like to talk about e-books a great deal. I’m a big believer in them, and I always have been—even before I had a few out of my own. I’m not so keen on the print OR electronic debate, however, for several reasons. For one, people feel very strongly about the topic, and most debates about the two formats get heated rather quickly. Secondly, I don’t see it as an “either or” situation.

When the hoopla first got rolling, I said something that I believe is just as valid now that roll has turned into a full-speed-ahead charge. It goes like this: we should be far more worried about whether or not future generations read at all than about how they choose to read. See where I’m going?

Today’s books, electronic or paper, have a lot of competition. Sure, maybe all of us die-hard readers and authors will always read, but what about everyone else? How many of us will there be in the next generation? The next after that? Our children already have video games that work almost like virtual reality. Some of them are practically holo-decks. They have 3-D movies and online, interactive web comics. And the list goes on.

That was a frightening picture, in my opinion. I worried about the book. Both kinds. I worried that story-telling would not exist in a non-interactive way, and I didn’t think it would take that long to get there either. I’m still not totally without fear.

But, I did hear some encouraging facts last weekend. I attended one of the local Science Fiction conventions where the E vs. Paper debate still burns brightly. In a panel on the topic, one of the panelists pointed out an interesting statistic. They claim more people are reading as a result of e-books. More people. Well, I’ll be danged.

That’s good news, isn’t it? At least for now, the ease and portability of the electronic book is helping. The numbers are up. I hope they stay that way—even though a holo-deck would be nice. I can’t imagine a world where no one read books. Paper, electronic, beamed telepathically into their craniums…just keep them reading. In my book, at least, that’s what matters.

And even though I love my e-reader…I can’t help but appreciate the heft and scent of a good print book as well. I can’t help but believe there’s room for both, for now. And those of us who can agree on that much, should focus on nurturing that love of story for the future. It seems like a much better use for our efforts than arguing over the physical structure of the stories we adore.

Keeping reading alive seems like the worthier cause, and in the end, the greater goal.

Here’s hoping we’ve got a leg up.

A Note from the Book Boost: What a great post, Frances! Thanks for joining us today. I agree with you totally. Why can't we have both? The more reading...the better...and my kids love books so I know they'll get that much from me for sure. Please tell us more about your book.


“Housekeeping takes on a whole new dimension.”

Chloe came to the Three Lakes area for the peace and quiet. She happily abandoned the world of retail management, suits and promotions to work as a hotel maid catering to the local tourists.

Until Andrew Paige showed up—a suit of the worst kind, the kind that makes her knees tremble.

When Andrew offers her a job at his hotel, Chloe is hell bent on resisting, but the Dimensional Shift is no ordinary hotel, and Chloe is immediately tossed into the world of inter-dimensional tourists, their odd accommodations, and a string of thefts that threaten to ruin her chances at romance.

While learning the ropes, dealing with the Shift’s unusual guests, and trying to determine if the boss’ interest in her is strictly professional, Chloe uncovers a plot to steal the hotel’s dimensional keys. With the help of the town gossip, her alien abductee neighbor, and her new invisible best friend, Chloe confronts an inter-dimensional crime ring and a host of complications that make romancing the boss look like the least of her troubles.


"No. Not a test." Drew reached out and cupped the stone gently, his
hand brushing softly against the skin at her neckline. "This was a gift. The pyramids have been known to produce things on occasion, return lost items to their owners, deposit clues to important tasks, or just join an item with its rightful owner."

"I've never seen this stone before."

"That doesn't mean it wasn't meant for you. The pyramid's gifts
always have meaning, always. Of course, we usually haven't a clue what that is at the time." He leaned in closer, his voice soft and casual once again. "I like what you've done with it," he said. "Definitely yours then."

Chloe swallowed hard. Standing this close sent her pulse racing
again. Her heart had seized slightly as he touched her to pick up the stone. Now he let it settle gently back against her shirt. His eyes met hers deliberately, holding her gaze for seconds that stretched outward with the ocean around them.

He turned away, staring over her shoulder. Chloe tucked the necklace
back under her blouse, noting that the stone was, once again, warm to the touch.

"Look there." Drew said, pointing in the direction behind her. She
turned, following his gaze across the heaving fluids. Far out, nearly half way to the horizon, a dark shape rose from the sea.

The black silhouette, framed by the glow of both sky and sea, loomed
impossibly large. Chloe was no genius at gauging distance, but from where they hovered, the fin that emerged from the red waters seemed mountainous. It arched slowly into view, pausing at the apex and then, just as slowly, descending back out of sight.

"How big is whatever is attached to that?" Chloe looked anxiously at
the dark red chaos below them. How deep was this, and how densely populated?

"No worries." Drew answered, then sighed heavily. It was, Chloe
imagined, quite unlike him to do so. "So," he said. "Have I convinced you to take the job yet?"

"Hmm." Chloe smiled wickedly and turned in a slow circle. She surveyed
the alien seascape, unable to suppress a slight shiver. "You mentioned something about generous compensation?" To her delight, his eyebrows raised in surprise. He laughed heartily.

"Yes, I believe I did at that. Did I say, 'generous'?"

"I seem to remember an implied ‘generous’." Chloe meant it to be
serious. Eaten by sea monsters was a job hazard she’d expect to be paid well for.

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Frances Pauli said...

thanks so much for having me on the blog! :-)


Jaleta Clegg said...

Hi, Frances. Nice comments. I think you've got it right. We should be more worried about storytelling than about what form it took. I can just imagine the debate 600 years ago when Gutenberg started up his press.

"But all the troubadours and minstrels will be put out of business! The clerics will lose their jobs if everyone learns to read and write. If we make books accessible to everyone, then the nobility won't be so special anymore. We can't let storytelling devolve into a paper book. There's no life to it."

Besides, if we publish books like the Bible, we just might put the Spanish Inquisition out of business, and who would want that?