Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Good Books: Flying The Flag

If you've been looking in on this blog at all over the past month or so, you'll know about authonomy, Harper Collins' online community for authors that's supposed to help them cut through the slush pile and get onto that all-crucial Editor's Desk. And of course you'll know that Evil UnLtd(TM) made the cut and is awaiting editorial attention. Scary, exciting stuff.

What you may not fully appreciate, although I have touched upon this before, is that there are quite a selection of other books on the site greatly deserving of attention. Better books, in fact, than I've been able to find in the book stores over the past year or two. Books that have even broadened my reading horizons: it's fair to say I always had fairly wide tastes in reading, but I've managed to sample far more chick-lit since I've been reading on authonomy - and never once has it threatened my - admittedly sensitive - masculinity.

Of course the posted books are only there to be sampled and what really needs to change is that they need to be out there in those book stores, published and commercially available *instead* of a lot of those others that, despite not being as good as many books on authonomy, somehow seem to slip their way through the quality filter and find themselves with an ISBN and a discount sticker in WH Smith.

I know that several years back I had one children's fantasy book that a major publisher really felt was promising, and told me they would be happy to consider if I found an agent to represent it. Could I find an agent to represent that one? Could I heck as like. So that will be the next work of mine to be posted on authonomy, to see what the community thinks of it, perhaps discover what can be improved and perhaps get that one to the attention of those HC editors.

Meanwhile, I have already - as of last Saturday - posted another children's book of mine, Kip Doodle(TM) - hopefully first in a series, so if anyone would care to have a read of that one, please feel free to follow the link and lend your support if you like what you see. That's one of Kip's planes pictured above, by the way - one I made earlier :) Very easy to make: buy yourself a standard plane kit, generally a prop-driven classic (I chose a C47 Dakota, but you could just as easily go for a WWI bi-plane), paint the fuselage bright yellow, scuff it up a little if you like with touches of silver paint and then just make sure the decals spell out D00DLE with the RAF roundel as one of the zeros. Then take it out and photograph it to your heart's delight.

As an alternative project, you could try a spot of recommended reading. And as I said there's a lot more on authonomy than just my two samples. So here by way of offering a selection, these are SAF's Top Picks for November:

Punchline by Paul Fenton
Tartare by M Trevelean
Coffee At Kowalskis by Miranda Dickinson
A Woman's Place by Susanne O'Leary
The Voices Of Angels by Hannah Davis
Servicing The Pole by Lauri Shaw
Carry Me Away by Robb Grindstaff
Deep Water by Scarlett James
Sydney Wakefield: Into The Faraway by Kimberly J Smith
Haggis: An Unusual Name For A Cat by Sharon Hartle

For the record, I'd absolutely buy all of these if - no, when they are available. And frankly it was very tough limiting myself to those 10. So I'd hope that if you care to visit the site and vote for any of these books, Harper Collins may well take that as an indication of another potential buyer. Because I know these books are good. And all they need to know is that these books will sell.

Happy reading.


Lauri Shaw said...

As always, Simon, thank you for helping me make people aware of Servicing the Pole.

And today I'm flying a flag, too.

The American flag.

For the first time in eight years!


SAF said...

Yay! Yes, my wife's an Okie and she's celebrating too. (Even though her home state voted for McCain, but she knew they would! :) )

Anonymous said...

Hi Simon, had to come over here to say hello. There is a horrible creature pursuing you and he gives me the screaming heebie jeebies. You have my sympathies but I'm not brave enough to proclaim them anywhere but here.
Best wishes

SAF said...

Thank you, Philippa - means a lot. Yes, it's sad but apparently every forum has to have its share of such creatures. And 95% of the time I can ignore them, but it's like that short time you had a blog: usually at the very least you've already read their comments, and by then they've upset you etc. Almost drove me away from the forum last night, frankly, but I have too many friends there to allow idiots (let's be generous and call them that) to drive me away.

Anonymous said...

good man, we wont let them win, but 'idiot' is too kind a term in my opinion