Sunday, December 17, 2006

books and film

To sing like a mockingbird: A conversation with Nathaniel Dorsky

Michelle Silva: First I want to ask about your recent book Devotional Cinema. I think it’s some of the most thoughtful and introspective writing on the human experience of cinema and the physical properties we share with the medium -- such as our internal visual experience, metaphor, and the art of seeing. What’s great about the book is that it’s accessible to people who aren’t well versed in cinema, but who might be interested in a deeper understanding of their own senses.
Nathaniel Dorsky: The basic ideas for the book were originally formulated because I was hired to teach a course on avant-garde film at UC Berkeley for a semester. I didn’t want to teach a survey course on avant-garde cinema; I didn’t think I could do that with real enthusiasm, I thought it would be a little flat. I decided that what was most interesting to me about avant-garde film -- or at least the avant-garde films that I found most interesting -- was a search for a language which was purely a filmic language.

Friday, December 15, 2006

New Way Forward

After reading the Webhost Study Group report prepared for us by some friends of my dad, and talking with advisors for and against our current situation, we have decided on a New Way Forward. The traffic to our site is too great for our current web host. So...

NewPages.com will be offline for a day or two near the 24th of December as we switch to a new web host. They say that's the most we should be missing, but if it's longer than that, keep trying & we'll show back up. Those promises have been made.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

NewPages in Poets.org

NewPages receives a nice write-up and listing in the revamped "Online Poetry Resources" page on the website of the Academy of American Poets .

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Interview

Novelist, Editor, Mother Balances the Writing Life. Robert Duffer interviews Gina Frangello, author of My Sister’s Continent, and Executive Editor of Other Voices magazine and its fiction book imprint OV Books.

Blogs

Jason Boog asks Susan Henderson: "The art of writing is evolving as print publications struggle and blogs multiply like rabbits. Your career has crossed both these worlds in interesting ways. In your experience, what makes your web writing different from your paper writing? Any advice for new writers looking to write a blog or website?"

Publishing

Kit Whitfield blogs from the UK on publishing "scams" and "fake publishing houses", but the information is just as relevant in the US, as PublishAmerica is one company looked at. A big problem is that the majority of writers out there with their manuscript in one hand and their dreams of fame and riches in the other, will never read information such as this.

I've been doing a lot of research this month on indie publishers, and I've been finding a much larger number of companies that are will to help you "publish" your book than I realized existed. It is becoming a large marketplace, and there are fistsfull of cash to be extracted from naive authors.

So now we have some of the companies that will sell you the chance to win a meaningless book award (Yippie!) -- that's a whole 'nuther scam to talk about someday -- offering to help you "publish" your book with promises of promoting it to huge sales. Slick, ethics-free, websites make it all sound so simple.

Lit mags

1st Day of Christmas - Books for the Aspiring Writer Colleen Mondor has some interesting ideas. I especially like the idea of giving subscriptions to literary magazines. We have some great candidates for that at www.newpages.com/litmags.

Publishing

More from Tayari Jones: "It has been carefully documented on this blog and on my own, that publishing houses often neglect to publicize the books that they have agreed to publish. It becomes pretty clear to an author that she is going to have to get out there and hustle if she wants her book to reach readers, reviewers, prize committees, etc. Many articles have been written by editors and publicists urging more authors to get out there and HUSTLE.

I’ve done it. I’ll admit it. Many authors of literary fiction feel demeaned by the dirty-hands work of hawking their book. And, though we seldom admit it, it is also pretty depressing work. Literary fiction does not exactly lend itself to the same techniques that work well for urban lit, romance, and mystery novels. One writer friend of mine told me of her dismay at sitting at a book festival next to a romance author who had brought along a troupe of bare-chested policemen to draw attention to her steamy novel."

Publishing

This from Tayari Jones: "There is something resembling an obituary to Bebe Moore Campbell in the newest Newsweek. The Newsweek piece, called Will Sleaze Dominate Black Publishing, laments that writers like Campbell are less popular than authors of non-fiction tell-alls such as Karrine Stephans.

I have to say that I have had enough of this particular narrative.

I am not disputing that racy, celebrity laden books like Confessions of a Video Vixen outsell literary novels. Instead, I am getting sick of the way that commercial writers are set up as the antagonists of literary novelists. I don't think that I'm going to far in left field to wonder why this seems to be a discussion waged far more often when it comes to African American literature."