Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hey folks

Trevor Cole here. I'm just checking in to let you know that I'm working hard on rebooting AuthorsAloud. It's taken me longer than I expected — writing a novel tends to interfere with life to a great degree, and with finicky html work to an even greater degree — but it's coming. There'll be a redesign, and some new authors on board for starters. And I do have plans.

When will it all happen? I hesitate to set a deadline. But I'm hopeful that the weather will still be warm when AuthorsAloud dawns anew.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kind words

AuthorsAloud received a nice reminder today that it serves a valuable purpose. Terri Ryan, a teacher at Caledonia High School in Terrace, BC, wrote to say this:

"Your website has become a routine part of my English 11 programme.  Once a week I click on the website, send it through the projector and turn up the volume to hear not just the readings but the insights from each of you.  One hundred and twenty students love your website!  We order books, we share them, and we critic them. We can fit three readings in one hour and students love to hear your voices.  As songwriters are to their songs, so the author is to the story. 
Love your Website!"

It's great to hear, and a spur to keep working toward the relaunch of AuthorsAloud, which will bring more authors, and more features. So stay tuned.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Why we've been silent

If you're a frequent or even occasional visitor to AuthorsAloud, you'll have noticed that nothing much has changed for the last month or so. That's because some weeks ago the hard drive containing all of the page files for AuthorsAloud decided to flee this mortal coil and enacted a quiet but, in its implications, a rather Shakespearean death scene.

In other words the damn hard drive failed, and the AuthorsAloud files, constituting hundreds of hours of work, went poof.

Because I, your servant, had been thinking seriously about backing up all those files, but had not yet put thought into action, it means that AuthorsAloud in its entirety has to be rebuilt from scratch. Thanks to the magic of the internet, the site still exists on line, as you can plainly see. However, until the files with which it is made are reconstituted, the site can't be expanded with more readings. I can add to the blog, but that's it.

But don't worry. Work has begun. It may take a while, but AuthorsAloud will start growing again. I'll update you on the progress as it... progresses.


Monday, February 18, 2008

The saddest news

Today in the Globe and Mail I learned of the death of Val Ross, an author and frequent writer on Canada's literary scene. 

Beyond the personal shock of this news is the realization of what an enormous loss this is for Canada, and Canadian writers. I worked with Val some years ago when I was an editor at the Globe's Toronto magazine. She was inarguably the smartest and the kindest person I've ever worked with. She was generous with her time and her attention. She treated everyone she met with remarkable grace and humour — the dimples in her cheeks were always springing into action with her ready and rather devilish smile. And she knew her stuff. 

She was a tremendous friend to Canadian literature. Intensely knowledgeable, she wrote about the people and the struggles of the book industry with enormous depth and awareness. We are, as a community, poorer without her. She was also a personal friend, one I didn't get to see enough, but one I feel lucky to have known at all. I'm stunned and saddened by her loss. 

Trevor Cole

Monday, January 14, 2008

2008 begins with murder

I'm not one to take that sort of thing lightly, and neither is Sally Cooper. The first new reading of the new year brings us the novelist and short-story writer turning her eye to the morbid. In her insight, Cooper tells us that years ago she was fascinated with murder, and that her new novel from Dundurn Press, Tell Everything, springs (or seeps?) from that obsession. The reading Cooper gives us is lighter than you might expect, almost absurdist in tone. But it gives us a subtle sense of the darkness to come. Be sure to give her a listen.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Insight at its best

I'm really pleased by how authors are taking to the Insight concept here at AuthorsAloud. As you know, the "insight" is that second, more casual recording that most new contributors are doing now, in addition to their readings, which takes listeners behind the scenes and gives them a bit of inside knowledge as to the genesis of a particular piece of writing, or the process involved in creating it. The latest comes from author Mary Novik, recently long-listed for the Giller prize for her novel Conceit. Just back from her book tour in support of Conceit, Mary clearly put a good deal of thought and time into her Insight recording, which has just been added to her page. She gives a thorough account of how the idea of a book centred on Pegge Donne, daughter of the poet John Donne, came to her, and I recommend it as five minutes very well spent.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

The poet as performer

We're all about reading the work to ready ears, and if there's a pro at it in Canada, it must be Harold Rhenisch. He's been doing it a long time. As the poet says in the Insight recording he has bestowed to AuthorsAloud, he's probably given over 300 public readings. You can tell that he's comfortable in front of a microphone; in his reading of three poems his voice lifts and falls with the stagecraft of someone used to getting a rise out of an audience.

I have to say that Insight is worth a listen too. Harold discusses the influences of translation and public readings on his work, and in the course of a few minutes he captures a lot of the magic that's conjured by giving voice to words. I encourage you to check it out.

And, just a reminder, don't forget to subscribe to the AuthorsAloud podcast on iTunes. Why? Because the more subscribers, the more likely that iTunes will feature the podcast, and that will bring more attention to the authors and poets featured on this site. The button is over there to your right. It's free. What are you waiting for? (Remember you'll need to have iTunes installed on your computer.)