Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Some other bloke called Tony White

Some other bloke called Tony White

Now that all but one of my books on Goodreads are correctly attributed to me I have updated my Goodreads author page. Due to some glitch, most of my books had been listed under THIS bloke (right)! My recent novella Missorts Volume II still is.

I have also been testing out the Goodreads widgets by including ‘Add this book’-buttons on the books page of my website, like this one for my novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South.

Shackleton's Man Goes South

WordPress doesn’t seem to like the buttons very much, to use the technical term. Mouse-over them and nothing much happens. It allows you to click-through to find the book on the Goodreads site itself, but doesn’t seem to let you rate the book remotely. Anyway I’m going to try them out for a bit. But at least now that my worst problems with Goodreads seem to have been sorted out, I have updated the profile and added blog and video content on my Goodreads author page.

Tony White, DICKY STAR AND THE GARDEN RULE, publication date 26 April 2012, Forma Arts and Media Ltd.I was going to post Forma’s video of me reading from my novella Dicky Star and the Garden Rule at the Free Word Centre on there, but Vimeo and Goodreads don’t speak to each other at all — to use another technical term ;-) — so instead I’ve posted one of the mini-readings from my novella Missorts Volume II that publisher Situations filmed and have put up on Youtube (see the whole playlist here).

Those Missorts Volume II videos were something of a test themselves, too. I thought it would be interesting to see if there were sections of the novella that might have enough depth and velocity to work as one- or two-minute readings, with enough of a narrative transformation for the clip to be worth watching.

These thoughts about brevity and speed, narrative transformation, remind me of a conversation that I had with poet Tim Wells at the launch of pal Stewart Home’s brilliant latest novel, The 9 Lives of Ray The Cat Jones the other day. Tim Wells is currently doing some great research on the ranting poetry scene of the 1980s, and publishing much of it on his excellent Stand Up And Spit blog. Tim was part of that scene, and like many poets he still gigs regularly. Chatting to him the other night, I wondered if the live readings scene for fiction had petered out a little in recent years. Tim’s suggestion was that readings from poetry can have the energy of a 7″ single, while those from fiction can often feel like listening to an LP; that the energy of a 7″ single (by extension) can be more appealing live.

Q. Does he have a point?