**Mistress of France wins another award in the US!
Benjamin Franklin Digital Award - Gold Honoree May 2014
Awarded by the Independent Book Publishers Association USA
also a Digital Book World Award winner for
Enhanced Ebook - Adult Fiction in New York 2014.**
August 19, 2013
The blossoms are bursting out into the sunlight, the finches are excitedly chattering in the trees and the greens turn from winter deep into tender bright leaves. My garden just beyond the window is currently a mass of hyacinths, perfumed and proud spires of tiny flowers. It was supposed to be a bed of blue, white and purple, but a few pinks and yellows have crept in and I rather like the effect, not so structured. Perhaps that is a reaction against the frantic pace we all keep now to stay connected and informed. A garden bed of spring surprises.
With spring’s promise of growth the world staggers out of hibernation - and so do I. I have been curled up in the cosy retreat of writing, but now I must emerge again into the world and share my work.
Such a rejuvenation of nature and the milestone of completing another book heralded a spring clean of my public self. I braved twitter after a few months of neglect, answered a few pokes from facebook, but most of all, I tore down my old website and started again. From scratch. Only this time, technology has empowered me. Armed with a Wix account I have joyfully added, subtracted, redesigned, rearranged and published with such ease that I was sure there must be a catch.
There have been very few moments in history that have progressed as fast as our own era creating such a dramatic change in the world and the way we all do business. With an editor in New York, a cover designer in Virginia and the Beneath the Ink team in Boulder, Colarado, how could I ever manage without Skype and an iphone with the world clock app to manage the time changes? Thankfully my illustrator Bill Wood lives a couple of suburbs away in Melbourne and we sat down face to face over a cup of tea.
The world of publishing has been turned on its head and shaken by its feet. There are now well over 100 million devices sold by various companies such as Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Kobo for us to devour the offerings of our favorite authors in the ebook format. Authors are turning to self-publishing in droves with many previously published authors such as myself choosing this new Indie route earning the title of hybrids.
I’m sipping my favorite green tea from France called vert parfume and it tastes like…well, Paris in the springtime – my favorite time to visit and research. Such a vibrant city reminds us of the beauty and ideals of the past while we rush headlong into our future. On the elegant streets the centuries are proudly displayed, a fourteenth century gothic spire here, a sixteenth century renaissance conical roof soaring into the skies, seventeenth century baroque and eighteenth century rococo buildings and Napoleons eighteenth century Empire statements in sweeping boulevards and glorious monuments. The nineteenth century claims the Eiffel Tower a temporary structure that still watches over her beloved Paris; the twentieth century the modernist glass pyramids that adorn the vast courtyards of the Louvre Palace which has occupied the prime position on the bank of the Seine in some architectural form since the twelfth century.
But gone are the days of post horses clattering to a halt in the bustling forecourts of the chateaux, and pages scuttling through the crowds of courtiers bearing messages. Now our world is instant and portable and we are reliant on the technology that supports our working and playing lives. We have new ways to communicate, and a lot to say.