Friday, September 11, 2009

Website in progress....YAY!!! and HELP!!!! and Prizes for the Helpfulest!!!


For years I have been so busy writing and being here, FB, MySpace, Twitter, etc, that I have let my antique website become... antiquier. But now I am excited to announce that a new one is in progress.

One difficult thing for the designer, Theo Black,
http://www.theblackarts.com/ is that I write for K-YA. I worried about finding a visual thematic thread that would not scare little kids but wouldn't distance/insult YA readers---but Theo has found a way!

So. What do you like to see on author's websites? What is annoying? What would you like to see on mine?

I am considering having short stories set in the same venues as my fantasy books...as a sample, I guess, and perhaps fun for people who have already read and liked the books. Or taking stuff that didn't make it into the book and expanding it. Stories built on outtakes, I mean. Yes? No?

And what else would be good (or bad) ?


I would so appreciate and/all your thoughts/ideas/wild suggestions. Feel free to comment here or email me kathleen (at) kathleenduey (dot) com. The best idea gets a signed copy of whatever book you want a signed copy of!!!
Scroll down here to see almost everything I have ever written (and check out other authors, too)


A few of these books would be impossible--but only a few. (Forgive me, but US only on the book prize, eternal gratitude and a one page sneakpeek from book 3 (the book that has no name...yet) everywhere else.

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20 comments:

Janelle said...

Hi Kathleen - interactive things are always great on a website. Check out Adam Rex's website. http://www.smekday.com/It's one of my favorites as far as interactive sites go. Kids love it, and he writes PB's through MG. Having different pages for different books off the homepage (by clicking on an illustration related to each book cover for example, is a great way to get to the other pages.)
- Janelle Bitikofer

kathleen duey said...

Thanks! I will go check out the site you recommend here.

One of my website design challenges is that I write for all ages....so there will be a BOOKS button that opens a screen with two choices, separating the age groups.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I'm no expert on design, but I like Kelly Link's site, in part for it's simplicity and visuals (I think it was by Theo Black's company, too). I am less enthusiastic about sites with the scrolly widgets for reading bios, etc. I like it just to be on the page in full with button links to other stuff. My two cents, if I notice anything else, I'll let you know.
It's very exciting you are getting a make-over by such a great designer.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

This is so cool, I've come right back. Jonathan Stroud's home page has a friendly photo of him with a funny animated bat-winged creature popping up behind him. I love it, so I think kids would find that kind of imagery wonderful, too. It sets a welcoming, fantastical tone. (I believe it was simply jonathanstroud.com but I didn't bookmark it, sorry)

Anna said...

Sent you an email last night. Hope it'll turn out useful :)

kathleen duey said...

Tricia, I love Kelly's site, very simple and clean. Mine is a completely different feel so far, organic and rich, which I also love, but looking at hers reminds me that ease of use is a wonderful thing....thanks!!!

Now I will go check out the other one. My major conundrum remains: I write for kids K-YA, and what I write for YA is really, really dark...so the homepage...can't be all one or all the other.

kathleen duey said...

Anna, I got the email and thanks for all your thoughts. I really appreciate your help!!

Sarah said...

Kathleen--

I just finished reading the Heart series to my 4-year-old, and just finished Skin Hunger myself. Both awesome, thank you! (The conclusion of the Heart series astounded my daughter. The first time, I think, for her, that something has totally surprised her in such a nice way, and left her thinking and savoring details in her mind for hours afterwards. It was a treat to share with her. So again, thank you...)

As far as the website goes: I can tell you, my daughter would love to see lots of unicorns. Unicorn games, unicorn printables, unicorns that could be navigated easily by a kiddo who doesn't read much yet. Even the outtake stories you were talking about?

As an adult reader, I always like to see a good author bio, more stories, and perhaps a section of advice for aspiring (procrastinating) writers?

kathleen duey said...

Sarah, thanks so much for the comments and the webpage thoughts...I hadn't thought about really young readers visiting and liking downloads...it's that *All Ages* things I have to work out one way or another. Thanks!!

I am delighted that you liked Skin Hunger and if you read Sacred Scars, I hope you like it, too.

I am thrilled to be your daughter's first astonishing ending. Ah! It makes me happy to know she loved Moonsilver and Heart.

I am writing four books now, also set in Lord Dunraven's lands::: The Faerie' Promise. The first one will be out this Spring. Ruth Oaks a small part in the story and I think the Unicorn's will have a Cameo(or more)before the story is told, too.The star is a faerie names Alida. I chose the name, then looke dup the meaning and was astonished.

All of these books are based on dreams I had in 3-4th grade. I went to sleep here and woke up *there* and the reverse, for about 18 months. It was such fun...

All best, thanks again, I really appreciate your webthoughts.

k

Sarah said...

Kathleen-

One other thought: have you looked at Neil Gaiman's website(s)? I haven't in a while-- but he's another author who writes for a very wide age range, and I know his web presence is well established and well-regarded.

I can't wait to read Sacred Scars. As I was reading Skin Hunger, I was wondering if you thought about Harry Potter at all while you were writing? Hahp is at the ultimate dark anti-Hogwarts, where the authorities of magic seem deeply wrong.....

Sarah

kathleen duey said...

Thanks!!

I haven't visted Neil's site in a long time, either, will go soon!! I follow him on twitter and he is interesting there, as well as everywhere else.

Confession: I read the first Harry Potter book and will not read the rest until I finish my trilogy. I didn't want to react to her work in any way. This trilogy is my first novel idea, concieved over 20 years ago. The idea of a school where magic is taught has been written a number of times; it's such an interesting question: What if magic could be taught? Who would learn it? How would they be chosen? etc, etc, etc!!!

Val Hobbs said...

From another owner of an antique webpage, congratulations! I'm learning from all these great suggestions and am going to (I say and say and say) create my own new one with Homestead so that I can change it at will. I've spent too much already on the boring one I already have.

I really like your short story idea.

kathleen duey said...

Just read through the comments and am embarrassed by all my typos...yikes. Must proofread better. I CAN spell. I CAN'T type.

Val, after building my own, and getting very tired of it...I am working with a designer. I want a few pages that I can access and change at will...but now that I have all the other online outlets ((FB Twitter, MySpace, etc)) I don't mind if the website is well done, once, then mostly static.

I like the idea of the short stories, too. Kelly Link http://kellylink.net/ has some brilliant work up....very inspiring/intimidating...! And a nice clean/simple website by the designer I am working with...

Hillary said...

I don't know if this has been said, I only skimmed through everyone elses comments, but if you are going to do short stories, which would be totally awesome, it'd be great if they all had one page or link page to the different pgf/adobe files. I hate it when and author I love has a lot of short stories and I have to go hunting for them, unless i'm meant to go hunting for them, like in M. Night Shymalan's site, you have to have seen his movies to enter certain parts of his site which I totally love. I love the idea of stories built on outtakes! And I'd also like to let you know that I read Sacred Scars maybe a month ago, and I still catch myself daydreaming about the 'what will happen if. . .?' I loved it soooooo much and I can't wait for the last one!

kathleen duey said...

To make sure I am understanding you::: you would prefer a page of short story links and when you finish each story, there is a link to take you back to the list of story titles/links? yes?

I got an idea this morning. Characters come to me and often use my hands to type/talk about themselves. I usually give them a page or five and then they have to wait for their turn. I have so many now...

I might put up a small number of the voices that interest me most and let readers help me decide which sound most promising. Voice samples, sort of; but text, I mean, not audio. What do you think?

I will go check out M. Night Shyamalan’s site…

THANKS for the kind words about Sacred Scars! I am writing the third one, day in and day out....

k

Jess said...

I love reading short stories set in familiar worlds, and out-takes from the Resurrection of Magic books would be fantastic. While I read a lot of blogs, etc., online, I sometimes have trouble when it comes to fiction, and I think it might be a formatting issue. I like pages - the sense of turning a page and glimpsing what comes next. So I would suggest that online short stories mimic that, with relatively short webpages rather than one long enormous scroll. Nice margins, white space, and font go along with that to make it read more like a book.

kathleen duey said...

Jess, thanks. Good advice. I don't love the endless, dense text of some online material either. In Russet--my online novel-- http://russet-one-wing.blogspot.com/

I have broken it into sections and the "twitter novel" format is not dense. So it is relatively easy on the eye...But it's still a still a scroll...

Hmmm...Well, I will see what I can do. I could link the website to a blog, or a simple, text only website I can fiddle with constantly...have a "table of contents" that links back to the website? Maybe. THANKS for the input!

MelancholyMartyr said...

I must say that I already love your website and you can't imagine how glad I'd been to find that the author of The Resurrection of Magic Series had a website to begin with ~ ( And went to con's )

But back on the matter at hand...
I'd say I'd absolutely LOVE it if you had a few mini stories here and there ~ !

Mission: Put in two cents worth.
Accomplished.

kathleen duey said...

MelancholyMartyr,

Thanks for the kind words...

I am absolutely going to put up mini and short stories...probably all set in Limori to start with. I have started a file and am noticing people I see on the street there, etc.

I am just starting to go to cons...

All Best,
k

Eric said...

Hi! Thank for the sharing... nice article
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