We meet Isobelle Carmody and Alison Goodman!

Thanks to Paul Collins and Ford Street Publishing we hosted the launch of Isobelle Carmody’s Scatterlings. Scatterlings was first published in 1991 and, as you tell from this review, is a much loved book, and now it’s being (re-)launched with a new cover featuring Isobelle’s own daughter. It was awesome to meet Isobelle Carmody and also author Alison Goodman of Eon fame. Alison introduced Isobelle as our ‘national treasure’, reminding us that she has been writing from the age of 14. We could have listened to Isobelle for the rest of the day! It was obvious that MHS students were enthralled by her passionate talk about writing which she did without notes and from the heart. Students had the opportunity to win a prize by imagining a snow dome – since one features in Scatterlings – with the winner choosing a book prize. We were happy to see two old boys (grad. 2011), Ruben and Paolo, come and visit for the event, as well as Acting Assistant Principal, Nick Fairlie, and English teachers Helen Bekos and Lynne Hamilton, Stonnington Library staff and other visitors. Thanks to Monty and Gregor (leaders of our Book Club interest group) for the excellent introduction.

The Great eBook Debate – launch of Isobelle Carmody’s Greylands as an ebook

A brilliant idea to build up to a launch of any sort is to make something happen before it. Even more brilliant is to bring all sorts of interesting people to the party and allow them to say something as creatively as they wish. Open this up to everyone else and you have The Great ebook debate on a website that was designed to self destruct within a month as an elaborate countdown to the launch of Isobelle Carmody’s much loved Greylands.

Isobelle explains:

An online launch seems to me the most divinely apt way to relaunch Greylands as an eBook. It was always one of my personal favorites among the books I have written, for reasons you will discover here, as the days pass, but it was out of print. Now books have always gone out of print and authors have always accepted they must, unless they rose into the heavens as classics. But in this brave new world of eBooks, there is no longer any need for any book to go out of print. Cyberspace is the library of the infinite.

In a strange twist of fate, following Isobelle’s gracious contribution to my students’ blog, I was honoured as one of the people contributing to the ebook debate. I pulled out my grandmother’s gorgeous autograph book, falling apart but full of exquisitely drawn illustrations and original poetry in Russian and German, and mused on what we’ve lost and what we’ve gained in terms of physical and digital resources. You can read it here if you are so inclined.

What is definitely worth reading is the line-up of authors and other interesting people who have unique perspectives about ebooks versus traditional print books. Guest writers are featured each week, and the resulting discussions in the comment sections are worth reading. But why read when you can contribute your views and enter into the debate yourself.

This week’s guest blogger is Gary Crew whose post is entitled The StorymakerHot off the press and already attracting comments, Gary joins the list of writers which includes Judith Ridge, Virginia Lowe, Paul Collins, Richard Harland, Nick Bland, Sophie Masson – to name only a few.

The only thing I don’t like about this whole enterprise is the fact that it will disappear very soon. It’s such a shame when there’s so much good stuff which should really be published, perhaps even as hardcopy, or even as an emagazine – what do you think?

Go on, have a look before it’s too late.

Thanks Isobelle.