Saturday, January 29, 2011

Guest Author Series - Author AR Norris talks about the Kindle

STEPH: Hi Amber, can you tell us a little about yourself?

AMBER I live in the beautiful Northern California Wine Country of Napa Valley. Married to a wonderful husband, we have 4 children ranging from 3 to 15 and two canine babies. One very evil cat -- of which the dogs fear -- decided to accept our offer of residency and has tolerated us for about 7 years now. Although I enjoy reading all genres, my writing centers on speculative fiction and science fiction.

STEPH: What kind of Ebook Reader do you have?

AMBER: Is it the Kindle 2 or 3? - I just recieved the Kindle 3G with WiFi for Christmas. (Thank you Hubby and Kids!)
STEPH: Sounds like the Kindle 3.

STEPH: What's the best feature on the kindle you like?

AMBER: I think my favorite feature is the ability to click for more information on the book. It takes you to Amazon and you can look up more information on book, get reader reviews, and find other books by that author. I've been able to easily find other works by my favorite authors that are not found in my brick and mortor store. I'm no longer restricted to what others decide to put on the shelf and can easily get opinions from others readers.

STEPH: How many books are on your Kindle?

AMBER: I've only had it since Christmas so my collection is still rather small. I've only downloaded about 35 books so far. I've spent the time to create collections so they're separated by genre. This makes it easy to find the book I want based on the mood I'm in.

STEPH: Where do you buy books from - just Amazon or other places?

AMBER: I've bought books through Amazon's Kindle Store and B&N so far, because it's easiest. I'm starting to branch out to other publisher sites now.

STEPH: Do you have a program like Calibre to help you convert & load books?

AMBER: No, I haven't needed to convert anything. So far the few that I've downloaded away from Amazon, I've been able to save to my PC, plug in Kindle's USB and upload it directly. Super easy to do and no converting needed.

STEPH: Any cons or something you don't care for with your Kindle?

AMBER: The only thing I've found I don't like is it doesn't have a reading lamp. So in the evening I still have to turn on my nightstand lamp. I'm going to look for a book light in the next month or two, if Kindle doesn't have an accessory. I would also like it in color, but it's so much like a page in a regular book that I don't miss it as much as I thought I might.
STEPH: Now, I'm not so sure, my husband has a reading light the Kindle 3.

STEPH:Tell us about your upcoming project.

AMBER: I can't wait until debut novel, Duty and Devotion, comes out in ebook format. It's a SFR set about 700 year in the future. The two main characters are sisters from the now ice covered planet of Earth. They are drafted into the first war in several hundred years. No one really knows what to expect, not even the current militia, which is run more as a galactic monitoring system. The story takes us through their training and the very different paths they each go down. Nettie, the older one becomes a space fighter pilot while the younger is training to become a ground combat soldier.

When battle starts, both sisters find out what it really means to live in a time of war and fight for freedom. Nettie's pain and loss close her heart to anything but her duty, but Officer James Northman is focused on opening her heart again to see the happiness even in chaotic times. Rinny finds love and devotion right off the bat in Danny Gubvre, but learns war is a fickle beast when it rips it away as she's captured by the enemy. Now she's fighting to keep her home free, return home herself, and just maybe find her lost love.

Duty and Devotion will be released by Desert Breeze Publishing June 15th.

STEPH: Any thoughts on Ebook Readers in general?

AMBER: Overall it is an amazing step into the future. As a SF writer, I can only see good things from this technology finally hitting the main stream. Whereas paperbacks brought literacy to the masses, ebooks will ensure they stay that way. It really has brought the written story to the electric age and put it back on the same playing field as movies. It's so exciting to see the new buzz from kids and young adults refinding the joy of reading.

Thanks for being here today.


  1. Congratulations, Amber, on your debut novel and your Kindle. I, too, received a Kindle for Christmas, and while I'm not in love with it yet, I do like it more than I did at first. Prints are still my first love, so I alternate, giving each a turn--read a print, read an eBook.
    I have several novels of my own on the Kindle, and I love to tell someone--not authors--who says, I got a Kindle for Christmas. Then I get to say, well, I have three books on there for sale. What are they? the friend says. Here, let me write them down for you.....and I know I've made a few sales because I'll hear about it later.
    This is very satisfying.
    The best of everything to you in your writing life. Celia

  2. Thank you Steph for letting me stop by and chat with you!

    And thank you Celia. I'm glad you're liking the Kindle...and hope it turns into at least an affection if not full blown love (haha).

    The Kindles do seem to prompt a more reliant sale than the prints because the reader doesn't have to drive to the store or wait for the print in the mail. They hear you, write it down, then immediately look it up, purchase it, and start to read.

    Easy as pie (an expression which I never got as a noncooker because I've watched a pie being made and it seemed VERY complicated).

  3. Oh come on, Celia, embrace it! I, too, got a Kindle 3 wifi for Christmas. I haven't had time to download so many books - how do you find time to write, Amber? - but I find it wonderful for sitting in bed as it is so light to hold.

    I didn't realise you could flick back to Amazon to read up on the author you're reading; must try that. What about the hilarity of text-to-speech? On fast? LOL!

    Great to read about your writing, Amber. June will arrive soon.

  4. LOL. I'm not too worried Linda...Celia will be taken completely to the dark side eventually muwahahahaha!

    Linda, the more information feature is AWESOME. When you're in the book, click on menu and then scroll down to book decription. It'll take you to the Amazon site and you can then click on the authors name and get a listing of their books.

    Okay. I confirmed I have the Kindle 3. Now, based on Steph I should have a light...I don't see it...must look harder. (Must, must, must). I have not tested the text to speech feature yet...will definitely try that.

    I agree the months are going by fast towards June...haha, but still not fast enough some days.

  5. I love mine, too! I picked up one of those little clip lights that work pretty well. I havent' done the collection thing yet. Maybe someday when I get time.

  6. After the infamous "1984" incident where Amazon wiped a book off everyone's Kindle (they did give a refund, but that's not the point), I would be afraid to get one. I want to know that when I buy a book, it stays bought. What they did was the equivalent of breaking into your home and repossessing a book off your bookshelf (even if they left money for it).

    Your comment about being able to go and get more info sounds good, but I think I would gladly forgo that for the knowledge that the book I bought was mine, mine, all mine, and not subject to deletion or change at Amazon's whim. When I get around to getting a reader, I am going to pick one that has some isolation from the vendor's servers ... I am willing to take the trouble to download to my computer and then sideload to my reader for that protection.

  7. @ Lisa. Oh a little clip light might be good. I'll look into that.

    @Jim. I have to admit that's been a worry for me too. I've kept all my purchase records from Amazon and when I purchase other places I do keep the download on my pc.