Archive for category iPhones
It’s great that the world supports eclectic books like More Show Me How: Everything We Couldn’t Fit in the First Book Instructions for Life from the Everyday to the Exotic. Described by its publisher (HarperCollins): “A new collection of fun, practical, and outrageous projects from the genius minds of the original Show Me How…Volume two of the Show Me How series contains brand-new instructions that show readers how to amaze, trick, create, style, and love, among other endeavors. Ideas range from the practical (hang a ceiling fixture; hem a pair of pants) to the outrageous (boobytrap a bathroom; forge an antiquity) to the romantic (ace a school crush; send a saucy cell phone pic.) So go ahead and learn some killer pool moves. Or stage your own impromptu gallery show. Style you hair in a fauxhawk. More Show Me How is the indispensable real-life resource that helps readers live life to the fullest and be the star of the party.” To find out more about this book, I recently email interviewed two of the creative forces behind the book, Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith, who also operate “The Curiosity Shoppe in San Francisco‘s Mission District, selling (and falling in love with) everything from a make-it-yourself ukulele to a DIY bird-watching kit.” My thanks to Smith and Fagerstrom for their time.
Tim O’Shea: How was it decided what topics to include in the book? Were there any that were deemed too absurd or obscure for inclusion?
Derek Fagerstrom: We wanted to make sure that the book appealed to a wide range of people, with all sorts of interests and skill levels, which meant that there were very few restrictions as to what we could include. A lot of the topics came initially from the personal passions and expertise of the Show Me Team (it’s always more fun to start with what you know and love). From there we just made sure to have a good balance of topics that we found interesting, fun, and useful (with the occasional absurdity thrown in for good measure, of course!). The only real reason that we ever decided NOT to include something was if it turned out to be dangerous or overtly criminal.
I love the mixture of absurdity and accuracy in writer Mark Teppo‘s bio (from his site): “Mark Teppo suffers from a mild case of bibliomania, which serves him well in his on-going pursuit of a writing career. He also owns a pink bunny suit. Fascinated with the mystical and the extra-ordinary, he channels this enthusiasm into fictional explorations of magic realism, urban fantasy, and surreal experimentation. Maybe, one day, he’ll write a space opera. With rabbits.” We delve into a range of products in this email interview. My thanks to Teppo for his thoughts/time and to friend of the blog Allison Baker for introducing me in contact with Teppo. One of his collaborations, The Mongoliad, actually had its official launch earlier today, be sure to visit the site.
Tim O’Shea: As an urban fantasy author, I’m curious did you grow up in a city? What is it that attracted you to writing in the urban fantasy vein?
Mark Teppo: I grew up in a speck of a town out in the Mohave Desert, and spent a better part of my formative years in a towns under 100,000 people. It wasn’t until I moved to the Seattle area going on twenty years ago that I really arrived in a city, proper. I grew up on a diet of thrillers and mainstream mystery fiction, which always seemed to take place in big cities. In the classic “write what you know sense,” this is what I knew: all the action took place in the cities. As for the fantasy part, well, I didn’t think I knew enough about international politics and guns to write a convincing thriller.
O’Shea: In a recent essay about your writing, you said of Lightbreaker, the first book in the Codex of Souls series: “I was going to write an urban fantasy book without vampires, lycanthropes, zombies, angels, or demons.” When and why did you realize you wanted to approach the book without vampires, lycanthropes, zombies, angels, or demons?
Brian McCarthy‘s and Lance Laspina‘s NameShake was something I found out about through The Joke Gym‘s (& Friend of the Blog) Paula Johnson. Pop culture does not normally include iPhone coverage, but the way Paula described it to me seemed to make it a perfect fit for the blog. According to Johnson, NameShake is “an iPhone app that lets you figure out names for your baby. It has a huge database with the meaning of thousands of names. You choose the gender and country of origin you want, shake the iPhone, then see the names … The product has already helped me, but not with a baby … There is also interest from writers who can use the product to name characters.” My thanks to Johnson for getting me in contact with McCarthy, and my thanks to McCarthy for this email interview.
Tim O’Shea: How did you first come up with the NameShake product?
Brian McCarthy: Well, my wife and I discovered we were pregnant last July. After carting around baby naming books for awhile and suffering the ignominy of numerous paper cuts, I decided there had to be a better way. That’s when I called Lance to ask for his advice and during the conversation we decided to work on this together.
The initial project was much broader but we chose to test the waters by limiting ourselves just to the naming application for the short term. I have to say, we both feel it’s been really worthwhile and hope to do more applications in the future.