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Archive for September, 2008

Murder at the Grand Hotel

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

It’s over a week since Cornwell Internet attended a gathering of the Northern Chapter of the Crime Writers’Association, and I’ve been meaning to write about it, because it was an interesting and enjoyable occasion. Crime writers have a reputation for being friendly, sociable people; they tend to say that they get rid of their violence and hostility in their books, and are all the nicer for it. (They say some very unflattering things about romance writers, who don’t have this outlet, but I don’t know how true they are). Certainly the Northern Chapter have a very sensible approach to their regular business meetings: they like to combine them with Sunday lunch.

This particular Sunday we lunched in very grand surroundings, at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel at Clayton le Moors, in Lancashire, in a small dining room known as "the Portrait Room", because the elaborate décor includes portraits set into cartouches – the sort of room the detective would have commandeered as his base in the traditional country house murder mystery.

It was an opportunity to meet people, among them Roger Forsdyke who organised the event (and will be organising the CWA’s 2009 conference), and very new CWA member Frances McNeil; and it was an opportunity to catch up with old friends, including Murder Squad members Margaret Murphy and Martin Edwards – and fortunately I don’t need to say any more about it, because Martin has written about it in his own blog – complete with a photo by Roger and a very flattering – and entirely unsolicited – plug for Cornwell Internet.

I’ll second that!

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Cory Doctorow suggests in the BoingBoing blog that publishers should adopt the convention of creating a directory on their web sites in which they would make available good quality images of the covers of all their books. Oh, that would make my life so much easier – and I’ll add the request that they do it, please, as soon as the covers are finalised, so that those of us who are trying to publicise the books can get ready before publication!

The plan, as propounded at BoingBoing, is that bloggers could be encouraged to hotlink to the covers (ie, set their page to refer to the image on the publisher’s site, rather than transfering images onto their own server). I don’t like hotlinking: it’s a way of using someone else’s bandwidth, which is dishonest, and it can create problems for the linker, if the image to which they have linked is removed or switched. But Doctorow suggests that this last point could be a benefit, an incentive for publishers to go along with the scheme: when you change the cover design of a book, you simply substitute the new image for the old one, and all over the internet, bloggers are suddenly displaying the latest edition!

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