Posts Tagged Novel

iBooks and the Kindle app do a great job of ensuring that there’s always something new to read while you’re on the move. They work well in complementing the traditional physical book. There’s still room for more interactive and animated fare though, such as in the case of Black Jack – an app that declares itself the “World’s First Moving Novel.” Released in episodic chunks of new chapters every Monday and Friday, it’s an interesting new direction to take for the medium. We took the time to chat to its Emmy-winning author, A.R. Witham, to learn more.

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148Apps: Why not release the book at once rather than chapter by chapter?
A.R. Witham (ARW): It’s an old-school method of building suspense; Charles Dickens released A Christmas Carol in installments, and I thought that was an interesting way to tell a story that isn’t done much in the 21st century. Black Jack has a very vintage feel to the texture of the pages and animations… a vintage release schedule felt perfect for the story.

148Apps: What’s the reaction to the episodic content been like? Has it been as warmly received as hoped?
ARW: The response has been amazing. People love Jack, but for me, their enthusiastic reaction to the side-characters has been the most unexpected surprise. People love Django and Fuji and Valerian and the villains far more than I expected. I’ve gotten drawings of characters from fans, and that kind of reaction is something I really never anticipated.  

148Apps: What challenges have there been in converting the novel to a more interactive format? Has it affected how the novel has been written at all?
ARW: There were 3 Big Rules to building the Black Jack app: 1) The story had to be good enough to pack a whollop without the animations and effects. 2) None of the animations could interfere with the text; if they didn’t help the readers immerse themselves in the storytelling, they were cut. 3) The book had to feel completely unlike any reading experience anyone has ever had. Once I established those guidelines, it became a great puzzle to solve.

148Apps: Do you think this is the future for novels? Or is there still a place for the traditional format?
ARW: I pray traditional novels never die. We all have loved them too much to let them go away. If paper-and-binding is on the decline in favor of screen-reading, I’m okay with that, but a pure tale constructed only with words is the foundation of storytelling; it will always exist, even if it’s just an old man sitting at a campfire telling ghost stories. Digital formats such as the iPad offer a playground for artists to explore the edges of the map and that’s what we are doing with Black Jack. Once you read the first two chapters, you begin to realize there are incredible moments waiting for you. Nobody’s done a book like this before – that’s the fun part.

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148Apps: Do you think it’s a method that would work for all genres or does it particularly lend itself to fantasy/sci-fi?
ARW: Oh, I could see Divergent, Hunger Games, Neil Gaiman, or Harry Potter working very well with the Moving Novel format, but I think also think Raymond Chandler’s detective thrillers, Cormac McCarthy’s Southern Gothic style or Stephen King’s horror stories could all be a fun ride with a little emotional push at the right moments.

148apps: What’s next after Black Jack?
ARW: By day, I’m a Creative Director, and currently working on launching the brand-new CBS affiliate in Indianapolis in 2015, so that may take a bit of time. For Black Jack, I’m working with the next story in the series, tentatively titled “Red Rover.” And at night, I’m just reading new stories. It’s always fun to find something new.


Thanks to A.R. Witham for taking the time to answer our questions.

Black Jack: A Moving Novel is available now on the App Store for the iPad. It’s currently priced at $5.99 for the full novel, with the first two chapters available for free.


FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2013-12-04 :: Category: Books

The Bane of Yoto Animotion Comic Episode I: Monster is the first installment of a new stand-alone comic app released by Squiddle Games for enjoyment on the iOS device of your choice. The story of The Bane of Yoto is an original story created by Josh Voila and based on the novel The Bane of Yoto: Blade of the Arbitrators written by the same Josh Viola and Nicholas Karpuk in collaboration with New York Times best-seller Steve Alten, JC Hutchins and Keith Ferrell. In this sweeping sci-fi fantasy tale readers will learn the fate of Yoto, who is turned into a powerful beast when a magical dagger is stabbed into his chest. Yoto will have to choose whether to save his downtrodden race or destroy them with his new power.

The Bane of Yoto is more than just a comic book to read, though. This app integrates 3D animation and 2D artwork created by Nick Runge of IDW Comics and Tyler Kirkham of DC. The comic is also narrated.

This is currently available in the App Store for free, and is compatible with the iPhone 4 and 4S as well as the iPad and iPad 2.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-03-01 :: Category: Books

Today marks the arrival of over 60 Marvel graphic novels on the Apple iBookstore. Fans of the popular comic books can now find their favorite Marvel heros including the Avengers, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Captain America, the Hulk, and others. These graphic novels (compilations of several comic book issues) range in price from $8.99 to $24.99 and free previews are available for each title.

After purchase, these titles will be optimized for and viewable through Apple’s iBooks app on the iPhone, iPod, and iPad in full, vibrant color. Marvel has announced that it will be releasing new titles every week, and an extended preview of the New Avengers Vol. 1 is currently available for free.

To view all of the Marvel graphic novels currently available for download in the iBookstore, go here. Marvel fans can now add iBooks to their favorite ways to read and reread the stories of their favorite mutant heros.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-04-02 :: Category: Books

Elmore Leonard App Comes To iOS

Renowned author Elmore Leonard has written over 40 books in his time with many of them being adapted to the big screen and also the small screen in the case of critically acclaimed drama series Justified. So it’s probably about time that he also gets his own app.

The app, originally entitled Elmore Leonard, is a fun and free companion for fans of the author. There’s an excerpt of his latest novel, Raylan, following the experiences of US Marshal Raylan Givens, as well as synopsises of all his other books. A videos section is available for both Leonard and Justified, along with photos from the TV show and other bits and pieces for the fan to take in and enjoy.

It’s an app that’s bound to hook crime writing fans in, especially if they want some great insider information on the new season of Justified.

Elmore Leonard is out now and it’s a free download.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-01-20 :: Category: Books


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Any app that has a description beginning with ‘Admit it – you’ve always wanted to write a novel.’ shouts at me. Because yes I do and I reckon somewhere deep inside me there is a great novel in there. Or at least one that more than five people would be willing to read. Lacking motivation however, I’m doomed to never achieve that dream.

I suspect I need to get downloading Novel in 30, an app that sets out to help users achieve their goal of completing a novel.

Besides offering a distraction-free writing environment, Novel in 30 encourages you to carry on. There’s a project dashboard ensuring that users can keep track of their progress and check how they’re doing so far quickly. Writing pace is also tracked so that the user can have a rough idea of what they need to do to maintain their target. Plus there’s the ever satisfying option of sharing progress via Facebook to show off how far the user has got.

Users don’t even have to worry about losing their witing so far as it syncs via iTunes ensuring easy access, and all writing can always be backed up to Dropbox.

Novel in 30 is available now for the iPad and is priced at $4.99.

Good luck with the novel writing!

$4.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-06-01 :: Category: Productivity

Beyond the unusual name, Mongoliad is an exciting new project that could play a part in changing the landscape for modern-day literature and the way it’s published. While everybody is busy talking about how the iPad could revolutionize the magazine market, this new serial novel collaboration is breaking new ground for both writers and consumers of traditional books.

Looking beyond the simple eBook reader mentality, Mongoliad harnesses the writing skills of Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and others who will all contribute to the developing narrative. While a traditional story exists, Mongoliad’s aim is to create a world of interactivity between writers, readers and other non-literary members who can contribute to and enhance the story.
Mongoliad is due for launch this year and will be available on the iPhone and iPad.

Demoing just a few of Mongoliad’s promised features, Jeremy Bornstein of Subutai told us: “We think that devices like this really change publishing in a pretty fundamental way. Not just moving books into eBooks but really allowing for a lot more creative possibilities for engaging audiences”.

Set in around 1241 with the Mongol hoards threatening to destroy Europe, the novel will pull from a number of sources to ensure authenticity and from what we’ve heard so far, this includes experts in sword fighting to provide a healthy dose of swashbuckling knowledge.

The ins and outs of Mongoliad are still sketchy right now but we’re excited to see how the project progresses and, with such big names on board, how many others attempt to produce their own “novel within an app within an online service”. Most will likely be waiting to see the kind of buzz Mongoliad generates before taking the plunge but, from what we’ve seen so far, it’ll only be a matter of time.

[ as seen at the SF App Show ]

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