I was reading the author interviews carried on the Quercus website and was struck by the answers given to one particular question: 'What do you think of e-books?'. This got me thinking. With the coming of age of the Internet all media is increasingly one enormous cyber-continuum; the distinction between films, videogames, comicbooks, music, images and the written word blurring. There is now an enormous overlap between all these forms of creative expression (music videos, comicbooks and films, graphic novels) athough the implications of this conflation have been largely being obscured by the fact that there is another player involved: social networking sites. The audience is now part of the creative process.
This I think will have enormous implications for a writer like me and not just because my readership will (increasingly) want my product in an internet-friendly format. No, the implications go way beyond e-books per se.
I suspect that the reader of the future will be looking for an altogether more immersive experience than one which can be found within the covers of a book. They will want to explore the backgrounds of their favourite characters, be able (especially with SF and fantasy) to make a deeper and more profound examination of the world the writer has created, they will want to interact with the characters and with each other and, most important of all, they will want to see the writers visualisation of his or her book. Like it or not books will soon be merging with the cyber-world and it will become incumbent upon writers to create worlds and characters which transcend the printed word. This will be the only way they will be able to persuade a cyber-savvy generation to suspend disbelief.
That is why I created the Demi-Monde website; to allow readers the opportunity of immersing themselves more fully in the DM and understanding the naunces of that world that can only (because of considerations of pace and length) be alluded to in the book. But now I think I need to go further. I am going to have two of my Real World characters tweet and Nigel and I are looking at producing a PowerPoint presentation of the DM.
Modest enough but it's a start...