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article imageBlog lets readers interact with characters from book

By Stephanie Medeiros     Feb 7, 2012 in Internet
Upon the release of one author's book, a blog will be used which will have the characters from the book write about their lives and interact with readers.
Author Laird Harrison will be stepping into "interactive book" territory by keeping up a blog where main characters of his newly published book Fallen Lake will talk about key plot points and give unconventional commentary to readers, TechCrunch reports.
However, TechCrunch writer John Biggs has his own gripes about the idea of an interactive book, saying the idea of Harrison keeping a blog "...is the worst implementation of interactive function I’ve ever seen (especially since all of the 'blog posts' (did they have blogs in the 1970s?) are password protected)." However, Harrison commented on the TechCrunch article and says readers "won't need a password to read the blogs and comments," starting on Fallen Lake's release date of February 14.
The book's plot revolves around open marriage. From Fallen Lake's website: Hiram and Sibyl Eisenberg have fallen head over heels in love with Leif and Laura Wrightson. Leif and Laura return all the same passion for Sibyl and Hiram, yet all four remain committed to their spouses. What to do? The year is 1971, the place is California, and what never before seemed possible is suddenly irresistible. Camping on the shores of Fallen Lake in the high Sierra, one night they begin a new direction in their lives and those of their children, turning two marriages into one.
It is not necessary or integral to the book's plot for readers to keep up with the blog, but, it will enhance the experience and help readers understand the characters and their motives a bit more. Characters from the book will be blogging on Fallen Lake's main website and readers can spark conversations about open marriage on their own in a forum setting.
Regardless of the reaction, character blogs are nothing new in the publishing world. In fact, complimenting a book with digital trends has been around for quite some time and even non-publishing companies have tried out character blogging. For example, Captain Morgan of Captain Morgan Rum had his own character blog. Writers have also even implemented character Twitter accounts, one author wrote an entire novel on Twitter.
Some of the hesitancy toward accepting character blogging, at least from Biggs' perspective, probably stems from the changes of publishing. Digital publishing allows writers of all skills to publish their ideas into self-published books that can be found on Amazon or the iBookstore. Complimenting a book that can be so easily published today with a blog might feel gimmicky to some--taking away from the craft of writing, so to speak--but others might enjoy the experience of character immersion.
As publishing and digital mediums change, so will readers mindsets about what is considered a gimmick and an actual piece of the reading experience. However, it still remains to be seen if Fallen Lake's own character blogging experiment will be a success.
More about interactive book, interactive books, book talk back, character blogging, character blog