Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The End of the Novel Live!

From Shelf Awareness, because they do a better wrap up of this event that I could:

As we reported last week
over the course of six days, live and online, 36 Northwest authors wrote
a novel. It was completed Saturday evening and will be published as an
e-book by Open Road Integrated Media. Fans watched the novel being
written--and, in one case, drawn--added their comments in person and via
live chat, and had a grand time bidding during various auctions. Over
72,000 words were typed (the goal was 50,000), and thousands of online
viewers spent 165,000 minutes watching The Novel! Live!
http://news.shelf-awareness.com/ct.jsp?uz3642037Biz10133129 unfold. While most viewers were from the
U.S., there were also hundreds from Australia, Canada, the U.K., India,
the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Austria, New Zealand and Spain. And even
better, nearly $10,000 was raised for literacy (hint: you can still
donate http://news.shelf-awareness.com/ct.jsp?uz3642037Biz10133130 and
push that number over $10K).

We checked with one of the instigators of this project, author Jennie
Shortridge, and asked her for statistics of the kind we are really
interested in:

* Most words typed: Mary Guterson: 4,560
* Least swearing in text: Suzanne Selfors: 0 curse words
* Most breaks from writing: Erik Larson: 2; he also wins for most coffee
consumed, 4 cups
* Most freakish and horrifying incident for an author: a stuck "delete"
key during Jarret Middleton's turn at bat--it cost him five paragraphs
of text (which he replaced overnight, so he gets the best-natured author
award as well)
* Most remote author contribution: Kit Bakke from Shanghai
* Most valiant effort by an author: Maria Dahvana Headley, who typed via
Gmail chat from her sickbed with a 102-degree fever
* Best channeling of a non-human character: Stephanie Kallos, who wrote
from a crow's point of view
* Highest bid for an auction item: $450 for the name of the
protagonist's long-lost father, online from Isabella in New York
* Mostly unlikely auction item: a replica of Habib the crow, who dangled
above the stage on the last day, went for $100. (We sent a volunteer out
into the streets of Capitol Hill Saturday morning to find a crow, and
after no luck at various stores, actually encountered a man with a fake
crow on Pine Street, and haggled him down from $60 to $30). Runners-up:
plastic skulls named for dead authors, which brought in as much as $40
each in online auctions, and many signed (and re-signed) books
* Longest distances traveled by authors to participate: Jamie Ford from
Montana and Mary Guterson from Los Angeles
* Longest distance traveled by a volunteer to participate: aspiring
19-year-old author Rachel Kelly from Gresham, Ore.

Erik Larson and auctioneer John Roderick, lead singer and guitarist in
the band The Long Winters.

Most costume changes by an author: 4 by Susan Wiggs, who morphed from
Viking princess to pajama-ed author to sequined goddess to queen of
hearts during her two-hour stint
* Most catch-up sleep required by organizing Seattle7Writers' members: a
tie between Garth Stein and Jennie Shortridge

Check out The Novel! Live! http://news.shelf-awareness.com/ct.jsp?uz3642037Biz10133131 and
watch the book being created. Congratulations to everyone who made this
happen with such enthusiasm and panache, from the writers to the
volunteers to the food suppliers to the fans, and to Hugo House for
providing a cozy venue (and a bar).--Marilyn Dahl

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