Soundtracks for Books

 

Ok, my mind is blown. Seriously. I’ve just discovered booktrack.com – a site where you can read books while listening to the soundtracks for those books. So, it’s like watching a movie, only you’re reading.

If you haven’t heard of them yet, then you must – MUST – check them out. It’s cool. Really cool.

And it’s free.

I’ll say that again because it’s important. It’s FREE. Oh, and it’s really easy to use.

If you’re a teacher you should know that booktrack.com has a special membership for you and your students. It’s called booktrackclassroom.com and kids can add their own soundtracks to stories they’ve written. Like many of the other educational resources you’ve used, booktrackclassroom is a closed network, so you have full control of its content which is shared within the classroom only. Students’ work will not be made public.

I will absolutely be making soundtracks for my books, starting with the prequel teaser, Defiant. I can hardly wait to get started!

Once you try booktrack.com let me know what you think of it by leaving a comment below, or by emailing me at valerie@valeriefrancis.ca .

Happy reading (and listening)!

 

And the Winner is … Me?

I’m thrilled to announce that this site has just won the Versatile Blogger Award, an honour given by wordpress.com (the company hosting my blog) to sites that demonstrate some degree of awesomeness.versatile blogger

Only a matter of time before the Giller shows up.

The rules surrounding this prestigious award appear somewhat loosey-goosey.  However I can tell you that to win, a site must first be nominated by another Versatile Blogger Award recipient.  And so, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Irish author Lesley Richardson for nominating my site. (Her acceptance blog is hilarious – check it out.  While you’re there, read the excerpt from her novel Biddy Weirdo.  You won’t be disappointed!)  Lesley nominated nine sites in all and said of her nominees “they’re all brilliant bloggers and damn fine writers.”  Aww, shucks.

As part of my acceptance, I’m supposed to tell you seven interesting facts about myself – I had to call my BFF for help on this one.  She provided quite an extensive list … although I don’t think “has too many pets” really counts.

Here’s my list.

Reads Tarot Cards:  I did a reading for a friend one time and at the end of it, she called me a witch.  I’m not sure how that was intended, but I took it as a compliment. We’re still friends though, so I guess it’s all good.

Big Fan of Castle (TV Series):  If you haven’t seen this show yet, check it out.  It stars Nathan Fillion as crime writer Richard Castle who teams up with NYPD detective Kate Beckett, played by Stana Katic.  It’s a lot like Moonlighting.  Nathan Fillion is hilarious.  I can’t wait until the theme song is available as a ringtone.

Studied Spanish for Two Years:  All I can remember now is “¡Dos cervezas por favor” (Two beer please!) and “¿Dónde está el baño” (Where’s the bathroom?).  Yup.  That was money well spent.

Currently taking Piano and Voice Lessons:  I always wanted to play the piano, so when I turned 40 I bought a beautiful Kawai acoustic and started lessons.  I’m about Royal Conservatory of Music grade three now and am working on all three movements of Clementi’s Sonatina in C Major.

The voice lessons are just so that I’m ready when Michael Bublé calls and asks me to sing a duet on his next album.

I’m a Virgo:  BFF actually wrote that I’m an over-achiever.  I prefer to think of myself as having high standards.  I’m also a perfectionist and am freakishly organized. The root cause of all this anal-retentiveness is that I’m a Virgo.

Used to be in a Rock Band:  Or as my guitar-god son puts it, I used to be cool.  I played electric bass in a band called The Prophets.  I think I still have one of our t-shirts around here somewhere.  I even studied music (jazz) at St. Francis Xavier University – well, one year of it anyway … which leads me to the last interesting fact about myself.

Only One Regret:  I didn’t finish my music degree.  The story of how I went from dreams of being a composer to a career in the public service is actually pretty interesting – and one I’ll no doubt tell in my memoir someday.  I think that once I’m a rich and famous author, and I don’t have to worry about things like working for a living, I’ll to go back to university and finish my BA in music …  maybe even write the score to the film adaption of one of my novels.

And now, my list of blogs I think worthy of the Versatile Blogger Award.

www.katerobbinsauthor.com:  for sheer enthusiasm toward and love of all things books and writing

http://peggyblair.wordpress.com:  for her fabulous Inspector Ramirez series

http://literaryman.com: for consistently interesting posts