I’m delighted to welcome Alison Jack to Jera’s Jamboree today.
Alison Jack has spent much of her adult life working in book distribution – Dory’s Avengers, however, is her first foray into the world of books as an author. She is a keen walker and has a particular love for the Lake District fells – the atmospheric setting for much of her novel.
Aside from writing her own novels and blogging, Alison spends a lot of time editing the work of other authors. When not writing, Alison enjoys reading, playing guitar – with more enthusiasm than skill – and wakeboarding. She lives near Cambridge with her partner and three cats.
Alison’s Website – http://www.alisonjack-author.com/
Alison’s Blog – http://alicufc66.wordpress.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AlisonJackAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AlisonJack66
The Social Network
It intrigues me the way socialising has changed with the advent of computers and mobile phones. Was it really a mere couple of decades ago that only the rich and the flash had mobile phones, and I was heard to utter the words ‘What the heck is an email?’? Now if my phone runs out of charge, which it does with alarming regularity, I’m sent into a blind panic, imagining the multitude of important calls and texts I’m bound to be missing. That top movie director wanting to turn my novel into a blockbusting film won’t call again, you know…
A part of me wishes texting and online social networking had existed when I was a painfully shy youngster. Talking to someone face to face often reduced me to a tongue tied wreck, and phone calls were even more of an ordeal, but I could write a killer letter. How much more cool and self-assured would I have seemed to my peers had I been able to express my thoughts via eloquent texts or witty Facebook posts?
However, socialising without actually being in anyone’s company does have its downside. Shy kids the world over can spend all their time in their rooms, chatting to their virtual friends in a virtual world, but how much bonding do they do? When I was young I wanted friends just like anyone else, so I had to go out and find some. I had to talk to people, and as a result my confidence gradually grew, as did my circle of friends. Friends I made then are friends to this day – and they’re all very real, not virtual.
I am far from being opposed to social networking. Indeed, my Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook accounts are very active, and through them I have rediscovered old friends from the past, and made contact with my cousin who moved to New Zealand before I was born. Of course I can’t get to know each of my Twitter followers personally, but I have made friends via Twitter who will be friends for life. We’ve met, we’ve chatted, and they’re as lovely in real life as they are in the virtual world.
I’m not naïve. I do realise that social networks, where even the profile picture can be a gravatar, can become havens for ill-intentioned predators. I know people, particularly youngsters, have been lured away from safety, sometimes into the hands of a killer, by a ‘friend’ they have made via these networks. At risk of sounding harsh, predators will always find a way to satisfy their unnatural needs, with or without social networking; and, if used wisely, Facebook, Twitter et al are no more dangerous than youth groups, parks, fairgrounds and all the other places kids congregated when I was young.
So am I for or against social networking? I’m for it, without a doubt. I think it’s a good thing – especially if you are, for example, an indie author trying to gain recognition for her work. It’s been said before but it bears repeating: I’d caution against giving out too much private information, don’t view your computer/tablet/phone as the extent of your social life, and parents have every right to keep a keen eye on their children’s online activities. Used wisely, there’s plenty of fun to be had via social networking; so go on – enjoy it.
I agree with you Alison. Social networking has opened up a whole new world. I do think it’s difficult for parents to monitor teens usage though. There are so many different devices …
In a stifled and oppressed United Kingdom, nothing can be achieved without the approval of the dictatorial Sponsors, at whose head is the malevolent and cruel Lord William St Benedict. In Britain’s cities the Sponsored live narrow, if privileged, lives, while the Unsponsored are confined to menial roles and to ‘less desirable’ districts. Among the Sponsors’ many victims is Lord William’s own son, the forthright and charismatic Theodore – ‘Dory’ – held captive by his father since he was a boy.
In the unassuming town of Applethwaite, in the shadow of the Cumbrian fells, an unlikely revolution is brewing. Albino gymnast Louis Trevelyan and his motley group of friends are fiercely proud of their Unsponsored status and gradually forge a plan not only to liberate the beleaguered Theodore but the whole of the United Kingdom.
‘Dory’s Avengers’ are coming…!
Amazon purchase links
Dory’s Avengers is touring with Fiction Addiction Book Tours.
|22nd January||Georgina Troy|
|24th January||The Broken Bookshelf|
|29th January||Bookalicious Travel Addict|
|5th February||Everything Books and Authors|
|7th February||Brook Cottage Books|
|10th February||Word to Dreams|
|12th February||Me, My Books and I|
The giveaway on this tour is open to UK residents of 2 x hardback copies of Dory’s Avengers.
You will be able to enter on tour host posts.
We hope you’ll join in the fun!