Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Music to write to

Most people, I would imagine, like to work to music. Obviously, there are exceptions (such as Kevin Crossley-Holland who once told me he couldn't listen to a piece of music without giving it his full attention). 
Certainly, I can't stand the silence while I'm typing away or racking my brain for a new best-seller idea. But I can't listen to just anything. Lyrics in a language I know will invariably distract me. So that rules out French music in general (including this awesome kids radio) and a fair bit of English-language tunes. That said, if the music is really atmospheric, I can have it play in the background and just feel comforted by it, rather than distracted. 
The best kind, however, is from soundtracks (from film, TV series or anime) and dramatic music: that is, music that is full of happenings and begs to tell a story (as in the Greek work "drama": action). Those I find fantastically uplifting and energising. They might even give you a mini-workout as you bounce along the songs on your office chair...

So, in no particular order, my current favourite musics to write to:

Music from the anime Fairy Tail (which I can't recommend highly enough) such as this compilation.

Music from Doctor Who (ditto); 2 hours of excitement in musical form.

Nearly anything by Philip Glass, but especially his Heroes symphony.

Music from Grey's Anatomy, for a more relaxed approach. (And also for Get Set Go's  highly relatable Sleep, because, you know, I need my sleep, I need it right now.)

And then, there's always Bollywood. Now don't watch the videos, those can be really distracting.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Winning dinos

Just last week, my one and only book app (so far!), SOS Dinos in Distress, illustrated by Claire Chavenaud and developed by Audois&Alleuil, won the first Prix du Livre Numérique Jeunesse (Digital Children's Book award), run by the public librairies of the city of Grenoble in France. Needless to say we are all chuffed!

If you haven't come across this crazy detective story involving dinosaurs and Rubik's cubes (among other things), here's a little taste of it.

As well as getting a Starred Review from Kirkus, SOS Dinos in Distress has been really well received in other e-places.
"Fun, engaging, and a wonderful story." BestAppsForKids "highly recommends" the silly antics of Thaddeus Getsit-Wright in their splendid review over here

Meanwhile, GeeksWithJuniors concludes that "SOS Dinos in Distress is a beautifully illustrated storybook, complete with playful interactive features and sound effects on every page. Starring a prideful young detective on an imaginative dinosaur hunt, the story is every bit hilarious and engaging."

Enough to make one blush, frankly!