What a crazy four months we’ve had. Never in a million years did we think Placing Literature would take off like it has. Katie, Steve and I founded the website to give readers and researchers around the world a single platform in which to share the locations where their favorite novels take place. We recently passed the 1,000 scenes plotted mark—and we have all of you—our users—to thank.
But, we’re not satisfied. Over the next four months we’ll continue to update the website and add more features to make it easier to plot, view and search the scenes in our database.
First, we’ve kicked off an Author Spotlight program. Placing Literature has named Hugh Howey and Charles Finch as its inaugural Author Spotlight subjects, recognizing their use of real locations in their works of fiction. Over the course of November, Hugh and Charles will be mapping the scenes from their novels as well as the novels from an author that has inspired them. They’ll also be blogging about their experience, explaining why place is important in their writings and how other author’s use of place has inspired them.
Hugh Howey is our inaugural IndieReader.com Author Spotlight. He is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling science fiction Wool series. The third part in the series, Shift, was published in August. We’re also honoring Charles Finch, the author of the Charles Lenox mysteries published by Macmillan. His first novel, A Beautiful Blue Death, was nominated for an Agatha Award.
We’re eternally grateful to these authors and our sponsor, IndieReader.com. Check back throughout the month to learn why place is important to these authors.
We’ve also added a ‘Search by Author’ option that will help sort through all the great data that we are collecting. This is especially useful for those who want to just see the locations in the Sherlock Holmes series or just the places that Amy Tam has written about. We’ve also added an auto-fill feature to make it easier to map a scene in a consistent manner with other data on the site.
We’re also investigating the move to a true Wiki model in which users have the ability to complete missing information and edit each other’s entries for accuracy. However, we understand that safeguards need to be set up to ensure that good data isn’t overwritten or that someone isn’t able to post advertising or SPAM. We’re working on creating a model that works, and that’s going to take time. The idea will always be to collect more accurate and, ultimately, more useful information. Look for an update in a few months.
In the meantime, please let us know how we’re doing. We’re always excited to hear feedback from our users. Tell us what you like, what you don’t like and how the site can be more useful to you. Feel free to email us at info (at) placingliterature.com. We’re listening.