Sunday, November 4, 2012

iFrankenstein by Bekka Black Guest Post Stop

Frankenstein comes to life for the wired generation.

Following her critically-acclaimed iDrakula, award-winning author Bekka Black breathes life into a modern re-telling of iFrankenstein, using only text messages, web browsers, tweets, and emails. 

Homeschooled teenager Victor Frankenstein is determined to write his own ticket to independence: a chatbot to win the prestigious Turing prize and admission to the high tech university of his choice. He codes his creation with a self-extending version of his own online personality and unleashes it upon the internet. But soon he begins to suspect his virtual clone may have developed its own goals, and they are not aligned with Victor’s. The creature has its own plan, fed by a growing desire to win darker and more precious prizes: unfettered power and release from loneliness.

As the creature’s power and sentience grows and its increasingly terrible deeds bleed over from the online world into the real one, Victor must stop his creation before his friends and humanity pay the ultimate price. 


A new way to tell teen stories, Bekka Black’s series is written in texts, emails and tweets 

October 2012 – Bekka Black’s teen iMonsters series continues this Halloween season with a follow up to her multi-award-winning iDracula debut. With iFrankenstein, Black brings yet another classic story back to life using only the language teens speak today through cell phones texts, emails and social media posts. 

The paranormal tale – written for the wired generation – follows Victor Frankenstein as he creates a chatbot to win a prestigious contest and admission to the high tech university of his choice. But his virtual clone begins to develop its own goals opposite those of Victor’s. As the monster’s power grows and its increasingly terrible deeds bleed over from the online world into the real one, the homeschooled computer nerd must stop his creation before his friends and humanity pay the ultimate price. 

Blood Secrets author Jeannie Holmes calls iFrankstenstein “a modern masterpiece in this retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic.” Black developed the idea for writing cell phone novels as she watched teens texting instead of talking. 

“I realized they spent more time reading than my generation—just screens instead of pages,” she said. “I wrote this series to bring books to teens who might not already be reading books, as well as to voracious readers. It was a fascinating experience to tell a story without using the traditional storytelling tools—description and dialogue.” 

As a growing number of schools across the country are using e-readers in their classrooms, Black’s series is the perfect tech-friendly learning tool. CSI Librarian raves the book is “a good, fun, and quick read … can’t wait to see what classic Bekka Black will tackle next.” 

iFrankenstein appeals to fans of Lauren Myracle’s TTYL, and of course follows in the footsteps of the first in Black’s iMonsters series. iDracula was nominated for the APPY Award for Best Ebook of the Year, won the YALSA award for Best Book App, was listed on the “Top 10 Best YA Horror” by Booklist, included in “Funny Paranormal Readers” with Kirkus, mentioned in Publisher’s Weekly’s “Today’s YA Scene,” and American Library Association’s “Top 10 for 2010.” The book was recommended by School Library Journal and Girl’s Life, and became a Junior Library Guild selection.

The accompanying iPhone app for iDracula was chosen as Best Halloween App by PC Magazine, among others, and made it to No. 1 in Apple’s App Store. Fans can expect the iFrankenstein app this December. 

Black is the author of the award-winning Hannah Vogel mystery series. She writes for The Big Thriller and numerous other blogs, and has been featured in The New York Times for a column she wrote on how parenting can make you better at work. She lives in Hawaii with her husband and son.

Story Behind iDrak and iFrank 

Bringing Books into the Future 

By Bekka Black 

Study after study shows that people are reading fewer books than ever (NEA). Nearly half of all Americans aged 18 to 24 read no books for pleasure. No books for pleasure? I’m an author. How could I not have a panic attack? 

After I finished breathing into a paper bag, I reminded myself that the ways we communicate have always changed. As apes, we started out using hand signals or crude vocalizations and we continue to fall back on those in times of stress (remember that panic attack?). This system evolved into spoken language. Then scribes put down those words on clay tablets or papyrus or paper, but only the well-educated elite could read them. Over time, literacy spread until most people could communicate via writing and reading. That’s what I grew up with. As a teenager, I read paper books and actually spoke to my friends face to face. 

The next generation is headed somewhere else entirely. Teens today are more likely to communicate with their friends via text messages than any other way, including face to face contact, email, instant messaging, or voice calling. (Pew Study) Teens send or receive on average 2,779 messages a month (Nielsen). If text messages are like notes passed in class, imagine a monthly stack of almost 3,000 notes per student. 

Teens live on their cell phones. They spend more time reading than I did at their age. More time typing too and I was a budding writer. Sure, they aren’t reading giant tomes or typing novels on paper. They’re reading phone screens and sending messages. Some of them are even reading books on their phone. 

But those books are not written for the phone. What, I wondered, if someone wrote a novel using texts, something designed to be read right on that tiny screen? Would teens sit at their darkened tables and read it by the glow of their phones? And thus iDrakula was born.
After a childhood often spent without electricy and running water, Bekka escaped the beautiful wilderness of Talkeetna, Alaska for indoor plumbing and 24/7 electricity in Berlin, Germany. Used to the cushy lifestyle, she discovered the Internet in college and has been wasting time on it ever since (when not frittering away her time on her iPhone). Somehow, she manages to write novels, including the award-winning Hannah Vogel mystery series set, in all places, 1930s Berlin, and The Blood Gospel series (with James Rollins).

She lives in Berlin with her husband, son, two cats, and too many geckoes to count. iDrakula is her first cell phone novel.

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