Friday, March 13, 2015

Webs and Wings

As you know from last week’s post, I moved my author website from Google Apps, where it has lived since its inception, to Wix.com. At the time I posted, I expected it to take me much longer than it did to migrate the site address to the Wix servers after clicking on the button that said “Publish.” For this unlooked-for simplicity, I have Google to thank—although, as is not uncommon with Google, finding the right button to click required far more raw luck than one would expect from a site that markets itself as user-friendly.

Still, I didn’t, in the end, have to deal with logging in to GoDaddy, where I don’t actually have an account except through Google, a detail that has caused me endless angst every time I’ve had to modify the directional settings for the site. Oddly, Google still threw up a user ID and temporary password for GoDaddy (that’s where finding the right button became a challenge) before I discovered the magic link that switched me to my own Dashboard and let me type in the server numbers provided by Wix. The same Wix that had promised to handle the connection for me if I could only provide my GoDaddy ID and password, which GoDaddy then refused to recognize.... This is why I will never give up the humanities for a life in tech.

But no matter. The new system is much easier, and I know what to do next time (meaning if we decide to move the Five Directions Press site as well—I’m sure that if I ever need to relocate my own site away from Wix, the procedure will have changed again). My blog is still where it was; I did discover, eventually, that there is a way to convince the website to pick up the RSS feed, or even to set up the blog as a subdomain on Wix, but by then I had repurposed the blog page on the new site to host a collection of excerpts, including audio clips, and videos. I was also, shall we say, wary after the last broken promise. So what Wix thinks is a blog actually does something else, but if you land on that page by mistake, you will find a link to the real blog posts. (Confused yet? Never mind, so am I.)

Most important, I love the professional look of the new site. Visiting it makes me happy. You can visit it, too, at http://www.cplesley.com, and I hope you will. I have even figured out how to add an iTunes button so that people can subscribe to my New Books in Historical Fiction podcast directly from my site.




All that happened last weekend. More good news followed. On Tuesday, I learned that The Winged Horse had made the first cut for the M.M. Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction. If you’re interested, you can find out more about the award at the committee’s website, including a list of the semifinalists. This is the first time I’ve entered any of my books in a contest, so being selected feels like a real validation. The short list will be announced in mid-April, but I am already delighted. M.M. Bennetts, a specialist in early nineteenth-century British history, wrote novels set during the Napoleonic Wars and was highly regarded for the quality of her writing before her tragic early death in August 2014. The committee seeks to commemorate her by selecting for compelling, well-told stories. I feel honored to be included in the list of twelve.

Perhaps best of all, I am finally through with the many tasks that have kept me away from Legends 3 for almost three months. This weekend—tomorrow!—I reenter my time machine, bound for the Russian North in 1536 and the world I have abandoned so long while still (half-)created. Are those swans I hear flying overhead?



Image: Shelf with M.M. Bennetts books, © Andrea Killam

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