Monday, September 10, 2007

An online room of one's own

We Select Editions editors are in the happy position of being able to surf the Web at work as a legitimate part of our jobs. We use the Web to stay up-to-date on current books and bestseller lists, to access book reviews, and especially to research author information for our AfterWords features following each story. So I’ve seen a lot of Web sites in the years I’ve been at SE. But I have to say that Julie Garwood’s site is one of the best—if not the best—I’ve ever seen. (See our full list of SE author Web sites in the column to the right of this.)

The home page greets the viewer with a warmly realistic drawing of a writer’s desk in a wood-paneled study. The viewer sees the scene from the writer’s perspective, as you would if you were sitting at the desk getting ready to work. Just above the desk, at eye level, is a huge casement-style window, topped with a fanlight, looking out on a winding garden path surrounded by trees and flowering shrubs. If you listen closely, you can hear the sounds of birds chirping, along with the distant hum of the world outside . . . put your cursor on the handle, click, and the window opens outward. The sounds become nearer, giving the writer a soothing auditory background for lengthy periods of concentration—or daydreaming.

To either side of the desk are bookcases filled with lovingly worn volumes just waiting to be read. There are family photos on the desk; a telephone; a pen and paper; a typewriter (not a computer!); a lamp, the inviting yellow glow of which goes on and off with a click of the cursor; and a center desk drawer with a secret object tucked inside (click the knob to open the drawer and find out what it is). There’s even an old-fashioned radio on the bookshelf: click the dial, and lilting classical music comes through the speaker. You can even change the station—click again, and you’ll get smooth jazz or something else that suits your fancy.

I want to dive into this picture and never leave!



Anonymous said...

Wow! That's a really cool site. Much more interesting and inviting than most book communities! What kind of thing does Garwood write?

Select Editions said...

Julie Garwood is a top romantic suspense writer. As a reviewer recently said, "Garwood writes gripping escapism of the tallest order." After you read her book in the newest volume of Select Editions, let us know what you think.