Tag Archive for: #KathrynLaneAuthor

Crazy About Socks?

Recently I read that during the pandemic online shopping spree, socks became a hot item. Socks? Really? Must have taken some pretty bored people to shop for socks!

I wondered if socks had ever been written up in literature. As a mystery writer, I immediately thought of possible book titles: Murder by Socks, The Sock Strangler, or Forensic Socks.

Next, I researched books with “socks” in the title and found the expected “how to” category teaching you to knit socks. Children’s stories have a surprising number of titles with socks, starting with Dr. Seuss’s famous Fox in Socks.

In Battle of Hogwarts, the Harry Potter book/movie, Harry tricks Lucius Malfoy into freeing the house servant Dobby. Harry uses one of his socks to gift-wrap Tom Riddle’s Diary before giving it to Lucius. When Lucius throws away the unneeded sock, Dobby catches it, thus freeing himself from Lucius.

My personal experience with socks was during my corporate days when I racked up millions of airline miles flying all over the globe. At that time, business and first class gave an amenity kit that included a cheap pair of socks that were supposed to be used once and discarded. Well, I collected and used those socks. For over twenty years I never bought a pair—I had all those airline ones. And they never wear out! Though my husband disagrees; he’s thrown away the ones with the comfortable holes in the toes.

My stream of consciousness led me to research the sock market. Every theme you can think of can be printed on a pair of cotton, stretchy, or wool socks. The most expensive, so expensive in fact that the price was not listed, are those made from Cervelt, a fiber from New Zealand’s Red Deer. Only 20 grams of fiber can be collected per deer per year making it one of the most exclusive fabrics in the world.

In my search I discovered an organization in the Netherlands, Sock by Sock, whose mission is to keep overproduced socks from ending up as waste. After seeing the availability of socks on the Net, I can assure you that organization has plenty of work to accomplish.

Do you have a sock story? If so, sock it to me!

***

Kathryn Lane is the author of the award-winning Nikki Garcia Mystery Series. Nikki Garcia, the protagonist, is a private investigator based in Miami. She does work in foreign countries, including countries where private investigators are forbidden by law.

Kathryn’s early work life started out as a painter in oils. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked on a career in international finance with a major multinational corporation.

Two decades later, she left the corporate world to create mystery and suspense thrillers, drawing inspiration from her Mexican background as well as her travels in over ninety countries.

***

Photos are taken from the public domain. They are used in either an editorial or educational manner.

A Nod to Writers and Artists

By Kathryn Lane

In every novel of my Nikki Garcia mystery series, I’ve
mentioned a writer or a visual artist whose work I admire. Since my mysteries
are set in foreign countries, this detail adds a touch of that country’s culture.

Waking Up in Medellin takes place in Colombia and I
wove in the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Laurette in Literature for One
Hundred Years of Solitude
,
and the sculptures of Fernando Botero into the
story.

Research on Fernando Botero’s sculpture

Danger in the Coyote Zone takes place in Mexico and I
mentioned Leonora Carrington, a British woman who lived and worked among the
surrealists in Paris and moved to Mexico to escape the ravishes of World War
II. She remained in Mexico, married the
Hungarian-born photographer Emerico Weisz
, and lived in Mexico City for
the rest of her life. Leonora infused her surrealist paintings and sculptures
with a feminine perspective, and she played an important role in the women’s
rights movement in Mexico. In my novel, I only mention that Nikki notices one
of her surreal sculptures on a street in San Miguel de Allende. To my amazement,
I received an email from Wendy Weisz, Leonora’s daughter-in-law. Wendy had read
my first novel in the series and had purchased the second one too. She was
pleasantly surprised to find the mention of her late mother-in-law’s sculpture.
Hearing from her was thrilling to me, especially since I’ve never met anyone in
the Weisz family though I’ve always admired Leonora’s art and sculpture.

Leonora Carrington’s Self-Portrait in New York’s Metropolitan Museum

Revenge in Barcelona includes action scenes that
occur at Gaudi’s architectural sites, such as the world famous Sagrada Familia
Basilica. Not only did I research Gaudi’s work, but also I made two trips to
Barcelona to make certain I had the facts right. (That Barcelona is my favorite
city in the world did not influence my decision to travel there to fact check!)

Author and her husband. She was researching Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. 

While writing Missing in Miami, I took a slightly
different approach. I’d read Klara and the Sun by Ishiguro. Josie,
Ishiguro’s character, suffers from an illness that is never fully defined. My
character Andrea, the missing girl in my novel, also has an illness. I mentioned
Ishiguro’s novel despite his lack of ties to Cuba to subliminally correlate his
Josie to my Andrea. I never mention Ishiguro’s character or her illness so I
don’t expect many readers to catch the comparison unless they’ve read both
novels.

The author loves Ishiguro’s novels!
I’m currently writing a novel about a math prodigy. In it I’ve
mentioned Miguel de Cervantes and his picaresque novel,
Don Quixote de la
Mancha
. It’s prompted me to reread the adventures of Don Quixote and Sancho
Panza, a novel I love despite the fact it was written in the early 1700s.

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza on their steeds.

***

Do you incorporate allusions, a nod, or direct references in
your novels to either writers or their work?

***

Kathryn’s Nikki Garcia Thriller Series – on Amazon

About Kathryn

Kathryn Lane started out painting in oils and quickly became a
starving artist. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and
embarked on a career in international finance with a major multinational
corporation. After two decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into
writing mystery and suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply
from her Mexican background as well as her travels in over ninety
countries.

Visit my website
at 
https://www.Kathryn-Lane.com

Photo credits:

All photographs are used
in an editorial and/or educational manner

Botero Sculpture – by Kathryn Lane

Leonora Carrington’s Self-Portrait – Pinterest

Sagrada Familia – by Kathryn Lane

Klara and the Sun – Amazon

Don Quijote de la Mancha – Amazon

Writing and Selling Fiction in the Metaverse

 By Kathryn
Lane

In the near future, when a reader purchases a book, that reader can also receive additional
3-D experiences depicting the author’s world, how the author researched,
created, and wrote that particular book.


Interacting with the metaverse.

As
readers, we will be able to interact through virtual reality (VR) with our
favorite authors. Though I don’t write in his genre, I can imagine a VR encounter
with JRR Tolkien where I’d walk beside him in the scenes while he described his
imaginative process in writing Lord of the Rings. Music, as in the films,
should run too. But then I’d turn it off to better understand Tolkien’s
creativity before the scenes were set to music. Tolkien is no longer living, but artists, writers, historians, script writers, photographers, and
cinematographers would create the immersive where I’d be in the middle of the
narrative.

Distortion in the metaverse.

Writers will
have a variety of options for selling their works in the Metaverse. Unique codes,
think of ISBNs 
currently used, will identify the digital asset that is linked
to blockchain to secure its authenticity and uniqueness. This process creates a
non-fungible token (NFT). For example, limited editions of digital works can then
be sold as NFTs. Book covers and draft manuscripts also offer the possibility
of NFT sales.

Blockchain
provides a secure means for storing intellectual property like copyrights and
patents, and includes smart contracts where author royalties can be collected every
time an NFT book cover, limited edition, or a first draft manuscript is
re-sold.


Visual representation of blockchain.

Big name
authors with staff to do research, design, and marketing will have the
advantage over lesser-known authors. They might turn their books into complete immersive
experiences where readers don’t read but merely step into the story.

VR and
the Metaverse will be used extensively in other areas, especially education. By
combining topics such as math and science; language, geography, and history,
among other subjects, learning can become more integrated. 

Student using the metaverse.

However,
it’s not all panacea here either. Richer countries will have the advantage over
poorer ones.

If you feel
concerned about the Metaverse, you are not alone. If we think of it as the next
level of the Internet, it becomes less intimidating. Though I remember how reluctant
people felt in the early to mid-nineteen-nineties about using the Internet.

Are you
ready to enter the brave new world of NTF books?

***

Kathryn’s latest Nikki Garcia Mystery Thriller: Missing in Miami (available on Amazon)

About
Kathryn

Kathryn
Lane started out painting in oils and quickly became a starving artist. To earn a living, she became a certified
public accountant and embarked on a career in international finance with a
major multinational corporation. After two decades, she left the corporate
world to plunge into writing mystery and suspense thrillers. In her stories,
Kathryn draws deeply from her Mexican background as well
as her travels in over ninety countries.

Visit my
website at https://www.Kathryn-Lane.com

Photo credits:

All photographs are used in an editorial and/or educational manner

Augmented reality from Pinterest

Dreaming of distortion in the metaverse by Dean Terry is licensed under CC

Photo by Terry on Unsplash

AugustMan – Malaysia

TECHNOLOGIES THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY STORIES ARE TOLD

By Kathryn Lane

Houston hosted Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience.
Not to miss an important event, Bob and I attended with friends from Angel
Fire. So many exhibits are hyped up that we did not know what to expect. Then we
left talking about what an amazing show we’d witnessed.

First, you glimpse blowups of Vincent’s paintings that come
together though electronic enhancement as you watch. Another room provides
photo ops were you can sit in Vincent’s
bedroom in Arles and have your picture taken. 

Watch as Starry Night comes together electronically

Then comes the exceptional
“Immersion” room where you witness, feel, and become part of Vincent’s
paintings as 90,000,000 pixels are projected in a 360
° space, while you relax in a beach
chair.

Immersion Room with waiting beach chairs.

.

In the Immersion room, don’t sit where the train will roar through.

The show’s real clencher is the interactive historical journey that virtual
reality takes you on as you travel through Vincent’s fields, towns, and cafés.
This visually fabulous trip takes ten minutes. At times I had to remind myself
I was not flying. I was merely sitting on a sturdy chair as we swooped past
cafés and buildings, fields, country roads, and chapels. It’s a combination of
cinematography, art, music, and history where you are the observer.

The author, her husband, and friends with virtual reality headsets.

Now that I’ve exuberantly told you about the Immersive experience,
I must also tell you I’m not getting a commission for tickets sales. But you
should definitely attend if it’s showing anywhere near you.

The real reason that I’m recounting the visit is that this show
gives you an incredible ride, but where it might fail is to engage your brain
actively, where your own imagination, intellect, and creativity work together
to connect the dots.

Maybe by experiencing projections of virtual reality in the future, the
human brain will be liberated to create even more sensational innovations. At
least that is my hope.

At times, it’s easy for negative thoughts to surface. Thoughts that younger
generations are not reading much and that the coming metaverse will create a
world where people will not have to solve issues; instead they might only
passively partake the virtual world placed before them.

Shows like Van Gogh’s Immersive, social media, and virtual
meetings using avatars are the beginnings of the metaverse. These phenomena will
change the world.

AVATAR

We are on the cusp of changing how people learn, communicate, and
interact. These innovations had been on the horizon yet the isolation and
social distancing caused by the pandemic sped up the introduction and use of
these tools. Similar to the (almost instant) popularity of the world wide web
and the massive adaptation of mobile phones a little more than two decades ago,
we will soon grapple with metaverse technologies in everyday life.

Harry Potter Book

As a writer, I think the coming technologies are both exciting and
scary. The creative opportunities promised by the metaverse seem exciting. On the
other hand, the metaverse will deliver powerful tools that will change how
stories are told. Will children in the future want to read Harry
Potter when they can experience it through virtual reality? Will people know
what their co-workers look like when all they see at virtual meetings are avatars?
And what about nature lovers? Will they don a headset to enjoy virtual nature
or will they commune with nature the old-fashioned way?

***

What do you think about the metaverse?

***

Kathryn’s mysteries – The Nikki
Garcia Mystery
series:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B08C7V2675/ref=dp_st_1942428944

Kathryn’s short story collection – Backyard
Volcano
and Other Mysteries of the Heart

https://www.amazon.com/Backyard-Volcano-Other-Mysteries-Heart/dp/1943306044

 All available on Amazon

About Kathryn

Kathryn Lane started out as a starving
artist. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked
on a career in international finance with a major multinational corporation.
After two decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into writing mystery
and suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply from her Mexican background as well as her travels
in over ninety countries.

Visit
my website at
https://www.Kathryn-Lane.com

Photo
credits:

All
photographs are used in an editorial or educational manner

Starry Night by Van Gogh – public domain

Two Immersion Room photos – taken by the author

Four people with virtual reality headsets – taken with an iPhone

Avatar and Harry Potter book – public domain