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UK freelance journalist and author Sean McManus

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Free writing wisdom widget

21 May 2008

While I was writing my novel 'University of Death', I read quite a few books about writing and kept an eye out for inspiring quotes from famous authors and writers. They include Stephen King, Shakespeare, Truman Capote, Peter Cook and Christopher Isherwood among others.

I've packaged up a selection of my favourites in this free writing quotes widget, which you can customise and incorporate in your own website or blog. It's free to use. The only condition is that you keep the link back to this site and don't modify the code.

When I get time, I'll write a short piece about the simple text compression routine I wrote for this. There's a lot of stuff out there about compressing Javascript, but I couldn't find anything useful about compressing text and decompressing it using Javascript. I managed to cut the total size of my script by about 12% without too much trouble, and might have been able to compress further if I'd worked on it longer.

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University of Death: two new downloads

20 May 2008

You can now print your own bookmark for University of Death and download Dove's soundcheck MP3 from MySpace or embed it in your MySpace profile.

I previously made bookmarks available for Small Business Websites That Work, and it turned out to be a fairly popular feature. I haven't seen anyone else doing printable bookmarks, which surprises me. For authors where the readers have bought into the merchandising as much as the stories, it could prove to be a popular website feature. And for all authors, it's nice to give readers the opportunity to download a souvenir when they visit their websites.

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Record Collector Magazine reviews 'University of Death'

11 May 2008

I've always been a keen magazine reader, the kind of person who checks the news-stands every day to see what's new and writes the on-sale dates of some magazines in his diary. Back in the 80s, I read Crash and Amstrad Action avidly; in the 90s, I bought either Melody Maker or NME each week (and often both); and today I read the glossy monthly music mags. One of my favourites is Record Collector, so I'm thrilled that they've published a four-star review of my novel 'University of Death' in the latest issue.

Record Collector issue 350 cover"Raising a number of surprisingly sophisticated issues, this book is enjoyably cynical about the seemingly cold-hearted and impenetrable nature of the record industry and peppered with a number of highly comical cameos from the cream of rock'n'roll, which ensures that it never feels like heavy going."

- Lewis Heritage, books reviewer, Record Collector magazine issue 350 (June 2008)

Record Collector is one of the magazines I trust to tell me about music and books I'll want to read, and it's one I look forward to consulting each month, so I really am delighted that their writer enjoyed my book and has recommended it to other readers.

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