How High Tech Is Elevating my Agatha Christie Manuscript
100 years ago, Agatha Christie published her first book. Most people didn’t have phones in their houses, let alone in their pockets, and that’s just one of the many differences between that era and ours.
Because I kept running into unfamiliar references in Christie’s books, I started poking around and found other readers were also wondering what details had been lost to time. That’s what started me on this massive endeavor.
I’ve made good use of technology for researching and documenting my glossary project and I’m not even particularly technical. But since my day job is with Sprocket Websites, I do know lots of technical people. For instance, my husband, Don.
When I first started talking to him about the Christie glossary, my only expectation was a nice paperback book folks could set on the table next to them while they read their favorite Christie mystery. Don, of course, thought immediately of an online database.
He had created a glossary app some years before for respiratory therapists called Respirapedia, but that was during the stone age, as measured in technology years. So much has changed, with improvements being made all the time, and Don was eager to find the best way to store and share all this Christie information.
Don called on several colleagues in his DNN network who have built incredibly powerful applications on top of the DNN platform. These are apps used by governments and big corporations, so they have capabilities far beyond what my simple glossary requires. Which made me a bit self-conscious! Everyone was very nice, however, and seriously considered how to best wrangle this manuscript into a good-looking, easy-to-navigate app.
Working with these folks and learning about their technology was a big thrill for Don, although most of what I overheard made my eyes glaze over. Very occasionally, I understood enough to interject a possible problem or get excited about a cool process. All of this exploration and comparison was bundled into a presentation that Don gave at the DNN Summit 2021 conference in February called “The Case of the Reluctant Coder.”
And the effort did result in choosing a particular tool, I’m happy to say. Since I had been recording all my work in Microsoft’s One Note, there were some gyrations to move the data, but it has been moved. I’m still editing, so the manuscript hasn’t gone to a professional editor yet, but I’m getting super close! Next, Don will pretty up the website so it will look as cool as it works. The finish line is in sight!
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