Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Is There an App for That?


Congratulations to "Jonetta A." the winner of Kylie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

There’s a Facebook meme floating around that says, “In case of my death, delete my browser history.”  I find that particularly fitting as I neared the end of my latest book.  A peek into my history after finishing Touching Evil revealed searches for cadaver dogs, necrophilia, sonar scan radar, electronic body sniffers, electric shovels, forensic anthropologists, medical examiners, Navajo culture, Raccoon River, psychotic drugs, decomposition, and body bags.  This all makes perfect sense given the plot of the book.  But it was jarring to be sitting in an in-service where the instructor gave us literacy sites and apps and mentioned how she’d spent the previous evening researching them.  I thought, “Last night I was researching necrophilia.  Yeah, that’s almost the same.”

It seems there’s an app for our every want and need.  For the direction impaired, the navigation and map tools come in extremely handy.  (Not that I have personal need for them, mind you.)  My husband’s favorite app is Sound Hound, which will identify the music currently playing in the vicinity, with the date and original musicians who recorded it.  My son attempted to use the app Dog Whistler to train his dog but the canine appeared to ignore the app just as easily as it did my son.  A relatively strange but oddly useful app I discovered was RunPee, which will help you time your restroom breaks at the movies so you don’t miss a pivotal scene.  Gym Shamer is much less useful.  It tracks your daily workouts and then outs you to your friends on social media when you fail to stick to your exercise routine. And perhaps the strangest app out there is the Poo Log that helps you keep track of your…ah…poop routine and tracks trends for you.  (Sometimes you just really have to wonder about the people who create these things!)

Which all started me wondering, what would it look like if writers designed apps based on our needs?  Obviously there’d be an app for necrophilia because who doesn’t have to occasionally learn the habits and psychoses of those who love the dead?  We’d have apps that put FBI, CIA, NEA and every law enforcement entity in the nation at our fingertips complete with a Siri-like expert that would answer every question we have about the agencies in question.  And I don’t know about you, but I’d find it useful to have an app for weapons, gunshot wounds, sedation drugs, hand-to-hand combat and another to discover how long it takes a person to bleed out from various injuries.  All in the interest of research, of course.

As a reader, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a much more intelligent search tool available that would find books for us that matched specific criteria we typed in, complete with sample pages for those we’re interested in? 

Perhaps the best app I could have developed could be attached to each of my kids when they come home with helpful reminders to pick up after themselves as they move through the house.  It could come complete with little electronic jolts when they fail to do so.  Because no matter how advanced our technology gets, human nature remains constant.

Back cover copy of Touching Evil, book 2 in the Circle of Evil trilogy:  

An unmarked grave. Two killers. And one woman who stands in their way... Forensic profiler Dr. Sophia Channing will be the star witness against Mason Vance, a brutal sexual sadist who kidnapped, raped and murdered six women. She can offer unique insight on the psychopath--she's his only witness that escaped alive. But the killer has other plans for her, even while behind bars. And when she's marked for assassination, Sophia realizes she's not finished with the violent psychopath either. DCI Agent Cam Prescott is providing Sophia protective custody while she continues her work with his team. Vance's accomplice is still on the loose. And as more bodies show up with the mark of the killers, Cam and Sophia begin to realize the terrifying breadth of the crimes. Their time is running out to catch the second killer. He's already picked out his next victim. And he's willing to go through Sophia to get her.

Chasing Evil
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Kobo
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Touching Evil
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Books-A-Million



Giveaway:
If you could have an app designed to your preferences, what would it be?  Who would it be targeted for?  (One lucky commenter will be selected for a copy of Touching Evil, print or e-book!)

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Jan. 22nd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustRomanticSuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

24 comments:

  1. Oooh, loved the first book [and the previous trilogy] and can't wait to read this one! I've clearly been living under a huge rock called teaching 4 first-year classes :)

    I'm a complete scuba diving 'ho, so my ideal app would tell me the best dive sites + diving conditions + dive shops near where I currently am. And how to get there. And, preferably, how to get out of going to work to go diving, haha. Someone can totally design that, right?

    stalkers00(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. That would actually be a pretty fabulous app! You should patent that ;)

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  2. I have a pretty crazy TBR book shelf and I own most of the books on it. I'd love an app where I could organize all my series by priority...which ones I really want to get to next. I'd also like the ability to sort it by subject matter (not necessarily genre), much like you mention above. The app would give me all sorts of ways to slice and dice this shelf, including those books I receive as giveaways as I really want to give them higher priority. (I've set up a list this year to keep track of them so they get read and reviewed more timely).

    Thanks for an interesting post!

    Jonettaallen77 at yahoo dot com

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    1. See, that's what I mean. We really need very usable search/prioritize apps for our reading. Amazon's is horrible, IMO. And the only organization I have at home are alphabetized bookshelves, but that doesn't help my TBR pile as you noted!

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  3. My daughter has a app to track her periods. I thought that was funny, but she loves it. I do not have an I-phone.

    yenastone at aol dot com

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    1. I actually ran across that app when I was writing this article :) There's one for your significant other to keep track to. I thought that was interesting. To warn them??

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  4. I would like an app that comes up with delicious nutritious meals every day that are five ingredients or less.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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    1. And if it would actually *cook* them that'd be amazing :)

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  5. I would love an app that would allow me to see what my dog is thinking. Love your books!
    jaclynlavigne@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you :) Wouldn't that be great? Sometimes I think my dog looks happy but what if she isn't? What if she's plotting the next time she can sneak my popcorn? Hmm. Be nice to know...

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  6. I would like an app for when I have those late night snack cravings by giving me a healthy alternative to the snack I'm craving.
    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

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    1. You guys are thinking so nutritiously and healthy. I'm impressed. And feeling a bit inferior I need an app that will screech out in an annoying shriek whenever I reach for something bad, "Have you looked in the mirror lately???" Come to think of it I have my hubby for that

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  7. Exclude books with cheating

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. It would be nice to be able to specify our exact likes/dislikes in books prior to selecting them, wouldn't it?

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  8. I'd like a translation app - would be great when I go shopping at ethnic grocery stores.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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    1. Something that is really reliable. Google translate has some huge mistranslations, I'm told.

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    2. I use Gator Translator. You can use either sound or type in what you want translated. I've had it for a few years and I'm sure there are more choices now.

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    3. Thanks for the idea! I need to check that out. It would be handy when we leave the country. The next time I'm stopped by a policeman that doesn't speak English. (don't ask!)

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  9. I really like your covers Kylie. Please enter me in your draw.
    Jan

    janet_kerr@msn.com
    I

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    1. Thanks! My son did the last two. It's wonderful when your children grow up to be useful to you :)

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  10. I'd love an app that delegates tasks among the family members & then chases them up until complete!

    One less annoying, often pointless, task for me to do.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. LOL, Mary. I'm picturing a yelping dog that would chase the various members of the family snapping at them until they get their work done. That would be *awesome*!

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  11. I tend to be a follower when it comes to apps. If a friend has something interesting, I get it. But I do like Jonetta's idea about an app for authors and books. I need a spreadsheet type of thingy where I can check author's books and keep track of those I've read and those I want to read. I have, on occasion, bought books that I already read and didn't remember! I have a list on my Notes section in my phone that I use when I go used book shopping, but it's hard to keep it up to date.
    Love your books!

    magizz@aol.com

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    1. Back in the day I used to carry a tri-folded sheet in my purse and pull it out when I bought books to check auto-buys, new authors, etc. That would be wonderful if something on my phone did that for me!

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