I’ve been lucky enough to have hands on experience with some great technology.  Be it hardware that I’ve purchased or software which is part of the wonderful world of FOSS.  But there are times when you come across an individual who uses technology in a way you’ve never considered before or certainly in a way that makes it a great compliment to their creativity.

Laurel Rockefeller is an author.  Having not seen her work until recently, you will have to forgive me for not including a detailed history of her works and I will merely quote her official text:

Laurel A. Rockefeller was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska where she received her bachelor of arts from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in writing, psychology, and medieval and Asian history, the only triple major to attain Phi Beta Kappa in her graduating class of over 5000 students.

Initially published as a poet, Laurel’s first national publication came in 1991 when the American Tolkien Society published her sonnet, “Why Bilbo?” in the winter 1991 edition honoring the 100th birthday of J.R.R. Tolkien. In June and July 2008, she contributed to “Bird Talk” magazine before joining Yahoo Voices in July 2009 where she regularly writes non-fiction articles on a broad range of topics.

In August, 2012 Laurel launched the Peers of Beinan medieval science fiction series with book one, “The Great Succession Crisis,” book one of the Anlei’s Legacy trilogy.

Laurel currently lives in Johnstown, Pennsylvania where she is working on book three, “Princess Anyu Returns.”

Source: Independent Author Network

Ms Rockefeller writes fiction and in the latest releases of her work she has included QR codes integrated into her work.  Whats a QR code I heard you ask?  When she first mentioned it to me, I had to think.  Its not something that I’ve used or heard others mention.  So how does this fit in with her work?  QR stands for quick response and if you look to the picture on the right you’ll instantly know (if, like me you didn’t) what they are.

Imagine reading a paragraph of text about a heroic knight, a space age super hero or anything else.  Next to that text is one of these codes, which you use your phone (or similar) to scan in.  In turn this sends you to a webpage containing more material relating to the story in which you are reading.  It may be a coat of arms that brave knight is wearing, details of the planet our brave space age hero comes from.  The point is, it creates an extra piece of interactivity which adds to the story you are reading.

Imagine a children’s book, a mystery, where the reader can find clues to the story in these codes (which is one of the many applications of this technology)  In a day of tablets, pc’s and consoles, getting a child to settle down with a book is not as easy as it used to be – there’s just too many distractions.  The scope for this idea is endless.  Years ago when I was young, I used to love the interactive story books “Choose your own adventure” and who can forget the “Fighting Fantasy” series?  These (with the help of QR codes) can be brought back to this generation of young children, who seem to forget entertainment doesn’t need a touch screen.

You can check out Ms Rockefeller’s work here. (Goodreads link) which contains links to her web presence elsewhere.

Ms Rockerfeller’s work has received much praise.  Over on GoodReads her titles are very well received, its important that independent authors are (alongside “traditional” published ones) considered, especially when it seems there’s so many examples of innovation and creativity coming from the independent sector.  I’ll certainly get around to taking a look at one of these titles, when my own latest work is nearer to completion and my reading list has been shortened.