Would You Like to See a Beatrice App?

Beatrice App Sampler

Before Beatrice was a blog, it was a website dedicated to author interviews in something like the Paris Review mode—not quite as long, perhaps, but sharing their fascination with the gritty details of the writing life. I gave up the interviewing because I just didn’t have as much time to spend on the website once my freelance writing kicked into gear, but I always wanted to get back into it. The only problem was finding a way I could afford to do it, which I was pretty sure meant finding a way to convince people to pay for them.

Last year, I started seriously looking at an app version of Beatrice, combining feature-length Q&A interviews with streaming video highlights. I thought carefully about the pricing, and I became convinced that people would be willing to pay $1.99 or $2.99 for a set of smart, insightful conversations with writers about their books and the creative process that went into writing them. A bundle like, say, three memoir writers, including National Book Critics Circle award winner Darin Strauss, NBCC nominee Deb Olin Unferth, and indie rocker Alina Simone.

I knew that once this app got off the ground, it would be able to find an audience. It’s just a matter of getting it off the ground. Then I thought: What if I could spread the word by launching the app with free interviews? Maybe even keep giving away interviews after that?

That’s why I launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Beatrice app earlier this week. I know those of you who are regular readers of this website recognize the value of having a space where you can learn about great books and great writers, and I believe many of you would be willing to support that kind of space directly. In return, I’m not just promising you these new interviews: If you choose to contribute towards the launch of a Beatrice app, you’ll receive ebooks that collect several of the best interviews I conducted during the early years of this website—interviews filled with practical wisdom about the writing life that rivals any creative writing book I’ve seen.

The Kickstarter campaign has a modest goal, enough to launch the app with those interviews I mentioned with Alina, Darin, and Deb bundled into it. But if enough of you believe Beatrice is worth supporting, I’m willing to share more interviews with you, all of them equally exciting. Let’s see what happens!

Like I said back in January, 2012 is going to be huge.

16 February 2012 | uncategorized |