Hi Numinous Peeps:
If you're one of our new contributors... Thanks so much and welcome!
If you've been here with us from the get-go, thanks for continuing to spread the word.
Part of backing a project such as this is having the confidence in the team who has been formed to create it and bring it to market.
I reckon I've gathered the best and brightest to bring THE NUMINOUS PLACE to life.
DEAN JOHNSON: EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR
After I completed the first draft of THE NUMINOUS PLACE, I got quite depressed. I looked around at the existing crop of ebooks and found that nothing even remotely high-tech had been published for adults. In effect ebooks were just words on a screen, and any enhancement was like what you get from DVDs—maybe an interview with the author if you were lucky. And then I discovered apps, and in particular award-winning British digital agency Brandwidth. These guys were doing amazing things with books like The Guinness Book of Records, and I knew THE NUMINOUS PLACE had found a home.
Brandwidth Executive Creative Director DEAN JOHNSON (@activrightbrain) "got" the project immediately. In terms of apps, just like the dreamworld, the only limit is your imagination!
1. Tell us a little about yourself, and what your role is on The Numinous Place.
Mark approached Brandwidth last year when he discovered our successful iPad app for Guinness World Records. We launched this title in 2010, on the same day the iPad hit the streets in the US and we haven't looked back since, launching 'Journey to The Exoplanets', 'Top 100 Albums', 'Headspin: Storybook' and the 'Doctor Who Encyclopedia' to name just a few stunning titles. It's one thing to jump on the bandwagon, but more fun when you're driving it.
We have provided advice, design skills and a working prototype for Mark along the way – backed up with 12 years of success in the digital world and an enviable folio of global clients. We're looking forward to unleashing this incredible project on an unsuspecting audience. It's time to create the ultimate literary hybrid.
2. What are you doing in that photo? (please scroll down)
I may or may not be holding a very significant device that may or may not be instrumental to the success of this project. That's not my office, that's where we take people that don't have faith in The Numinous Place… and show them the error of their ways.
3. What attracted you to The Numinous Place?
The chance to move the game on significantly and work with someone willing to push the boundaries. At Brandwidth, we've been working with the publishing, music and film industries to take their incredible content and plan, design, develop and breathe life into new digital platforms. TNP takes a familiar format (the book) and genuinely enhances the experience, without breaking the narrative or disrupting the flow.
4. TNP is about a spiritual quest, tell us about yours
I wouldn't describe myself as spiritual. No one's in control but me (unless I'm at home, then it's my wife or kids). I might be on a journey, but I'm set on steering this thing. I've always been an extremely positive thinker and this is reflected in Brandwidth's attitude to everything we approach. We don't like to take "no" for an answer so if the tools don't exist to deliver the experience the audience deserves, we'll either design and build them or plan then shape 'the next big thing'.
5. What's the most amazing thing that ever happened to you?
It should be the birth of my daughters or the day I got married but I'm afraid it's the twelve hours preceding the launch of the iPad. We had spent a frantic six months from initial concept, through development, reveal in Steve's keynote and finally the week running up to the arrival of the iPad itself. We received the final sign-off from the client on the Tuesday, approval by Apple pending final code rebuild on Wednesday, Final Apple approval on the Thursday, live on the App Store on Friday, then a 12 hour wait outside the 5th Avenue NYC Apple Store. We were one of the first in and surrounded by hundreds of cheering Apple employees, we downloaded our app to an iPad for the first time – it worked!
6. TNP is about lucid, or numinous dreaming, tell us about your dream life.
I already live my dream life, I just need access to the pause, rewind and fast forward buttons.
7. You're one of the few people who've read the manuscript, please tell us about a favorite part
I've always loved the interactive psychological profile (p23) as this embodies the philosophy of the project – add depth only when this deepens the reader's understanding. We get inside Henry's head at an early stage but this literal and visual interaction allows Henry to get inside ours.
8. Is there a character in TNP you particularly relate to?
Running the risk of being branded some kind of deviant, there's something enticing about John (Jack) Whiteside Parsons – dubious practices and associations aside, who wouldn't want to be branded 'the James Dean of Rocket Science'?!? Surely a slightly right-of-centre Professor Brian Cox, with smaller teeth.
9. What are some of your favorite books, music and people who inspire you?
Escapism – this is something I seek when reading a book and I'll read anything that allows me to jump right into the words on a page and shut out my brain's real world activity. I play music loud – in the car, in the studio, in the comfort of my own home. My music doesn't define me, but it does shape my creative mood, from Gaga to Clapton, Eminem to Dr John, Garth Brooks to Maroon 5 and far far beyond. I love the medium rather than one particular artist or genre and am always suspicious of those claiming to be always be 'the world's biggest fan of …' - it takes a lot of energy to remain that focussed so you can't love everyone that intensely.
Creative achievers inspire me. Steve Jobs epitomised this philosophy and I'm hard pressed to find such an inspiring all-rounder to take his place. Stephen Fry seems an obvious choice for another immensely talented multi-disciplined creative, but I've never shied away from the obvious if it's the right thing to do (although others will tell you I spend much of my time trying to be as stubbornly 'different' as possible – that's why we surround ourselves with a few rational thinkers).
10. What's your greatest achievement so far in life?
Successfully co-presenting with my alta ego (Apptain America [@ApptainAmerica] ) at the Tools of Change conference in Frankfurt last year. I like a challenge, so where next?
11. And finally, what's the quote that really inspires you and your life?
"Speed up for traffic lights. Bank on green, not red." -Dean Johnson