BUT. Regardless of whether you knew about this or not - today's the day! It's done! Ready! Unveilable! (Which sounds disturbingly like unavailable, which it most certainly is not.)
*beams at you all, then notices the looks of mass confusion*
What, you mean I forgot to tell you want it actually is? Urgh. *facepalm* Y'all still love me right? And I'll tell you aaaaall about it now, to make up for my earlier lack-of-informacy. Yes, informacy. Yes, I'm slightly hyper today. Yes, I will now stop beginning my sentences with 'yes'.
So. PROJECT NATIVE. WHAT IS IT, AND WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
Because it's awesome, that's why.
Are you a writer whose stories are set in a real, earth location? How about a real location you haven’t been to? Writers set stories in places they haven’t been all the time, but many find it’s a fine balance between inventing details to suit the story and making the setting authentic. Wikipedia and Google can only tell you so much, after all.
Project Native is the answer to this dilemma: who better to tell you what a place is like than someone who lives there, after all? Contributors to Project Native are asked to fill out a questionnaire tha focuses on the attributes about their home location that Google doesn’t think to include – things like what the place smells like, what the locals expect from transport, and what the locals do for fun.
It's an exciting project that I hope will become a really useful resource for writers, and something of a collaborative pool of information. There are only a couple of places up right now, but plenty more are in the works. To have a look through Project Native, head over to its home on my website.
And if you'd like to contribute to Project Native (and I'll adore you if you do), you'll want the contact form :)
Why would you want to contribute? Well, besides the fact that I think it's just an awesome thing for you to do, I'm prepared to sweeten *ah ha-cough-bad joke* the deal: chocolate is up for grabs! My trusty informants tell me that I have readers from everywhere from Hong Kong to Luxembourg, and no matter where you are on the globe, I'm offering a block (yes, a full entire block, not a bar) of chocolate to the first five people to contribute*** to Project Native. First! Five!* And you can choose any flavour of chocolate I can get my hands on!**
* If I've already contacted you directly via email about this, sorry, you're not eligible. You know why.
** I'm agreeing to buy and post the chocolate to you. Whether or not it actually GETS to you (due to damage, greedy customs officials, etc) - well, that I take no responsbility for. Sorry :P
*** Contributing = a full description of a place, not just suggesting a place ;)