Lisa Yee (lisayee) wrote,
Lisa Yee

SCRIVENER Creator's Secrets - Part Two

When last we blogged, we were speaking to Keith Blount, the man who has helped billions of writers sort out their a huge messes.


His program, Scrivener is one that I swear by and no one is paying me to say this.


Here’s PART TWO of our Scriverer/Keith interview . . .

LISA: Let's see if I got this right. Your company is called Literature & Latte, however the product, the magical writer's assistant, is called Scrivener, correct?

KEITH: That is correct! Someone at the Financial Times recently accused us of having the most pretentious company name ever.


KEITH: David (another L&L bod) and I grew up together, and in our pretentious late-teens/early twenties we talked about opening a bookshop-cum-café, the sort of place where you could eat homity pie and tofu while wearing a black polo neck and reading Georges Bataille. I was going to call it Literature & Latte.

When I needed to find nomenclature for a software company, I decided to use that name. I didn't want anything with "Software" or "Tech” because I didn't think that was really in the spirit of a website aimed at writers.

LISA: When I think of the name Scrivener, I think of Melville's classic story, "Bartleby, The Scrivener." Is that why you named it thus? And what do you think Herman Melville would think of Scrivener, had there been computers in the 1853? And are you impressed that I ended a sentence with the word "thus"?


KEITH: To be honest, I didn't know about that story until after developing Scrivener.

As for Melville, he would almost certainly be using Scrivener, as would Shakespeare, Austen, the Brönte sisters, Dostoevsky, and anyone else considered to be a Great who is not alive enough (entirely dead rather than mostly dead) to contradict me.


LISA: There seems to be undying allegiance to Scrivener once people give it a try. Has its success surprised you?

KEITH: Definitely! When I went to put it on sale, I seriously thought I might be able to sell a couple of hundred copies over a couple of years if I was lucky.

When I sold that many copies in a matter of days, I couldn't believe it. I never dreamed that I'd be at the point I am now where Literature & Latte is a whole team rather than just me, with a Windows version out and other versions in the works.

LISA: What makes you proud of what you’ve accomplished?

KEITH: One of the greatest moments was when we received our first Macworld award (we got one in 2007 for Scrivener 1.0 and one in 2010 for Scrivener 2.0) - it's like receiving an Oscar, except that it arrives in a giant box and you don't get to shake hands with Olivia Wilde.


KEITH: And yes, that last sentence was a nonsequitur shoehorned in purely to mention our Macworld awards. And did I mention that we won two Macworld awards?

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LISA: We’ve arranged for Olivia Wilde to present you with your award(s) here on this blog!


LISA: Literature-wise, what are you reading right now?

KEITH: I'm currently reading Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter, which I've been meaning to read for ages, although its size has always intimidated me.

LISA: Latte-wise, what is your beverage of choice?

KEITH: Embarrassingly, it's a black instant coffee (Nescafé Alta Rica) with a teaspoon of coconut oil.

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LISA: Scrivener-wise, are you working on a novel? Screenplay? Do tell.

KEITH: As always, I'm working on a novel. It's science fiction, about an accidental clone trying to find his way home without using those pesky teleports. At least, that's what it was about on Tuesday; it seems to change daily.

LISA: Your super high-tech headquarters are based in the Truro, Cornwall, in the UK.


LISA: Oops. That’s not your headquarters, this is . . .


LISA: Ever have the desire to move to Silicon Valley bump into Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk at lunch, and take over the computer world?

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KEITH: I can safely answer "no" to that one. I enjoy living as a recluse, looking out of my window at the patchwork of rainy fields and farmland.

(Above: Actual view outside Keith’s window.)

KEITH: If I kept bumping into Mark Zuckerberg I'd be constantly nagging him to sort out those stupid "activity" email notifications that Facebook sends these days, while failing to inform me of actual new messages intended for me.


KEITH: And then Mark would tell me I could change all of that in the settings, and I'd retort that I'm too lazy, and he'd say I'm a hypocrite because I tell users the same sort of thing, and I'd say "Am not" and he'd say "Are too", and a minor spat would follow that wouldn't quite qualify as a fist-fight because of the weakness of geek arms.

So, you see, it's best I just stay in Cornwall.

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LISA: Yes, well, the “weakness of geek arms” is certainly a compelling reason for staying put.


LISA: Keith, in closing, I have to ask the question that's probably on everyone's mind. Do you think that Bates and Anna will ever find happiness on Downton Abbey?


KEITH: I have heard of this "Downton Abbey" phenomenon (mainly from XKCD, my web comic of choice - ), but I'm afraid I've never watched it.

LISA: That's too bad. Because here's an actual photo of Matthew and Mary, from Downton, rejoicing over the creation of Scrivener. This episode was on the first season.


LISA: Keith, thank you sooooo much for your time and for Scrivener!!!


To test drive Scrivener for the great price of FREE – CLICK HERE.


And to learn more about Freedom, the program for those of us who are email/internet-obsessed, CLICK HERE.

If you are one of those backward reading people, here's PART ONE of our interview with Keith Blount.


Disclaimer: No proofreaders were harmed (or even used) in the creation of this blog.

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