I first envisioned it as a CD/DVD accompanied by a print book. But when no agent would even agree to take a look at it - scared off by the new media idea, perhaps, I made the decision to turn it into an electronic audio type of book and publish it in serial format as a podcast in the iTunes library/store. The book was a big “hit” in the cyber world, and I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I abandoned my readers fourteen chapters into publishing it when I decided to hone my writing skills further through a Masters writing program. I will get back to it (and the readers!) soon, but I think it is important to note that Light 1.0 inspired in me the ideas of publishing sequentially in serial format and of publishing updated versions of the book over time. This idea sprang from my experience using computer software applications over the last twenty years which have historically been up-dated in sequentially numbered versions - hence the “1.0” in the title, Light 1.0. Perhaps I will eventually add a 1.0 to Amy Beach and Me and publish subsequent versions, 2.0, 3.0, etc., rather than having it evolve as one book over time. Who knows? That is certainly part of the fun and excitement of pioneering a new literary genre.

The full spectrum of discoveries about new media writing / literature I have made while creating this thesis project are so numerous that they could be the subject of a whole other essay – or book. To answer the question – what is “new media literature?” – I can only say that I have no answer today, that no one has yet, because those of us who are attempting to create it (I can’t just say “write it”) are few, and we are making it up as we go along. I suspect that new media literature will go through many iterations of experimentation before anyone considers that “it” is in its final form; if fact, a day of finality may never come. There are too many possibilities for variation now that we have added the potential for user interaction, database information storage, sound, music, animation, graphics, video (and who knows what else lies ahead) to the mix of creating “literature.” At the time of this writing, we have not even established an official name for what I am doing here: it has been called new media literature, electronic literature, multimedia literature, digital literature, interactive literature, and interactive multimedia literature. It also has many literary cousins that must be considered in any discussion of this new genre: podcasting, tweeting, blogging, digital film, digital video, etc. New forms appear at a dizzying pace.

When I began to write Amy Beach and Me, I wanted to bring to life Beach’s music and world with the addition of multimedia elements not available to print authors. To present her music not just so it could be heard, but so that it could help create a fuller flavor