Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Lights, Camera ...

How are you all? We're back in the desert after a visit 'home' to the UK. The literary festival I went back for was memorable to say the least - you may have heard it has been raining non-stop in England? The river burst its banks, the English Heritage site flooded, Roman Legions and WW2 squadrons (the re-enactors), had to be rescued, including their horses. The writers' tent collapsed under the weight of the water. Needless to say, it was cancelled, a great shame for those who had put in months of preparation. However, it was good (if soggy), to be home for a while.

So - back to 50 degree heat, and back to work. Congratulations to Helen, Sharon, Teresa, Nazanin, Sharon, Edel, Val, Angela, Hannah and Deirdre who each won a copy of 'The Perfume Garden' on Goodreads, and thanks to all who entered. One of the loveliest things about having the new book out is hearing back from readers - this week a book group in New Zealand, a book blogger in Romania, and friends on holiday in France and Sardinia. It's interesting how people 'see' the book, and what they pick up on. One of the things I love about novels as opposed to films is that they give us the chance to picture the story for ourselves. The reaction to the male protagonist has been 'hubba hubba' from several girlfriends, which I'm pleased about - one is even going to buy her husband some Acqua di Parma:) Researching his part, I trawled photos of Javier Bardem (sigh, someone has to ...), but everyone sees Luca differently. Today's photo was one I had in my research files for Rosa - but it didn't make the book trailer, as it wasn't quite how I 'saw' her. Book trailers are tricky - I think the key is to hint, to entice - not to say 'this is the absolutely what the book is like'. 

Ages ago, I promised to tell you how I made the book trailer for 'The Perfume Garden'. Here's the one I made earlier:

Naturally, I began by Googling 'How to Make a Book Trailer' ... what did we do before Google? After reading through many, many pages, the best and clearest example, I found here on Nathan Bransford's blog. So thank you, Nathan and Myrlin.

I had a few trial runs following their suggestions, and then sat down to storyboard the video using good old pen and paper. Condensing a novel into a few seconds of film is a very good exercise in itself. Music (as ever), was important, so I looked at Kevin McLeod's site as they suggested. When my darling daughter looked at the video, did she say 'wow, Mum, that's great after all your weeks of work' - no, she said 'wow, you have Kevin McLeod doing your music?!' (She had seen his work on Youtube - he was amused). It's money well spent - and if you use 'free' music, please do make a donation to these guys, I think what they do is amazing.

All the images were either my own, or from Creative Commons - so no copyright issues. I wanted a vintage feel for the images, so I 'hand' coloured and photoshopped every single frame. Hopefully, along with what Myrlin calls 'the Ken Burns effect' that gives the video its unique quality. Overall it took a couple of weeks, and many hours, but I hope it's a fun glimpse of the book, and it's a good thing to drop into Amazon, blog tour posts and so on.

Anyway - it was fun to do, and I hope you enjoy having a go too. x

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