Archive for September, 2012

My Book Trailer is trailing behind my book launch…Th

Think about the times–okay maybe it’s been only one–when your flight’s arrived early.  You feel blessed that everything’s right with your world.  This journey’s destined to go well, now that your stress is ebbing away, like a long exhale.  When “Tallie’s Christmas Lights Surprise. A holiday Whodunit” released early, I felt all of these things, giddy, even….Until, reality hit me like the door to an overhead compartment.  Now, it was more like the two-week early arrival of your baby (which really happened to me, by the way, with my daughter) and the nursery isn’t ready.


My good friend and graphic artist, Jennifer Pollman, and I had begun work weeks ago.  But, a book trailer is a lot of work, especially if you want to make it a little out of the ordinary and you’ve never done anything like this before. When it comes to all things Apple, I’m crapple.  (I’m even writing this blog in long-hand like I do all of my writing, if that gives you an idea of how old school I am.  Not OLD, just old school.)

I had an idea what I wanted in the opening scene.  My main character, Tallie, gazes up from her playhouse window at her twinkling candy cane Christmas lights.  In the book, these special lights are later stolen.  Tallie puts on her candy cane-striped ski hat, sparkly pink sunglasses, and spies for clues.  I wanted her to wear the hat, so I found a cool, crocheted stocking cap and feverishly bid against another Ebay customer.  (I still wonder whether the hat’s owner bid against me.   I mean, who is desperate for a candy cane-striped hat in August, besides, a wacko children’s author?)

Luckily, “Tallie” happened to live in my neighborhood.  Though, I hadn’t patterned my character after her, Clara had the perfect look and attitude for the part–adorable and plucky.  When we’d filmed our first attempt of the opening scene, set to Nutcracker music (you can get this easily online because it’s more than fifty years old),  Clara followed directions like a Shirley Temple.  We chose a red and white playhouse located on the school’s playground where my children had attended school.  We taped up the candy cane lights around the roofline, just like Tallie had done.  I’d bought large canister lights at the local hardware store (per my photographer son, Nick’s directions) and propped one on each side of Clara.

Jennifer set up the video camera.

I said, “Action!”  Fun.

After about “Take twenty,” I was into it, by now, requesting someone to bring ’round my trailer and beret.  Unfortunately, true to a low budget movie, it was me, not wardrobe, who had to adjust Clara’s candy cane hat when it slipped over her eyes.  And Clara cheerfully offered to retape the black paper over the back window when it blew off.)

Wind, rain and lightening shortened our filming.  Bad footage made us do it again.  That’s right.  On a recent Saturday morning we trudged out there again–a camera woman/scenery designer/producer, a director/author/lighting tech/grip(as in get a….), and cute starlet, animated as ever in a hot pink sequined cap. As we filmed the last take, amid the lovely smells and crashes of EcoCycle, clearing the dumpsters nearby…

This time we got it.

While we were on a roll, I borrowed Clara once more to sit in front of my computer and read from the storyboard/script that Jennifer and I had produced.  Oh yes, add that to our resumes: scriptwriters and story boarders.  You have to do this necessary step when producing a book trailer, just like creating thumbnails for your picture book or outlining your novel.

After trying to figure out how to create just a voice-over on iMovie, I turned to Garage Band, opening that icon for the first time ever.  I’d spent about an hour on it then figured out this recipe. I have no idea if this is correct but it worked for me.

*Choose New Project

*Choose Voice

*Choose Create, then Female Basic.

I adjusted the volume to almost full.  When I spoke, to test the built-in microphone, I could see my voice register in green by the volume knobs to the upper left.  At the bottom I clicked the red “start recording” and, when done, clicked it again.  Then I clicked Playback.

Thank goodness I didn’t have to do the voice-over and, instead, had Clara’s sweet voice reading a few key pages from my story.  Because that’s all you want–a few pages to tantalize and keep your book trailer thirty seconds or less.

We’re still at it.  I’ll keep you posted after the trailer releases on Youtube, Pelican Publishing Company’s site,

and my own,



September 24, 2012 at 7:33 am 6 comments

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