Advice, Novel Excerpt, Publication Announcements

Making Book Trailers: Blue Woman Burning

We all fantasize about our novel being made into a movie, don’t we? Now-a-days people make book trailers for the book itself. It’s an intimidating concept, unless you have unlimited funds and can hire people. Instead, I found a decent compromise using Tiktok. Tiktok’s algorithm isn’t great for literary writers, as far as I can tell, and the longer your video, the shorter its reach. Also, their editor is somewhat limiting. For instance, the slides can’t be re-ordered once you upload them, and there aren’t any smooth transition effects for changing the photos. It’s also time-consuming to order the blurbs using their timer function. But I love that you can use the music Tiktok has contracted with for free.

When I imagine Blue Woman Burning the movie, Pink Martini ‘s songs “Le Premier Bonheur du Jour” and “Que Sera, Sera” would be a major soundtrack theme. “When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, what will I be….” is the perfect reference to the flawed relationship between Fallon and her disappearing mother. The unbalanced-carousel background music of Pink Martini’s version is a beautiful expression of that feeling of “unreality” you get when you’re being snowed by a narcissist parent.

If I could use Pink Martini’s music for free, I’d use the “Ken Burns” effect in Mac’s iMovie slide show application. My father took the pictures I used here in Chile way back when, and they feature the family members the main characters of my novel were partly based on. A few of the images are from Unsplash. Then I clicked on “effects” and selected “visual” and “water for that ripple over the top. And that’s all she wrote. For today.

Intrigued? Excellent.

But first watch the video. Hope you don’t have to download Tiktok to view it. Email me if you do. Contact.

Book Playlists and Other Fun Things

Heck, here’s a link to my whole BWB spotify playlist. Enjoy!

To support local bookstores, order from the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY. My book of magical realist short stories Strange Appetites is available now, and Blue Woman Burning will be available by December 9th, 2021.

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Here are some other book trailers to look at. For some you need a talented niece and iMovie. I’m pretty sure that’s music that comes with the package. Exciting!

For this one, you need access to royalty free clips for which you need to pay a subscription fee.

The first, The Colony, totally works for me. Judging from the use of several clips of the same people, I’m guessing they actually filmed the clips? I don’t know. Maybe the subscription services come with a few clips of the same people.

Obviously, my trailer is a little less Hollywood suspense, and more about flavor and texture. It takes all kinds. I’m betting that it’s best to make your trailer match your book. Blue Woman Burning is a psychological page-turner, but not a thriller.

Magical Realism, Novel Excerpt

How the past retells itself

Flying Balloons.jpgWith the Adirondack Balloon Festival around the corner, an excerpt from my magical realist novel, Fallon’s Truth, seems in order.  The protagonist, Fallon, cannot reconcile her magical past in Chile with her banal present in New York City. In a sing-song voice, the past keeps retelling itself in her head at inopportune moments.  In this flashback, Fallon is referred to as Sister, her older brother is Big and her younger brother is Little. Eustacia is Fallon’s mother and Walter is her father.

Things began to happen in Chile that could only happen in the land where the earth ends. One day, when Eustacia was supposed to be cooking a pot of beans and Big was supposed to be watering the lawn, they began talking about the Big Bang and black holes. As they talked, they salivated and gesticulated. They drifted away from their posts, down the tiny street on which they lived, and out onto La Avenida de Las Condes, with Sister worriedly following.

“Did you hear? Scientists picked up a hissing sound on their cosmic recorders. They thought it was pigeon droppings on their antennae at first. But do you know what it turned out to be?” Eustacia rhapsodized.

“Yes! I read the same article!” Big said. “In National Geographic.”

“It was the left over sound of the Big Bang!” they exclaimed in unison. Sister was puzzling over how they could possibly tell that this hiss came from the Big Bang, especially since it could so easily be mistaken for pigeon droppings, but Eustacia and Big were talking so ecstatically that they began to physically leave the ground.

Thinking quickly, Sister ran back into the house, rummaged through the utility drawer—such a mess—and grabbed a ball of hemp twine. By the time she caught up to them, they had drifted down the avenue, but were still hovering a foot from the ground, talking so fast that their breath was lifting them like hot air balloons.

She tied the string around their ankles, and just in time, too, because a surprise thermal swept them high into the air. The ball of twine spun so fast in the cage of her fingers that it burned her palms, but she hung on with all her might. Eustacia and Big were oblivious. Other children were out, flying their kites, and when they saw Sister with her magnificent kites, they flew theirs closer. Sister had reached the end of her proverbial rope and was leaning all her weight backward to keep Big and Eustacia from flying away when Little popped up behind to lend a hand.

“Look out!” he cried. He pulled his sweater sleeve down over his hand and wrapped the twine around his wrist, jerking it to the side. “The kids are going to cut the string.”

When Walter stepped off the bus that brought him home from work, this is how he found Sister and Little, flying Eustacia and Big high in the blue sky. They only became aware of his purple face when he reached over their heads, grabbed the twine, and began reeling Eustacia and Big Brother in, spluttering epithets.

Walter, dear,” Eustacia said as soon as her feet touched the ground, “we were having such a lively conversation.”

 “They could have been killed!” Walter raged, shaking his finger at Sister and Little. Sister began to cry in earnest now, and Little to blubber.

“It is all my fault,” Big said, stepping protectively in front of his younger siblings.

“What are you talking about?” Eustacia looked in puzzlement from Walter to the children and back again. “Why are you so angry?”

“I’m not angry!” Walter said, turning a deeper shade of purple.

“But you’re shouting.”

“I’m just trying to make myself heard!”

Well,” Eustacia said as she drew herself up very tall and cold. “I never. Big, children. Let’s go. Father is in a most disgraceful state. There can be no good reason for such bad behavior.” Lifting her chin, she walked off with the children trailing behind her.

Walter immediately became apologetic.

But when they got back to the house, the kitchen was on fire and the lawn was drowning.