Thank you, FreshFiction, for inviting me to be a guest on your blog!
My 19th novel, The Lies We Told, is out this month and I thought you might enjoy a peek behind the scenes at how my significant other, photographer John Pagliuca, and I created the book trailer for it.
Book trailers are hard to make. Movie trailers are easy (by comparison) because movies are visual and you can simply take carefully selected scenes from the film. You don’t have that luxury with books. It’s tempting in making a book trailer to try to interpret the story literally, using narrative either typed on the screen or in a voice over. She was beautiful and good hearted. (Cue image of beautiful, good-hearted woman). Until the night He appeared. (Image of scary looking but very handsome dude. With a couple of tattoos. Nice ones). On that night (Image of dark night, clouds drifting across a crescent moon) her young brother disappeared. (Image of young boy slowly fading to black).
Okay, they’re not all that cheesy, but you get the idea. They’re a challenge to do well. I like my two previous trailers for Before the Storm and its sequel, Secrets She Left Behind, but I think I like this new one best. In my opinion, it captures the feeling of the book along with the central themes (our family stories are not always what they seem, and the enduring and powerful bond between sisters) without actually trying to tell the viewer the story.
We toyed with a bunch of approaches to the story, which is about two sisters working for a Doctors Without Borders type of organization after a hurricane demolishes Wilmington, North Carolina. We pulled stock images of hurricane destruction, helicopters (a helicopter crashes in the story), doctors, and all sorts of other photographs. Then I came up with the idea of using the first page of the book to illustrate the story. Even though I’m no professional narrator, we decided I’d do the reading. I feel so close to the story and I wanted a say in how the narrative was read. We added a sentence to help the viewer understand a bit better what’s going on. I recorded the narration about ten million times with long gaps between each sentence so that John could use the best take of each one. You can tell by the way I’m gripping my thighs in the picture how comfortable I am!
Then we began pulling stock images and video to fit the narrative. John found most of these. I think my favorite is Rebecca. Whoa, did he ever find the right clip for that woman! John put together the rough cut and we reviewed it and made a couple of changes. Then he assembled the finished program, and voila! Here it is.
I’d love to know your thoughts, and I’ll select at random one of your comments to win a copy of The Lies We Told. If you’d like a personalized bookplate (up to four per household), join me at the Online Book Signing on my website between June 1st to June 14th! You’ll find the link on my homepage.
Diane Chamberlain is the award-winning author of The Lies We Told and 18 previous novels published in more than 11 languages. Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey. She also lived for many years in both San Diego and northern Virginia before making North Carolina her home. Diane received her master’s degree in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, she worked as a hospital social worker and a psychotherapist in private practice, working primarily with adolescents. Diane lives with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her shelties, Keeper and Jet. Visit her website for more information.
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