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For the last three months, I have not only been sprinting to finish ASHES IN THE SKY. I’ve also been on book tours to support the release of FIRE IN THE WOODS. I have to admit, with all that I needed to do, I would have gone crazy if it were not for my lovely publicist, Jamie, who kept everything straight for me and made sure my ducks were I a row – because by that time my quacker was sufficiently quacked-out.
As I scrambled to the end of my first draft of ASHES, Jamie contacted me and said “How about a vlog tour for the paperback release of FIRE IN THE WOODS?”
Ummmmmm. [Cringe] “I guess, but I’ve never done a vlog before.”
“Just be yourself.”
And before I knew it, the marketing company had seven stops set up. YIKES!
So, I took a deep breath and figured it out. I had two weeks to do them. No biggie. (All the while keeping up with my daily word counts)
I planned on filming them over two weekends, but the tour started earlier than I expected, so I had to give myself a crash course in making a video. I did two sessions on a Tuesday night and sent them off to Jamie, and the remainder I taped over the weekend before the tour (yeah, nothing like pressure)
Here are my pearls of wisdom:
- Get a tripod. You will thank me for it. Trust me.
- You’ll need a decent background. No one wants to see my messy desk. (Trust me on that, too)
- Don’t overthink it.
- If you mess up, don’t start over. Editing isn’t as hard as you might think (I used the free Microsoft Movie maker program that came with my computer.)
- Don’t be afraid to have fun (Even better, make fun of yourself)
- Know your audience. Is it a teen site? Give it a MUCH different tone then the “Mothers Review books” site. Record something your viewer will relate to/enjoy watching.
- Put on make-up. The camera will make you look like a zombie. Trust me.
- Put on more make-up. The make-up you used just makes you look like a cuter zombie
- Are you done with that make-up? Look like a clown? Are your kids running away from you screaming? Yep, you probably have it right, then. Make-up disappears in front of a camera for some reason. Guys, I think this goes for you, too – unless you don’t care if you look like a vampire. And not a cute sparkly one, either.
- Like Jamie said: Be yourself. Don’t sell your book. Just talk like you’re having lunch with the camera. Have fun.
- Don’t wait until 10:00 PM when the kids are in bed. Your eyes will look red and glassy if you are tired.
- If your dog walks in and burps on camera… just go with it.
Putting it all together after you tape:
I’ve always had an interest in electronic art, so I spent some “fun time” learning about fades and swipes, inserting footage, and adding music. But I had to use the “learn as I go” method, so I didn’t know as much in the first video as I did in the last one. I’m hoping if I do another vlog tour, I will have learned to add effects, because I think that would be AWESOME fun.
All in all, I’d have to say it was a great experience. My interviews are not professional by any means, but you can see my style and expertise (with adding “extras”) improve with each video. (I think the last is my best-probably because I had relaxed more by that time as well)
So, for grins and giggles, now that the tour is over and the content is no longer “exclusive,” I am going to post all these videos here. Even the ones I’m not as happy with, because, hey… if you can’t laugh at yourself, who CAN you laugh at? And I never said I wanted to be a YouTube personality.
I’ll upload one video interview a week to avoid vlog-overload.
Starting with #1 below (Hosted on a teen-based site). Enjoy!
Last Monday I was interviewed on television about editing. The producer was specifically interested in my “Gold Mine Manuscript” series of posts from 2011.
That was three years ago! Isn’t that crazy?
The more I thought about it, everything in those posts is still just as valuable today as it was three years ago. So in honor of my first television interview, I am bringing them back. One per week, just like I did “way back when”.
I know I can use a refresher, and I hope other writers can learn a little, too.
Gold Mine Manuscript returns on Monday!
On Monday, I had my first ever television interview. While I cannot speak to everywhere you might be interviewed, here are a few things that I took away from the experience.
1. Bring a friend with you if you are the nervous type. You might be afraid to enter that scary little door between those two buildings. You might be even more afraid to walk down all those steps into what looks like a pit of doom. But fear not! Big things come in small packages. A green room awaits!
2. A green room is a place where guests wait before they are called by the producer. The room is not always green. In fact, I hear people joke about this all the time, so I don’t think any of them are green.
3. I was told to come make-up ready. Not being much of a girly-girl, I went to a make-up salon and had someone who knows what they are doing make me look like a girl and make sure all of the colors were deep enough for television. When I got to the television studio, I was called into make-up, and was surprised when she seemed ready to do all my make-up. The only thing she did was pile on the blush since I was already painted. I looked like I had a terrible sunburn when I left. She promised me that the lights would flood it out. I hope she’s right.
4. Prepare, prepare, prepare. I had a pre-interview where we discussed the questions that would be asked. I practiced them for a week before the actual interview. It helped. I didn’t have to deal with the “ummmm…” factor.
5. Practice being interviewed facing left or right. For some reason I envisioned facing right, but when I got in there, the hosts were on my left. I did fine, but this might freak you out if you are nervous.
6. No matter how much you prepare, the questions will probably NOT be asked in the way you anticipate, and maybe not even in the anticipated order. Be ready so that doesn’t throw you.
7. The hosts are not subject matter experts. Listen to what they say. They might get something backwards. This I DID NOT anticipate, and I hope I handled it with grace. I think I did okay. I will have to wait for the interview to air to see for myself.
8. Be prepared in case something goes wrong to brush it off mentally and move on. In their introduction, the hosts mentioned my novella THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW instead of FIRE IN THE WOODS. Well, it’s nice that they did their research into my past works. [Slaps hand to forehead] At least “Tomorrow” is still an active title.
9. See number eight: If you are promoting something, and the mention of the book will only be in one spot… double check before the cameras go on. – Even if you discussed the correct book in the pre-interview. No biggie. Like I said, NEW TOMORROW is still an active title.
10. You are in. interviewed, and you are out. When I stepped into the live studio, the make-up lady was touching up the hosts after their previous interview, while the producer put on my microphone. I sat down, spoke randomly in circles while they took levels on my voice, and then the studio cleared out. The hosts said we would not get through all my information, and try to keep it concise. No pressure. As soon as the interview was over, I stood up and the makeup lady attacked the hosts again in preparation for the next interview. Boom! In a flash you are done, and these people are rustling in the next guest. For one day, you are the cog in a well-oiled machine.
All in all it was a great experience. The best advice I can give is to relax. Whatever happens, happens. I can honestly say that I forgot there were three cameras in the room. It was probably good, because that might have made me nervous. I just focused on spitting out the information as quickly as I could in the eight minutes allotted.
When the host asked the last question, I glanced at the clock and it said 7:34. I figured they had a little slack on the time since they weren’t closing the interview, so I spoke quickly, and tried to get all my thoughts out. After the two lovely hosts saying we would not get through it all, I’m happy to say we touched on all ten topics and only went over by 38 seconds. Not too shabby.
I know most of you will not be able to see this interview when it airs in October, but I will be getting a copy and posting it here so everybody can laugh at me learn from all the valuable tidbits of information on editing.
Yay! It’s Freebee Fridays time!
First of all, Congrats to last week’s winner:
You’ve received a free copy of “A Heart Broken” by Sara Barnard.
If you’d like to find out more about Sara Barnard and her books, hop on over to www.sarabarnardbooks.com
Yee Haw! I had fun last week.
Hey, where have you been?
Texas! I was out with Sara Barnard explod’, stuff.
Oh, umm, that’s nice.
I’m glad you made a friend.
So what’s on tap for this week?
Kerri Neal is waiting outside.
Are you ready?
What kind of host are you, making her wait?
One who likes to make sure her Little Blue Lady is in a good mood first before subjecting visitors to her.
Hmmm. Well, okay.
Ms. Neal? So nice to meet you. I am the Little Blue Lay From Mars.
How are you today?
Oh, ah, good.
Is this where I talk about my book Torn?
Yes oh yes! I love to talk about books, but only if they are worth reading. So let’s cut to it. Why would someone want to read a torn book? Isn’t that a little hard?
Oh, not… the book isn’t torn.
The title is Torn.
Well, if the title is torn, how will anyone know what it’s called?
No, it’s umm…
You know what, ladies… next question. Let’s just leave it at that, okay? What makes your novel great, Kerri?
It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s a nail biter.
What more could you want?
Sexy? Is it human sexy or Martian sexy? I really don’t get into all the half-headed men on this planet.
I think everyone is Kerr’s book has whole heads.
Are you sure?
Go ahead, move on.
Well, if there are no sexy Martians, why would anyone want to read it?
Did I mention it’s fun, sexy and a nail biter?
Well, ok then. It’s also a love story. And there is some violence for you adrenaline junkies.
What kind of violence?
Does anything explode?
Why, yes. Yes something does explode.
Your heart! There’s also an actual explosion, but I don’t want to give anything away.
Jennifer, she’s talking about exploding hearts. Is this a horror book, because that sounds really messy.
I don’t think that’s what she meant.
Are you sure?
Keep going see what she says.
Okay, so, what exactly is it about?
After Agent Shane Baxter’s last mission failed both professionally and personally, he fled the States and changed his name. When Dixie Peterson re-enters his life, he has a second chance to make things right. Dixie is determined to find out the truth about Shane’s departure from her life two years ago, but someone else from her past is seeking revenge. Shane and Dixie are forced to confront the past, while their future is still unclear.
That doesn’t sound like anything explodes. Hey, is this a squishy Romance novel?
It’s a nail-biter!
She doesn’t sound very convincing. I have a bad feeling about this one. How do I know she can be trusted?
Ask her some trust-worthy questions.
Okay, Ms Neal: Would you like to take over the world?
Um…YES! Disney World!
Cuz I’ve never been there and it sounds awesome!
Is that too many exclamation points?
Disney world? What the heck are you supposed to do with Mickey Mouse and a bunch of dancing animals?
But I like dancing animals.
Erghhhh. Are you making fun of me? I don’t like it when people make fun of me. Last chance, Neal: If you could explode just one thing, what would it be?
Ok, what’s your fascination with exploding?
I wish I could blow up a watermelon.
Seriously, I only blown up things in my head.
Ugh! She’s done. Exploding watermelons and dancing fruit. I have nothing in common with this woman! Where’s my ray gun! Once I get rid of her, let’s go out and get something to eat.
Wait! Ummmm… Kerri, quick, she’s hungry describe your favorite dessert.
See if you can distract her!
Well, I love white chocolate lemon cheesecake. Let that soak into your brain for a minute. The buttery white chocolate, the tangy lemon, the melt-in-your-mouth creamy cheese. Then when it’s all gone you have those little ooey-gooey graham cracker crumbs that stick to the plate and the fork. That’ll satisfy your sweet tooth.
What is it with you authors and lemons! Disgusting! Prepare for your demise!
Wait! Stop… just blow up her book… don’t blow up her! Quick, Kerri, do you have a bribe?
How about a hand-crochet cover for her e-reader?
I’ll make it myself!
A pretty blue to match her hair!
You’d make me something?
Sure. You look like a nice little blue alien… when you’re not painting that ray gun at me, that is.
You can even use it as a comfy bed.
It would fit you perfectly.
[Powers down ray-gun] Okay.
I’ll pretend you didn’t say anything about lemons.
Awesomesauce! And how about we give away a handmade crochet eReader cover to a guest today with a copy of your ebook of Torn?
They can even pick the color.
As long as it’s not gray. I don’t do gray.
There you have it! Comment below for a free copy of Torn by Kerri Neal, and a bonus custom handmade crochet eReader cover. How about them apples?
Thanks for coming Kerri!
The Little Blue Lady From Mars © Jennifer M. Eaton.
- Myths about crochet (bretonyarnerie.wordpress.com)
What’s it really like getting your stuff out there for the first time? Was the experience different for me than others? What’s the promotion been like? Who’s sweeter, me or J.K. Ford?
All these questions and more are featured on Julie Catherine’s blog today in a combination interview with myself and Jenny Keller Ford.
Please hit a like below so I know you were here, and hop on over to Julie Catherine’s so Jenny and I don’t get lonely.
Oh Yeah! During the blog tour through the month of December, I will be giving away ebook copies of the Make Believe anthology to random commenters both here, and commenters along the road.
The more you comment, the more chances you have to win.
See Ya there!
And don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win your choice of the two titles! Yay!
Oh, I almost forgot… A few random commentors along the tour path will win their choice of anthologies, too. So be sure to hop on over and say “Hi”
Hop on over and send me some love!
Visit my Anthology buddies! They are celebrating too!