Saturday, August 30, 2008

Book Trailers

Do you watch them? Do they influence you to buy a book?

When book trailers first came on to the scene a couple of years ago, I thought, “Wow! A video? What a great idea!” There’s no question that when you’re sitting in a movie theatre and those trailers pop up on the big screen, you can tell within 30 seconds whether you want to see a certain movie or not, can’t you? Why not take that concept and bring it to book lovers everywhere?

Well, I’ve had two books published and have yet to do a trailer, but I’m thinkin’ it’s time. What’s held me back? The mind-boggling choices I have to make, of course! Should I go for a sexy vibe? Spooky? Amusing? Serious? Use real actors or computer generated characters? Photos or animations? What kind of music do I want? What do my hero and heroine look like? What are the main points I need to get across? How much should I spend on it? What do I DO with the trailer when I’m done with it?

I know… pathetic, aren’t I? :-D

Here’s another question I don't know the answer to: Are they worth it? Do they really drive sales, or are they just a widget, a gadget, a fun (yet expensive) way of promotion?

I’ve seen a lot of book trailers, and they run the gamut. Here are a few that stood out for me, provided for your enjoyment:

DOES SHE DARE, by Tawny Weber (totally hot, totally sexy)

Why THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE Has No Head, by Diana Holquist (very tongue-in-cheek)

LOVE STARTS WITH ELLE, by Rachel Hauck (interactive cartoon animation)

You see why I'm so intimidated at the thought of doing one for myself?

What do you like in a trailer? Do you think they're worthwhile? Most importantly, if I do one, will you watch it? :-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hunkered Down

No, I don't really look like this, but my husband has a thing for funny monkey pictures, and I try to indulge him whenever possible. :-)

But yes, I've been hunkered down in the bat cave ever since I got back from San Francisco, first because I came home to the copyedits from Hell, and secondly because I have a new book to write!

And third, (I will have to admit) my life just isn't all that interesting. The drama is too personal to write about, and the mundane is just too... mundane. I swore when I began this blog that I would not write drivel about what I had for breakfast (Mini-Wheats), or what I did afterwards (walked the dog), and what I did after that (the dishes and laundry). You see my point? LOL

Anyway, I've been working. Copyedits, new copy, blog interviews, contest judging, research and pondering. Essential writerly stuff.

Oh, and I did have one exciting thing to tell you, which is that the cover for my next book, You're the One That I Haunt, has a whole new look from the first two books, and can only be described as AWESOME. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to show it to you yet. :-(

Now don't you wish I'd just kept my mouth shut and concentrated on my banana? Um, I mean, writing?

Friday, August 15, 2008

A "Fangirl" Moment with author Christopher Moore

I've been sifting through my memories and my photos of this year's RWA conference, and I wanted to share another one of the highlights. On Friday night, August 1st, my publisher party was held at the Mandarin Hotel in San Francisco. Always a swanky affair, it's also great fun, with fabulous food, wine, champagne, and, of course, chocolate. :-) (The photo on the left is me with my editor, Erika Tsang, during the cocktail reception.)

One of the highlights for me is finding out who'll I'll be sitting with - you don't know the seating arrangement until you get there. One year I was stunned to find myself between two of my favorite authors, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Julianne MacLean. Last year I sat next to the irrepressible Julie Ann Long and the gorgeous Kathryn Caskie, and this year I was thrilled to be sitting next to my editor, Erika Tsang, and RITA award-winning YA author, Melissa Marr. (The photo on the left is Julianne MacLean and Toni Blake - it looks like we all got the memo on color coordination, doesn't it?)

But I must admit, the highlight of the evening for me (no offense to my lovely seatmates or anyone else I chatted with!), was when Executive Editor Carrie Feron introduced one of our special guests for the evening, author Christopher Moore. If you've never read Chris's particular brand of quirky fiction, you're missing out on some serious giggles. Think Dave Barry meets Stephen King, without the gore. Seriously. I admit I made a total "fangirl" of myself, going straight up to him and demanding that he not disappear before I'd had my picture taken with him! (I'd forgotten my camera, but Toni Blake graciously agreed to be the appointed photographer for the evening, so I was in luck. Thanks, Toni!) Quite the gentleman, Chris asked my name because he "didn't want to stare in the direction of my nametag too long", and assured me that he'd love to get his picture taken with "someone so pretty". Wasn't that sweet? So after dinner, I rounded up Toni and Kathy Caskie (another CM fangirl, on the right), and we got our photos taken with Chris. Yay! At the end of the evening, I flirted with him shamelessly across a crowded room by giving him the universal "call me" signal, hoping he knew I was just kidding! And yes, I confessed my "fangirl" flirtatiousness to Captain America when I got back to the hotel room. Knowing my love of all things Moore, he forgave me. :-)

After the Avon Family Dinner at the Mandarin, I grabbed a cab and headed over to the famed Harlequin Party at the Four Seasons Hotel. Here I am with some of my wonderful friends from Writers At Play: (l to r) Harlequin Intrigue author Kathleen Long, Harlequin Superromance author Beth Andrews, Mills & Boon Medical author Janice Lynn, and future Harlequin Special Edition author Anna Sugden. As you can probably tell, a fabulous time was had by all. :-) The Harlequin party lived up to it's reputation - a killer DJ, open bar, hundreds of barefoot women dancing and laughing, even a conga line! It was great fun, and I can't wait to do it again next year!

P.S. - Thanks for being such a gentleman, Chris. I'm usually the shy, retiring type. Seriously. :-)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Pictures from the 2008 RITA Awards!

I got so many great pictures last Saturday night, and I just have to share them! Here are some of the highlights:

Monday, August 04, 2008

2008 RITA Awards: Dead Girls Are Easy Wins "Best First Book"!

Now I know what Cinderella must've felt like; slipping into a beautiful dress and beautiful shoes, then whisking away to have all her dreams come true! No pumpkins for me, though... I got a beautiful golden statue instead! (Though I did, at one point, almost lose a shoe!)

Saturday night, August 2nd, was one of the absolute highlights of my life, when my name was called during the 2008 RITA Award ceremony, and my debut novel, DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY was awarded Best First Book by Romance Writers of America!

Here I am with my wonderful, fabulous editor, Erika Tsang (do we look happy, or what? LOL) Erika is an Executive Editor at Avon HarperCollins, and part of what made me so happy is knowing that I didn't let her down - she took a chance on a quirky story by a brand-new author, and she helped me turn an offbeat idea about a spunky former Goth girl who sees dead people into the very best book it could be.

What's really special about the RITA awards is not only that it's the "gold standard" for the industry, but that it's judged by other authors, people who do what I do every day and know all the time and effort that goes into it. There's something pretty amazing about being told by a jury of your peers that your very first novel was something special!

Even better, my Prince Charming was right there by my side for the whole thing! I'll share more pictures on the blog later this week so you can see how cute he was. ;-) For a girl who never even went to the prom, the entire evening was pretty awesome! :-)