Author photos taken by Robert Abrams in Paris, France.



THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Rebecca Buckley's Blog
Hello, I'm Rebecca Buckley, and I write books! Welcome to my blog. Here I'll talk about almost anything. Depends on the mood of the day. I'll also talk about publishing, writing techniques, and editing ... subjects close to my heart. So today, anytime you feel like it, feel free to jump in ... click on the COMMENTS link at the end of a post and give your opinion. If you sign in "anonymous" to comment, it's easier, just be sure you say who you are in the content of your comment.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

DO AUTHOR'S NEED BOOK TRAILERS?

I'm now caught up in the book trailer phoenomonen.   Yes, I've become one of the trailer techies, although I'm still an infant in creating them.  Above you'll see my first attempt.  A rather amateur production, there's so much more to learn, but it's my first one and I'm proud.  Did it myself, by myself.  And guess what, if I can do it, you can do it.  Some people use the Windows Movie Maker that's already loaded on your system, you'll find it listed in your programs file.  But a few years ago, when I was playing with creating travel logs, I purchased a Pinnacle program - Studio 8, used by the professionals.  Hey, now it might come in handy, me thinks. 

Anyway ... what do you think?  Do you need a book trailer?  Well, why not?  It's one more method to publicize your book. If you hired a publicist that would be one of the first things that would happen - creation of a book trailer.  So take advantage without the expense of a publicist.  And heaven knows  if you're going to build a fan base (which is an all important facet of becoming a best-seller), you have to make your book known to the public far and wide.  Just pushing it in your neighborhood isn't going to do it, although that's a terrific start.   You have to find ways to expand beyond those borders of friends and family to people you don't know, who, if they heard about your book, would want to read it.  

So how do you expand those borders?  Well, one method is through a book trailer.  It can be placed on YouTube, easy to set up, and linked to Facebook and Twitter from there.  You can also put it in your Facebook profile, occasionally sending it out to your friends on Twitter and Facebook.   You can put it on your website and your blog.  You can send it out in an email blitz, in your e-newsletter.  YouTube gives you a link to copy and paste into all your other venues making the trailer easily accessible to your readers.

By now you should have accounts already created in Facebook and Twitter, and a website and a blog, so you are now ready for a book trailer.   Yes!  Another marketing tool.   It's a must. 

Next step is to go to your Windows Movie Maker and play around with it.   Like I've done.  By studying the directions, you can learn how to upload photos, create titles, and add music.   It's that simple for a first book trailer.  You can get more technical and flamboyant as you learn. And it's fun, it really is.  Time-consuming, but fun. 

Okay ... I vote YES! for a book trailer!

Friday, June 11, 2010

SHOULD THERE BE A LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF CHARACTERS IN A NOVEL?

Normally, it is recommended that you limit your main characters to a few, meaning the characters of which you delve deeply into their own stories.  And then your periferal characters that you only touch lightly without getting too much into their backstory, some are only bystanders.

I've been criticised, by only a few by the way - count on one hand, about the number of main characters I write in my novels.  Let me explain ...

1. First, I write protagonist Rachel O'Neill and whoever her significant other is at the time in all the novels. She is the central character in "Trafalgar", the first novel, but takes a second seat in some of the following novels.  But she is still a common thread and an integral part as the saga continues in the planned 12-novel series. 

2. Second, I write a second leading female/protagonist: in Trafalgar, it's Belinda; in Eiffel, it's Shellie; in Brussels, it's Amanda; in Moscow, it's Della ... and so forth.  Also included are the antagonists and love interests of these women. 

In each novel, there is an ensemble cast, so to speak, but that new cast of characters is not limited to only those in that particular novel, some of the previous characters are brought back in for whatever reason, and there is always a good reason.

So that is how I write.

NOW ...

When I read Maeve Benchey, who is among my favorite British novelists (Ken Follett, Jack Whyte, Phillipa Gregory, Catherine Cookson, Thomas Hardy, Bernard Cornwell, etc.) it is incredible to watch how she weaves a tremendous amount of characters in one novel.  It goes against all the so-called rules. But you know what?  It works. It isn't confusing. And she also brings back characters from previous books, I love that.  

Other best-selling authors veer off the "rules", too. 

So I guess what I'm trying to say is ... if it works, and doesn't confuse the reader, if you can create a smooth read, no stumbling, then anything goes.  To hell with the rules.  Be innovative, be creative, be brave, be yourself.  It's your own particular style and voice that will set you apart from all the others.

I'm editing and publishing a novel at the moment, to be released in September -  NAKED IN THE TUB WITH VERA - by A. Paul Bergen. This one is exactly what I'm talking about.  He has a very special voice and style and is loaded with talent.  His philosophical education comes into play here, as well as his study of religions.  And a terrific sense of humor tops it all. You'll have to read this one for sure.

Other new authors come to mind who have a unique style and voice and will undoubtedly hit those best-seller lists one of these days. They are Vincent Zandri, E. Don Harpe, Edd Voss, David Rosenberg - the first three are on the RJBP roster. 

1.  Zandri is a terific thriller novelist, RJBP published his MOONLIGHT FALLS, and he is destined to be a well-known writer.
2.  E. Don Harpe's downhome memoir LAST OF THE SOUTH TOWN RINKY DINKS is an incredible write with rave reviews.
3.  We're releasing a collection of short stories RAMBLING by Edd Voss in December, another unique voice.  
4.  David Rosenberg writes political thrillers to be reckoned with (wish we had him on our roster).

SOOOOO ... write write write, try anything.  As long as it is easy to read, has memorable characters and a good story, is a page turner, therefore not confusing, you'll be successful!   You don't have to abide by any other rules. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

HOW DO YOU SCHEDULE YOUR WRITING DAY?

I'm arranging a daily schedule that I can follow, or hope to follow.  Do you ever find yourself doing everything else except what you'd planned to do? 

What happens to me is my mind gets cluttered with my list of things to do and then I go helter skelter, jumping from one thing to another.  Even when I make a list on paper or on the computer.  I don't just go down the list, I choose what I want to do.  I know, I know.  Priortize.  Well, that's all well and good, but doesn't work for me.  I left all that priortizing behind me in corporate America. 

So, I've made a vague schedule for myself. 

8 to 9 a.m.   P.R.
9 to 10  Web Updates
10 to 12  Edit RJBP books
1 to 4 Write

What I do after 4:00 p.m. is my choice - work or play or study (courses on writing and a TESOL course - teaching english as a second language)   Of course I am usually working way into the night most days (3:30 a.m. this morning), but at least this will give me some structure to follow and I'll be relieved in knowing that I am at least doing the list every day, regardless.

Today was my first day to try this.  And so far it's working.  I'm on the 9 to 10 portion and here it is 9:48 a.m.  Perfect.  This is a blog update.  Great!  I'm on schedule.

So how do you schedule your time?   (Of course, I'm lucky.  No one else to try and fit into my life other than myself.  No children, no outside employment.)  Definitely an advantage.

Have a good day ...