Some people say Google+ is a ghostland, but I find it resourceful and interactive. (Since I decommissioned my Facebook Author Page last year, you might want to connect with me on Google+.) Earlier this month I came across a book trailer in my G+ feed. Maybe it’s because my degree is in cinema, but I find book trailers intriguing. Some are done well, and some not so much. The one I saw in my G+ feed was the former. The graphics, pace, editing – it works! Plus, at the 30-second mark you learn the story and it is a Wow Moment. I just bought her book and look forward to reading it.
The trailer is for Blue Sun, Yellow Sky. I asked the author of Blue Sun, Yellow Sky if she would be interested in an interview. Since you are reading this you can see she said yes! We’ve had guest bloggers on Write Naked cover turning their book into film for book trailers. Now we get to hear a little bit more about this process from another writer, Jamie Hoang.
Here’s the trailer, then read on to learn from Jamie.
200 Words With Jamie Hoang
Write Naked: How have your life experiences influenced the story in your book Blue Sun, Yellow Sky?
Jamie Hoang: Blue Sun, Yellow Sky is my first novel so my life experiences heavily shaped the first draft of the book; however, most of what went in was slowly filtered out as I grew to understand my characters better. I spent a lot of time researching different artists and learning about what inspires and drives them and as I continued layering in bits and pieces of protagonist Aubrey’s personality she became more and more her own person. The people who know me well will find that a few of Aubrey’s childhood memories are rooted in my personal history, and I think they’ll enjoy finding those gems throughout the story. In early drafts of the book the chapters that took place in countries I had never visited were the ones readers found the most compelling. Whereas, the places I had been (China, Peru, and France) needed more work. Having visited a place didn’t mean I could describe it well–a good lesson for me to learn early on.
WN: What made you decide to do a book trailer?
JH: When I decided to stop querying agents and move in the direction of self-publishing I did a lot of marketing research. To be honest, it was (and still is) pretty overwhelming, but I wanted to give my book every promotional opportunity that the big publishing houses offered. A book trailer was one of them. Also, with the current trend of books being turned into movies, I thought it might incentivize production companies.
WN: If you do a book trailer again, what would you do differently?
JH: I graduated from The School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA and work as a freelance producer for docu-drama TV shows. I am lucky to know people who could create a high quality book trailer. If I had any kind of budget, my ideal trailer would be something similar to the trailer for Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild. I would have traveled to all of the places in my book with an actress and filmed her actually being there.
WN: What is your least favorite word?
JH: Disability. I can’t speak for everyone or even the majority of people with disabilities, but in the years I spent researching blindness I found that most of the people I met or read about did not consider themselves disabled. They strove to live normal, if not extraordinary, lives despite being blind. The blind photographer, Pete Eckhert, who inspired part of Aubrey’s story said in the HBO documentary Dark Light: The Art of Blind Photographers, “The world I’m trying to depict and the world I belong to now is the world of the blind.” It was illuminating (no pun intended) to learn that he wasn’t trying to compete with the sighted world or create from the sighted perspective. He was doing the opposite actually, and giving sighted people insight into the beautiful world of the blind. The lesson has stuck with me ever since and informed Aubrey’s decisions throughtout the book.