Making a Trailer

One of the best ways of grabbing attention for an up-coming book is to release a trailer. Inspired by some great ones I’ve seen recently on Twitter and on authors’ websites I dreamed of having one for “Island of Fear.”

Unlike some writers I am not particularly techie. In fact the very thought of making something that would move, have pictures and sound was so totally overwhelming, that although I promised myself I would learn one day, I was very good at tucking that resolution in to the deepest recesses of my mind where it would stay – until the next time I saw someone’s fabulous book trailer.

Finally, I had to admit that I wasn’t going to do it myself and I needed help. Which is where my friend Guy, who is the business of sound TV and film came to the rescue. All I had to do was send a few lines from, or about the book, plus some dialogue for the voiceovers.

It took me a whole day to come up with the something that would give a taste of the story. I drafted, re-drafted, wrote and re-wrote and finally sent off my best effort. Too long, too wordy, too much. It didn’t make the first, let alone the final cut.

A trailer has to be short, eye catching and to the point. Less is definitely more and what I’d written didn’t fit that description. The dialogue, however, worked.

Guy put together the music and images and sent me a copy with the vocals. Once approved, we had to find the actors for the voiceovers. For the pirate captain there was no choice. It had to be Jonathan Clarkson, my very talented actor friend. Letty and Mango were more of a problem, until Guy suggested my granddaughter Maddy.

Maddy is a little young for Letty but by the miracle of technology her voice could be made to sound older, while Laura Martin, who was to do Mango could make herself sound younger.

While all this was being put together, Maddy and family were on holiday in South Wales. Her mum, Lucy, after a certain amount of coaching recorded her on her i phone and forwarded it to me.

At this point tech gremlins decided we were having it too easy and however hard I tried I couldn’t forward the recording to Guy. In the end Lucy sent it directly and all three voices were added to the trailer.

Which is brilliant and all the more special because it’s very much the product of friends and family.

So many, many thanks to Guy, Jonathan, Laura and Maddy.

PS “Island of Fear” is out on September 3rd. Copies available for pre-order HERE

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