Book Trailer

A portrait of the artist as a grumpy old man. I've found that working with an extreme case of bed head ensures there will be no problems with writer's block.

A portrait of the artist as a grumpy old man. I’ve discovered that working with an extreme case of bed head ensures there will be no problems with writer’s block.

There are book trailers!

Who knew?

Certainly not me, wandering the savannahs of the Internet on my knuckles with my laptop in tow, like the apes in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

But my publisher, NewSouth Books’ Suzanne La Rosa, thought it would be a good idea for me to produce one.

Of course, there are countless book trailers on the Internet, numerous sites where you can get advice on producing them, and companies that specialize in making them.

I’d done a lot of historical photo research for the blog, but now I set to in earnest. I scoured tall grass plains, turned stones looking for critters, shrugged off the marauding leopard or two (yes, I’m milking the Kubrick metaphor).

A weekend of research. Writing a script. Rewriting the script. Finding the right music.

Ah, the music!

I wanted something from the period. I was surprised at how much jazz was being published. But jazz wouldn’t be right.

Then I found it!

Written by American composer Charles Austin Miles (1868-1946), the popular hymn “In the Garden” was published in 1912. It was my mother’s favorite! I found a simple piano arrangement.

It was perfect.

I had images. I had words. I had music.

But my designer was on vacation. I paced the house. This was my big break! The trailer would help producers visualize the book as a film! I’d be walking the red carpet at Cannes! Jennifer Lawrence would pose—no, wait, she’s too worldly. Harriet, the love interest in the novel, is fragile, ethereal. I’ll think of an actress later. No, my wife will think of one. She knows her young actresses.

My designer returned. But then she fell sick. Really sick. As she was recovering, I realized she’d be behind in her client work. The work that pays her bills and sends her daughter to school.

So I contacted an Elon University colleague, who sent me to Joe D’Amato, a young graduate of the Communications School.

Soon online Joe and I were watching, listening, tweaking.

One evening, my wife Mary Leigh emerged from our bedroom, sleep in her eyes.

“If I hear that hymn one more time,” she said, “I’m moving to the house in Florida.”

As Kubrick showed, it’s dangerous when the ape finds the bone.

Here’s a link to the book trailer.


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