Writing contemporary romance has its perks. One of my favorites is putting on my movie producer hat, such as it is, and creating a book trailer video. I get together with a few friends, such as Rob Resetar, who has helped me produce all my book trailers. We hire a few actors, we borrow people’s houses, and then we play movie makers for a day. It’s so much fun, and we don’t take ourselves overly seriously.
My latest contemporary romance novel, The Letter, is a story of misunderstandings and people who aren’t who they appear to be. Stephanie and Danny have been together for sometime. She wants to know where their relationship is going while he is happy with the status quo. Unfortunately for Danny, Stephanie accidentally stumbles on a love letter from Martha, his old flame, and she’ll soon jump to the wrong conclusion.
Rob also creates original musical scores for all of my book trailer videos, and this is my favorite so far. Seelie Studios assisted with the casting, and I’m very pleased this video. I hope you’ll enjoy watching it.
I’ve now created enough book trailer videos to combine the footage and create a new composite video.
So what’s a book trailer?
Book trailers are a marketing tool. I first became aware of them in 2006, when I wrote the first in a series of historical novelettes for young readers. (Under the name Gayle Martin.) They were something of a novelty at the time, and most early book trailers were PowerPoint slideshows. Cheap and easy to produce. My first two Luke and Jenny book trailers were slideshows with a generic royalty free music loop.
Things soon starting changing once iPhones and DSLR cameras came on the scene. Both were able to shoot video, which meant everyone now essentially had a camcorder in their pocket. That’s when I went from using slide shows to producing an actual video.
A book trailer is like a movie trailer. It’s highlights scenes from the book without giving away the plot, and producing them is like making a mini movie. I have to cast the video, scout locations, and schedule the shoots. I have other videographers who help with filming and editing. It takes a bit of time to produce, but once complete, I had a really cool one to two minute commercial for each of my contemporary romance novels.
While it’s been fun producing a trailer for each book, it’s also becoming a little problematic. I can only put so many items in my sidebar. The other big challenge has been finding the right location. I may live in Tucson, but my contemporary romance novels are set in many different locations. Making a Tucson location look like Denver or Las Vegas doesn’t always work.
Thankfully, we’ve now shot enough video footage to create an action packed composite that’s exciting and eye catching. Best of all, it will be easy for me to add new clips for future contemporary romance novels.
The new book trailer video for my contemporary romance novel, The Stalker, has gone live. I couldn’t be happier.
My good friend and videographer Rob Resetar, has done it again. The Stalker is a much darker story than my other novels. Rob wanted to do it film noir style, to give it a more creepy feel. The result is amazing. He really has captured the essence of the novel.
I also want to thank The Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley, Arizona. They were kind enough to allow us to shoot two scenes behind the building in the performers parking lot, and this is where it got to be fun.
Adventures in videography
The first parking lot scene was the kidnapping scene. Steve, the actor playing Craig Walker grabs Krissy, who’s playing Rachel, and shoves her into a pickup truck. Krissy had to scream loudly, which she did quite well. So much so that I’m told the neighbors got concerned. Thankfully, the police didn’t show up.
We shot the final scene after sundown, when Rachel is left on the side of the road for dead. Steve stuck around and helped with the lighting, while Krissy had to have road rash makeup applied. Afterwards, she had to play dead, but not to worry. A concerned spider came along to keep her company.
While we were filming, there was a show going on inside the music hall. I kept reminding everyone that we needed to finish up before the show ended, so Krissy could get into the ladies room and wash off the fake blood without being seen. Well, we can all guess what happened. The show ended at the same time she got into the ladies room, but it was all good. She simply let the concerned patrons know we were filming behind the building. Then, once she was cleaned up, we all had a pizza together. I really had an amazing team on this video.
When I’m not writing contemporary romance I enjoy photography and traveling. Prescott, Arizona, is one of my favorite getaways. This scenic historic town is about a three hour drive from Tucson, so I like to visit as often as I can. I always stay at the Prescott Resort. It’s a beautiful hotel with an amazing view from their patio. Best of all, it’s affordable for authors.
When I’m here I enjoy shopping, being pampered at the hotel spa, and, of course, photography. Courthouse Square is one of my favorite spots in Prescott. There are plenty of fun places to shop and unique restaurants. The historic Sharlot Hall Museum is also close by.
I like to write when I’m in Prescott. There are fewer distractions here. I don’t have to stop in the middle of something to get to an appointment or run errands. More importantly, there’s no cooking or cleaning. The hotel is refreshingly quiet too.
I’ve posted a composite video of my Prescott adventures, and my good friend, Troy Gray, was kind enough to allow me to use his music.
When I’m not busy writing contemporary romance novels I enjoy photography and traveling. I got my first camera when I was nine, and I loved photography ever since. And now, with new digital technology, I’m now getting into video. I learned a lot from my good friend, Rob Resetar, who created my amazing book trailers.
Did you know that there are some wonderful wineries in southern Arizona? Here I was, an Arizona native, and I didn’t know about them until I moved to Tucson. They’re located near the Mexican border in a beautiful part of the state. From time to time I’ll pack a lunch and spend a day there. In fact, I liked them so much I also used this beautiful part of Arizona as a location in my contemporary romance novel, The Betrayal.
Here is a video montage I produced about southern Arizona wine country. You can see why it became the inspiration for McPherson Vineyards, the fictitious winery in The Betrayal.
One final note. I produce my videos as Gayle Martin
The Deception is a contemporary romance novel about a woman who’s been exploited. Like my other contemporary romance novels, it’s sensual romance. This romance subgenre includes a few, shall we say, love scenes. However, it’s not erotica. Most of the action takes place outside of the bedroom, and what few love scenes are included are there to enhance the plot.
So, when we produced the book trailer for The Deception,Rob Resetar, my videographer, and I wanted to include a brief romance scene, but it’s hardly porn. However, Amazon didn’t see it that way.
I was using the video on Amazon for book promotions. However, they are no longer allowing me to use it. Their official reason is that the file format is out of date. However, I have another book trailer in that same format on Amazon, and it works perfectly. Someone at Amazon didn’t like this book trailer, so they flagged it.
So, for your viewing pleasure, is the book trailer video that was too hot for Amazon.
I’ve spent a busy summer producing a new book trailer video for my contemporary romance novel, The Betrayal, with my good friend and fellow videographer, Rob Resetar, of Rob Resetar Video.
Like our previous book trailers, it presented its own set challenges. However, we still had a lot of fun. Rob and I got to work with some amazing actors. I even spent a day in the southern Arizona wine country shooting the road footage from my dashboard.
The Betrayal is the story of Emily St. Claire, a devoted wife who literally catches her husband in the act with another woman. Determined to rebuild her life, Emily returns home with her father to pursue her dream of being a concert pianist. But little does she know that a new, and deadly, betrayal is about to unfold.
Whew! It’s finally done, and I’m pleased with the final results.
I’ve become more hands on with my book trailer videos, and I’m loving it. Makes sense, as my background is in fine art and I’ve also studied photography. It too is one of my life’s passions. Granted, it’s taken me a little while to make the jump from 35mm to digital, but one of the great things about a DSLR camera is you can also shoot video. So there you have it.
This time around I did most of the filming and nearly all of the editing. My good friend, Rob Resetar, of Rob Resetar Video, shot the kidnapping scene and did the musical score and final audio mix. Wish I could take credit for the drone footage, but it too was shot by another friend.
The Journey is a contemporary romance novel about things not being as they appear. While not quite a sequel, to my earlier contemporary romance novel, The Reunion, both books use the same cast of characters. However, this time around, Cassie and Jeremy, two supporting characters in The Reunion, take the leading roles. The Journey begins about eighteen months after the end of The Reunion.
The Reunion book trailer has gone live. Thank goodness. We had some real challenges producing this video, and we ended up using three different actresses to play Gillian. However, you only see close ups of one of them, so I guess I could call the other two stand ins. Interestingly enough, this is how Hollywood does it as well. Stand ins are used for long shots.
We had a few other minor glitches as well, but thankfully we overcame all of the obstacles. In the end, Rob Resetar, hit it out of the ballpark.
The Reunion is a contemporary romance novel second chances. Ian and Gillian first met when they were in college, but their relationship came to a sudden and unexpected end. They cross paths again twenty-five years later, but history is trying to repeat itself, and they are in danger of making the same mistakes twice.
We’re hard at work on the book trailer for my contemporary romance novel, The Deception.
The Deception a story of lies and deceit. Carrie, a young photographer, suddenly finds herself homeless when her significant other abruptly ends their relationship. She has taken up temporary residence in her photography studio, but if her landlord catches her, she could end up on the streets. Enter Louise, an old friend and former mentor. Louise needs a model for a nude photo shoot and Carrie desperately needs the money. With no other options available, she reluctantly accepts Louie’s offer. Little does she know the devastating and potentially deadly consequences of her decision.
Today videographer Rob Resetar shot two more scenes for the book trailer; a love scene between Carrie and Scott, one of the antagonists, along with photo shoot scene. With any luck, the book trailer will be completed right after the first of the year.
In the meantime, I’m sharing a short excerpt from The Deception.
an excerpt from The Deception
Carrie Daniels closed her eyes and took a deep breath as she tried to quell her growing anxiety. The big metal chain made loud clicking sounds as it pulled her up higher and higher. Her breaths grew shorter and tighter as she opened her eyes. The last thing she saw before the first big drop was the stark, clear blue sky. She heard herself letting out a loud scream as the roller coaster plunged and whipped along the track. The butterflies roiled in her stomach as she held tight while the car zoomed around another hairpin turn before taking one last, final plunge. As the ride slowed to a stop, she reached up to pull a loose strand of her long, dark hair away from her face before leaning over to give Doug a kiss.
“I don’t know why you insist on calling it that,” he said as he climbed out and began walking away.
“Calling it what?” She quickly climbed out, picking up her pace to catch up with him.
“Our anniversary. Anniversaries are supposed to commemorate a specific date. Neither of us can recall the exact date anymore.”
“I can to,” she said, flirtatiously. “How could I forget our very first date? You took me to the opening day of the Arizona State Fair, and every year for the past ten years we’ve come back on opening day to celebrate.”
This year, however, Doug didn’t seem to feel like celebrating. He had been acting strange for some time. Carrie kept asking him what was wrong, but he kept brushing her off, saying he had a heavier than usual workload at the office. Carrie, however, couldn’t shake the nagging feeling there was more to it. They walked in silence as they wandered into the carnival gaming area. Finally, she tapped him on the shoulder.
“Aren’t you going to try to win a big teddy bear for me?”
He stopped and turned, rolling his eyes. “Carrie, you know these games are rigged.”
“That never stopped you before. Every year you try to win the big teddy bear for me, so that makes it a tradition for us. And remember what you said to me the year before last? You said if you ever won it, you’d propose to me.”
“You know I never meant it literally.”
“What’s gotten into you, Doug? You’ve haven’t been yourself for weeks and it’s scaring me.”
“I already told you. I’m stressed out with work, and on top of that all I’m hearing out of you lately is how your biological clock is ticking. All these years you’ve been telling me you weren’t in any hurry for us to get married. Now, all of a sudden, you’re in a big rush.”
“Well, if you recall, we celebrated my thirtieth birthday last month. I’ve finally come to realize I can’t wait another ten or fifteen years to start a family. I want to have a baby, Doug, and I want to have it with you.” Carrie noticed some of the people walking by were giving them strange looks. “Look, this isn’t the time or place, okay. Let’s just try to enjoy what’s left of the day. We’ll talk more about it later.”
She walked up to one of the games and reached into her purse, handing the man a twenty-dollar bill. He gave her some large plastic rings, which she began to toss. Much to her surprise, a few landed around the pegs. Once she finished, the game operator presented her with a small white teddy bear.
“Well,” she said, beaming, “it may not have been the big bear, but at least I won something.”
“Carrie, would you mind taking a seat?” Doug pointed to a nearby bench. “We need to have a little talk.”
Her heart dropped like a ball of lead. Nothing good was ever said after those words were spoken.