This month we're walking a mile in Heidi Rice's shoes as she has a moment of divine inspiration and puts all her movie reviewing experience to good use to make a promotional video for her new book!
I'm not gonna lie to you, most of my days as a writer are spent sitting on my butt typing like crazy as I career headlong towards a deadline or staring at the wall desperately trying to figure out where I went wrong in my latest manuscript while careering headlong towards a deadline. There's also hopefully the occasional trip to the gym to bore myself stupid on the treadmill while trying to keep my writer’s butt in perspective. And also far too much time spent doing laundry, figuring out menus, and pratting about on social media – which are my other go-to occupations, after staring at the wall, when it comes to trying to figure out a difficult plot twist or prop up a sagging middle.
So for today's Day in the Life post I wanted to describe an extraordinary day, which is also to do with writing.
This day came about a few weeks ago. I had just sent off my first Presents manuscript on a new contract to my editor. This was not an easy book to write. Sometimes the stories come easily, more often they are hard and this was definitely one of the harder ones. So I was feeling somewhat euphoric having sent it in at last and I was also excited to be staying at my mother's place in Wiltshire for the weekend visiting
with a bunch of my family and gearing up to watch the Wimbledon women's singles final on the telly.
We had a bit of wine with lunch after a morning spent on a short yomp round the picturesque little village where she lives, and Venus and Gabine were limbering up when I had a moment of divine inspiration…
My second women's fiction book, Summer at Willow Tree Farm, was due out in a few days and I'd been trying to think of ways to promote it – as you do, or as I tend to do, far too close to the deadline – when I was looking out of the door of my mother's cottage at the beautiful garden, which was an inspiration for the setting in the book and suddenly thought "I know, why don't I do a promotional video?"
As is usually the case when you have an inspirational thought like that after a couple of glasses of wine in the early afternoon and you're feeling a little bit euphoric, I immediately assumed that it was the best inspirational thought I had ever had in my entire life… So of course I had to rope my husband into filming it for me IMMEDIATELY.
He was somewhat less enthused by my divine inspirational thought seeing as he was eager to sit down and watch the women's singles final. Hence we didn't put much thought into what I was gonna say or how he was gonna film it until we were actually doing it. Luckily, I did the video in one take, because… Wines. Otherwise I think I probably would have been way too nervous. Once we'd filmed it, I ran upstairs to my mum's computer, spent far too long trying to figure out how to download the video from the iPad and send it through to my son, who was in London, and then proceeded to beg him to help me put the video together before the following Thursday when the book was actually out. Because he's good at this sort of stuff and I have no idea how to use iMovie!!
Then I raced downstairs to discover that the women's singles final was already over!
More wine was drunk, a delicious barbecue meal was consumed, I made margaritas with my lovely niece and later that night I re-watched the footage and decided that it was probably going to end up being the best book-trailer-promo video ever made in the history of the world. Unfortunately I now suspect that might have had more to do with the margaritas than the quality of the film. This also became apparent when we returned to London the next day and my son pointed out that we had shot the whole film in the wrong aspect ratio with the line "Seriously mum? Have you ever seen a YouTube video in portrait?" I have, of course, blamed this rather glaring oversight on the cameraman who was far keener on getting back to the TV so he could watch Venus Williams being thrashed, than helping to turn his wife into a book-trailer-promo-video superstar!
But no worries, thankfully my son has mad skills with iMovie and managed to mostly iron out the fact that the film was originally shot with the iPad held vertically instead of horizontally and the end result is, I think you will agree, not half bad. If maybe not quite the best book-trailer-promo video ever made…
I think my mum's place, and the inspiration behind Summer at Willow Tree Farm, looks amazing and thankfully I don't waffle too much. But let me know what you think?
But much more to the point, I had so much fun making this video – and watching the end result when my son had put it together – that I may well do one for my next book. That said, I think margaritas may have to be involved again…
Whatever way you look at it, making this video was certainly more fun than staring at a wall or doing laundry, and I definitely had a much better day that day than poor old Venus Williams – with or without margaritas!
Heidi Rice writes for Tule, Harlequin and HQ Stories. She loves getting swept up in a world of high emotions, sensual excitement, funny flawed women, sexy tortured men and glamorous locations where laundry doesn’t exist. She also tutors an online course for writers called An Introduction to Writing Hot Romance. Her latest release, Summer At Willow Tree Farm, is out now. To find out more about her books, her writing and what she's up to, you can visit her website or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.
We all want to attend a barbecue at Heidi's mum's house now, right? And what a great video! Do you watch many promotional videos for books? What's your favorite place to find them? And how about book trailers, will they persuade you to try something new? Tell us what you think in the comments or use #MileInHerShoes on Social Media to join the #PHS readers discussing this subject.