Tag Archives: book trailers

Guest Post: Christina Farley on Writing YA, Gilded and Silvern, Plus Advice for Aspiring YA Authors by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

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Guest Post: Christina Farley on Writing YA, Gilded and Silvern, Plus Advice for Aspiring YA Authors by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Note from Andrea: Many thanks to author and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi for this wonderful article about Christina Farley. I especially love Christina’s videos. We writers can learn a lot about marketing from her. Also, I am adding the book trailer for her newest book, The Princess and the Page, to the end of this article. Enjoy!

June 5, 2017 Update: Christina Farley now has a wonderful middle grade novel out from Scholastic! See her website for more info about THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE as well as her GILDED trilogy.

I met Christina Farley through my critique group, the MiG Writers. Christy’s one of the most productive writers I know, and she recently left her teaching job so she could write fulltime.

Christina’s contemporary fantasy novel for young adults, GILDED, launched from Skyscape earlier this year. Its sequel, SILVERN, launches on September 23rd, 2014. You can read the first chapter of SILVERN here.

Other places to find Christy:

WebsiteTwitterFacebookYouTube – TumblrPinterest

Synopsis of GILDED:

Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting into a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There’s also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae’s heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae’s been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she’s always been looking for.

Q. What was your writing process for GILDED? 

Coming up with ideas for books can be a challenge, but the idea for GILDED stemmed from the Korean myth of Haemosu and Princess Yuhwa. It left me wondering what happened after Princess Yuhwa escaped Haemosu’s clutches.

The what ifs inspired me to write the story of GILDED. But to writing a full length novel isn’t easy.

1. First I plotted out the story.

See my plot grid for GILDED here:

I also did a blog post on more specifics on how to plot out books here and you can use my templates to get you started here.

 

2. Next, I prepare to write the book.

I often use aromatherapy (a scented candle) to write as well as create a soundtrack for each book. I love keeping a journal for each book as well. This will have all the names of my characters in it, nuisances, research I’ve done on the book, notes, and illustrations. The journal became extremely useful when I went to write the sequel and had to remember all the small details for characters or the rules of my world. For more ideas, you can check this video I made here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3chpYaMLYxg
 

3. Once everything is prepped, then I write my first draft. It’s sloppy and a complete wreck, but the structure of the book is in place.

For GILDED I had to do a lot of research of Korean mythology. I also found that since Jae Hwa was a martial arts expert, I had to learn Korean archery and taekwondo because I wanted the book to be as authentic as possible.

4. Revision is where the book comes to life. I revised GILDED so many times I’ve lost track. But each time, I strengthened the book’s structure, working on characterization, description, subplots and the arc of the book.

5. After I think the book is in good shape, I have my critique partners take a look. Debbie Ohi and I are part of the MiG Writers ( www.migwriters.com). I’m indebted to her and the rest of the group for their hard work in helping GILDED shine.

Q. How did GILDED get published?

Finding an Agent:

Once I finished GILDED, I realized I needed an agent for this book. So I did my research mainly on querytracker. I’d look up agents in my field and then research everything I could on them before I queried them. My agented friend’s warned me that a bad agent is worse than no agent, so I when I received offers of representation from agents, I made sure I had a phone conversation with them to see if they were the right fit. I talk more about that here: http://youtu.be/5Kebg57lUJs

Finding a Publisher:

I like to say it was tough work, but my agent, Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC, is completely responsible for selling GILDED. He found the perfect editor for me and I’m thrilled to be working with Miriam Juskowicz.

Christina with her editor, Miriam Juskowicz

The biggest difficulty I had was decision making. Before signing with Amazon Children’s, there was another unexpected option with a different project. Jeff provided invaluable guidance of what to do for my career long term rather than just signing with the first book offer I was given. I think this all goes back in finding the right agent because the right agent looks out for you not just for the one book, but for your career.

Q. What advice do you have for aspiring YA writers? 

My advice for writers is to focus on your craft. Become not only a master of weaving words, but tap into your creative self. If others are writing it, you shouldn’t. Trend chasing will only leave you frustrated. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Challenge yourself to write outside of your comfort zone because in doing this, you are pushing yourself to become everything you can be as a writer.

Don’t base your success on others. You have your own path to follow. It won’t be all grassy fields and stunning mountain peaks. The writer’s journey is a lot like the path through Mirkwood in the HOBBIT. You may feel lost, confused, trapped in the feelings of depression; and if you, don’t be afraid to take a break. Follow Bilbo’s example and climb a tree, leave the forest behind, and breathe in the fresh air.

As Gandalf says, “DON’T LEAVE THE PATH!”

Q. How did the launch for GILDED go?

My launch was amazing. I actually had two launches, a virtual and a physical launch. The reason I did this is I have so many friends from all around the world, including my critique partners! This allowed me to celebrate this special day with them because they have been there with me every step of this incredibly hard journey. It meant so much to me to have them ‘there’ after all we’ve been through together. Link for the virtual launch: http://christinafarley.com/the-dream-team/

For my physical launch, I had it at the Windermere Library since it was the perfect location for all of my friends and family to come together. We had 120 people show up and it was overwhelming how kind everyone was to show their support of the book.

After I did a power point presentation about the history of how GILDED came to be, I read a portion of GILDED and then we ate cake and celebrated! While I was signing books, my husband gave away books and swag. It was definitely a day I will never forget. More photos from the physical launch: http://christinafarley.com/gildeds-launch-party-recap/

Q. What are you working on now? Any other upcoming events or other info you’d like to share?

I’m thrilled to say the sequel to GILDED is coming out this fall! SILVERN delves deeper into Jae Hwa’s world. You’ll find out more about the workings of the Guardians of Shinshi and new twists on the Spirit World.

Currently, I have three projects I’m playing with. I’m revising the third book in the GILDED series, drafting a new YA unrelated to the GILDED series, and researching for an historical adventure MG set in the early 1900’s.

View of Seoul from Christina’s desk where she wrote Gilded.

Note from Andrea: As promised, here is the trailer for The Princess and the Page:

And here is Christina reading an excerpt from the third book in the Gilded series, Brazen (spoiler alert):

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The Art of the Book Trailer

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The Art of the Book Trailer

Four years ago, a friend posted this video on Facebook (nod to Sara Jo):

Of course, I was familiar with movie trailers, but I’d never heard of a book trailer before. So I looked this up:

Compelling, right? I immediately ordered the book, which did not disappoint. Quirky. A page turner.

The trailer is so incredibly well done, though, isn’t it? It proves how well the book could translate to the big screen. The good news is there will be a movie next year.

The bad news is I like the house in the book trailer better than I like the house in the movie trailer. The book trailer house is the one I saw as I read the book. Although there is always that not-like-I-imagined-it disconnect whenever you see the movie of a book you enjoyed, all of us who saw that book trailer are going to be disappointed by the movie house.

I thought I’d check out some other book trailers to see how they handled that problem. Here’s an interesting approach:

Only words. No pre-conceived images. This may be the only truly ethical way to present a book, without spoiling any of the reader’s experience. And it still is compelling and makes me want to buy the book.

Or maybe instead of just words or the cinematic approach, the trailer could be done in drawings. This would work very well for a children’s book.

I haven’t read anything by Anne Tyler in more than a decade. Seeing this video reminded me I need to catch up. However…

…it seems to be a trailer for people who buy Anne Tyler’s books out of habit. There is nothing that tells me anything about this book, other than it’s by Anne Tyler, who’s written other books I like. Hmmm. I’m just not in a hurry to buy this one.

Book trailers are especially well-suited to promote fiction. But what about non-fiction?

The music in the above trailer demanded my attention. The images convince me I must read this book. I could have done without the bird gutting, though.

The next trailer reminds me of the shows my husband watches on the American Heroes Channel.

Fortunately, it totally works for this memoir of the World War II era.

Or how about this:

I know, right?! Powerful. The author sharing his life-changing epiphany and his motivation for writing the book in such a dramatic way (what a storyteller!) entices me to pick up the book.

You know, in my quest to find some really good trailers for this article, I watched dozens that did absolutely nothing for me. They had no entertainment value, or they looked like they were put together by amateurs. Some just quoted testimonials about the book or the author, without telling me enough about the content to make me want to buy the book. Another listed the main points of the book, which convinced me I didn’t need to buy it–I already knew what the author was going to say. I think Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is my favorite. It has the right blend of creepy-ness and polish, so appropriate for the book.

Do you have a favorite book trailer? Have you made a trailer for a book? Or is there a trailer for a book you’ve written? Please share a link and/or tell us about your trailer experience in the comment section below.