Barbara Vey, author of the PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BLOG, BEYOND HER BOOK has just posted a rave for my PLEASURING THE PIRATE. She says it should be called, PLEASURING THE READER!
Please pop over to  http://www.publishersweekly.com/blog/880000288/post/1570027157.html  to comment on Barbara’s insights. She likes to get lots of posts, so please leave a message. I’d appreciate it muchly.

Thanks so much,
Diana
aka Emily Bryan
PLEASURING THE PIRATE, Coming July 29th. Don’t miss the boat. Pre-order your pirate today!

This weekend is the start of my whirlwind of travel and speaking engagements. On Friday, the New England RWA’s LET YOUR IMAGINATION TAKE FLIGHT Conference begins at the Natick Crowne Plaza in Natick, MA. I’ll be speaking on Saturday morning, giving my plotting workshop (What a Novel Idea!), and then pitching my romantic suspense and paranormal to an editor. Later I’ll take part in the mass book signing, which starts at 4 PM. If you’re in the area, please stop by! The incredibly talented Susan Wiggs will be joining us.

Then on Monday, I’ll be flying to Pittsburgh for the Romantic Times Convention. Monday afternoon, I’ll be giving my characterization workshop (Meat on the Bones) for Bobbi Smith’s Aspiring Author Boot Camp. Then later in the week, I’ll be on a historical panel. USA Today Best Seller, Joy Nash invited me to join her for a brainstorming workshop (Book in 3 Minutes!) which should be great fun. The main thrust of that session is that in order to have a good idea, you need to have LOTS of ideas.

Along with 400 other authors, I’ll be taking part in the mass signing on Saturday the 19th from 11-2. If you’re in the area, please join us at the Pittsburgh Hilton. You’ll see lots of your favorite authors. I’m looking forward to seeing some of mine!

Then I’m home for a week. My parents are visiting from the midwest and our week together will culminate in a trip to NYC and a Broadway show. I hope to drop by Dorchester Publishing while I’m there and visit my editor for a bit.

The rest of April will go by in a blur and somehow I still have to meet my page count for VEXING THE VISCOUNT, which is due August 1st. But as frenetic as my life will be in the next few weeks, I’m feeling extremely blessed. In spite of the jitters associated with speaking and pitching, I’m living my dream and that’s no small thing. www.emilybryan.com

On my local RWA loop, one of the other writers asked what types of promo actually work to introduce an author to new readers. Wow. If I knew the answer to that one, I’d be able to retire to Maui next week. I sort of use the shotgun method myself. I spray the news about my newest release, DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS in every outlet I possibly can and hope that some of it hits the targets.

And one of things I use is book trailers or bookpeeks, as they are sometimes called. Now I know some authors spend beaucoup de bucks having their trailers made professionally. Since I’m not sure they work, I can’t see investing in one since I’m able to put together my own for under $25. But wait you say–What kind of trailer can you make for that piddling amount? Well, check mine out and you tell me. http://www.veoh.com/channels/emilybryan

Ok, I know the music isn’t too hot. There is a way to download professional music clips, but that requires more money and lots of people, like me, regularly turn the speaker on their computer off. Besides, I’m not related to my father for nothing. He’s been known to pinch a penny till it squeals. But cheesy music notwithstanding, the pictures give a hint at what the book is about. And hopefully sparks some interest, which is all a book trailer is expected to do. And for less than $25, I can afford to have it out there even if it doesn’t sell a single book.

So how did I do it? I’m glad you asked. First I downloaded Photostory3 FREE! This is a very simple program that allows you to put pictures together, create captions to tell the story and generate your own music for the bookpeek. I’m the anti-techno queen. Ask anyone. But Photostory is easy and intuitive. My uber-techie husband tells me that means it’s designed to be used by people who can’t even buy a clue. So even the wishiwasa-geek can do it. Like me.

Where did I get the pictures I hear you ask? Google: royalty free photos. You’ll find dreamstime and istock and a host of other sites where folks offer their photos for a very small fee. Some authors like to take their own pictures, but that requires talent with which I have not been gifted. I have a lovely collection of photos of headless family members if anyone’s interested.

One of the things I’ve noticed about book trailers is that they are sometimes too long and give away the entire story. Before I went looking for pictures, I thought about the elements of my story, trying to pick out the most enticing, of course. Then I wrote 10 phrases that tease my book. There isn’t room for complete sentences without covering the picture. Once I was satisfied with my copy, I went in search of 10 pictures that would fit my phrases. Plan to spend a couple hours. Ten frames will give you a trailer that’s about a minute long, which is long enough.

Then I enlisted my techie husband’s help in saving my finished product as a file type that would be accepted by the video sites. To my sorrow, I can’t get YouTube to like my DUCHESS. That site won’t take the upload, but Veoh and MySpace took it without a blink. Dirty rotten YouTube.

One of the benefits of doing a trailer is that it’s sort of like doing a pitch. We need to be able to tell people what our books are about in extremely short form. I’ve heard some authors browse the photo sites before they even write the story as an exercise in brainstorming. If you’re a visual person, like me, you might find it useful.

Wonder if I can do a whole synopsis on Photostory? Might beat the little sticky notes plastered all over my mirror that I use now. Hmmmm . . .

DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS

Sensual Fiction

February 20, 2008

Sometimes, writers end up actually talking to people instead of pecking at their keyboards. I’ve been putting together a workshop on writing sensual fiction. While a good part of the workshop will be devoted to crafting sex scenes that advance the story and reveal character along with body parts, another section of the workshop will deal with writing in a way that engages the senses.

Today at my writing group, we were prompted to write a scene where a sci-fi character who leads a bleak life with little light, little food and virtually no sensory stimulation finds a vial of–of all things!–cinnamon. Here’s my 5 minute sketch:

The smell made her light-headed with its stinging sweetness. She shoved the stopper back in the vial. The essence lingered and she took it in down to her toes. Was that how the poison worked, the intoxicating fragrance tempting the victim into sucking ever more in? She pulled the cork from the vial and held it to her nose. The smell made her soft palate ache, but it was a good kind of ache, somehow. If it killed her, she had to taste it.

She put the stopper to her tongue and fireworks crackled in her mouth. She sank down into the corner of her barren room, drunk on the aroma, wallowing in it.

She didn’t mark the time passing, but she realized the scent was fading. Tears stung her eyes as she secreted the vial in her pocket. She’d never sell it, no matter how hungry she got. It was the finest thing that had ever happened to her. 

That night for the first time in her life, she dreamed in color. Brown-skinned girls balanced thick bundles of long brown sticks wrapped in bright colored shawls and the breeze was the sweet breath of the Spice Islands cutting through the stink of ship’s tar and oakum. 

OK, now it’s your turn. Your character is smelling cinnamon–or anything pungent of your choosing–for the first time. Engage my senses.