Sunday, 20 April 2014

Guest Post with Amanda Thome, author of Worlds Apart: Ruination

Worlds Apart: Ruination
Behind 340 Pages
Released: 30 March 2014
Genre: Dystopian
Publisher: Athena Alley Press
Buy Me: Amazon
At the Other End:
What if everything that mattered came down to a single test? If your entire life was defined at the age of seventeen, could you handle it? Could you accept your fate even if it meant leaving the ones you love, or would you risk it all and stay?

Shhh... Take a Sneak Peek
“Total darkness falls as my eyes search the lenses of the goggles seeing windows to utter blackness. Something’s wrong. Maybe I’m failing the intake. What if I can’t test, what if the medicine kills me? Panic sets in. What if I am stuck in blackness forever? My thoughts are stopped instantly by a loud alarm.
It grows louder and nearly shatters my eardrums. I can’t concentrate or hear anything but the alarm and then suddenly a thunderous explosion sounds from the hallway we just passed through. The alarm continues to thunder in full force. I hear a popping noise that’s totally foreign to me. Is this part of the test?  
The loud speaker sounds a warning, ‘Our walls have been breached. I repeat, our walls have been breached.’”
Author Bio:
Amanda Thome is the Author of Ruination, book one in the Worlds Apart dystopian trilogy. Amanda grew up in Maine and later moved to Pennsylvania where she obtained her bachelor’s degree from Ursinus College. She later received her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from Columbia University. Amanda currently resides in San Antonio, TX with her husband Clint.

Some facts about Amanda:

1. I love writing books but hate writing bio's
2. I have a candy addiction. It's a problem.
3. I manipulate/crack my toes and neck A LOT
4. I moved to Texas on a 3 month work contract, 3.5 years ago...
5. My favorite holiday is Halloween (I think it relates to fact #2)
6. I want to have a mini-pig. I plan to name it Maxwell
7. I have 2 dogs and 1 cat, all of which think they are alpha and I am somewhere around delta. 
8. I am perpetually losing things. I wish my cell could call my car keys and vice versa.
9. It took me 24 years to pronounce pillow correctly. I used to say, 'pello' sort of like hello with a p.
10. My family thought I would grow up to be a comedian, I thought I would be a veterinarian. I ended up being a physical therapist that likes to write YA trilogies. Who knew...

Find Amanda:
Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Blog

How to: Book Trailers
Let me open by saying I am no expert on the matter of book trailers. I’ve simply noted several authors have contacted me regarding my book trailer, usually requesting information on how to reach the designer. Each time I’ve told them it was self-made and I tried explaining how they can take a half-day and make their own too.
I’ve found most authors get a bit overwhelmed and I imagine it’s due to the lack of step-by-step directions, links, and resources for DIY book trailers. I really want to use this post to walk you through how I designed and published my book trailer. There are countless ways to go about doing it on your own, this is just the way I used.
First off, it helps to view other book trailers. I started by going on youtube and searching book trailers in my genre. Once I had a firm idea on what styles spoke to me (voiceover effects vs. written text, music vs silent, still frames vs moving frames etc) I began the process of collecting media that stood out to me and helped tell the story of Ruination.
I scoured the internet (primarily using “stock photo,” “stock audio,” and “stock videos” as my search terms). There are MANY sites out there. The ones I used were: (buy the rights to stock videos, audio, illustrations or photos) (buy the rights to footage and photos) (some FREE stock footage or you can buy the rights to footage and audio)
At each of the above sites, I searched terms that related to my book including: ‘blue eyes, love, hate, death, wall, war, tunnel,’ etc.
That was probably the most tedious process of the entire thing. Once I had a collection of videos and photos that appealed to me I purchased the rights to them (all at a reasonable price). Once you purchase the rights they are available for immediate download.
I then began playing around with text/wording. I wanted to create a story that built suspense and intrigue without giving away too much of the story. I felt it was important to capture the essence of my story, which is a young adult dystopian novel that is full of action, suspense, and some romance.
With the “words” outlined (since I opted for text, not voiceover) I then downloaded ‘Windows Movie Maker’ for FREE (found by doing a google search).
Below is what your screen will look like when you open Windows Movie Maker:
In the upper left of this screen you can select the icon labeled ‘Add videos and photos.’ This will open your various documents. From here all you have to do is select the media you downloaded earlier and it will add it to your movie maker library.
Below is what your screen will look like once you have added your media:

Arranging/Ordering media: You can arrange/order your media anyway you want! All you have to do is click on the clip and drag and drop it in the location you want. If you want to use the same clip more than once simply select the desired clip, press CTRL+C. That copies the selected clip. To place the duplicate clip select a position on the screen and press CTRL+V.
Transitions: If you want transitions between your clips, select the ‘Animations’ tab on the toolbar at the top. There are MANY transitions to play around with, pick the one that works best for your trailer.
Themes: You can also set various movie themes/special effects to opening slides. One way to do this is to select the ‘Auto Movie Themes’ from the home toolbar and pick your favorite.
Trim/adjust clip: If you find a clip is too long, short, fast, slow etc, you can change that! Simply click on the desired clip then select ‘edit’ from the toolbar at the top. Here you have the option to ‘trim the clip’, ‘split the clip’, ‘speed-up’ or ‘slow-down’ as well as adjust any audio you may have!
Special Effects: Want your clip in black and white? Maybe blurred or in some other special effect? You can do that too! Simply select the clip you want adjusted and then select the ‘Visual effects’ tab from the toolbar and find the effect you want!
Audio: if along the process you want to add audio, you can do this by selecting ‘Add music’ from the toolbar on the home screen OR if you want to record your voice, select ‘Record narration.’ You can adjust the audio/narration as follows: Once it is inserted, simply double click on the narration, this will pull-up a screen that allows you to adjust start time, start and end points, and do things like fade in/out the audio.
Text: To add text to your clip, simply click on the desired clip and then from the home toolbar select ‘Caption.’ From here you can enter your text then format the size, font, positioning, running time and also add special effects such as fading in/out. You can also adjust the time the text appears on the screen from this section too!
Once you have made all your adjustments you can play your project by selecting the play icon from the home screen (just beneath the left picture box). Once you are happy with your project make sure to save it and then you can share it on various pre-programmed mediums including youtube, facebook, flickr, vimeo, groups, or one drive.

Book trailers are an excellent way for readers to get a sneak peek into your book and get excited about your work. There are many professionals out there that can design and produce fabulous book trailers. For authors that are more DIY minded or have tighter budgets this is a great alternative!
~ Amanda

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