ARE WE TECH HOTTIES OR TECH NOTTIES?
Remember the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz movie, The Long, Long Trailer, in which Lucy convinces Desi to buy a house trailer to honeymoon and travel in and all the mishaps that befall them on the road? That is exactly the pattern of events that happened to Bonnie Myrick Eaton and me as we embarked on our Keyhole Conversations journey.
When Bonnie, my friend, co-author, and now co-video creator, suggested a video blog (otherwise known as a vlog) in which we would interview characters about their thoughts on their authors, I visualized something fun, easy, and quick. All we would need was five minutes in front of my webcam. Then we’d upload to YouTube and Facebook, and we’d be done and back to writing our novels until the next interview.
We enthusiastically began promoting our idea to fellow writers, and Arlene Rains Graber agreed to be our first guinea pig. She was the one who dubbed us as “Tech Hotties.” Then we set about making our first video. Bonnie, ever the artist with a couple of really great book trailers to her credit, began working on a Keyhole Conversations logo and ferreting out music to add to the video. Then we interviewed each other, and my innocence was quickly shattered when the webcam images blurred. We weren’t “Tech Hotties” after all; we were “Tech Notties.”
Since we couldn’t figure out the problem, I purchased a Kodak Play Sport video camera. The camera took great video, but the included free software for making movies was confusing, at least confusing for a “Tech Nottie” like me. After an afternoon of trials with the movie software, we tried to e-mail our first movie clip to Bonnie’s computer. Even though the instructions for e-mailing proclaimed the process easy, my e-mail did not take kindly to MP4 files. They wouldn’t send. We tried DVDs and flash drives, but Bonnie’s computer didn’t respond well to those.
After several afternoons of technical trial and error, we were finally ready for our first video, an interview with Arlene Rains Graber’s A Plane Tree in Provence character, Penny Wilson. Arlene was fantastic as her character. We shot the video straight through three times. Each time, something happened. An overhead plane drowned out the sound, a word was mispronounced, a line was forgotten, but I reasoned it would be easy enough to cut and splice. Wrong! Remember how Lucy tried to cook in a moving trailer and things kept crashing around her. That was the feeling I had as I settled in front of my computer. I was emotionally at the edge of a cliff when I finally finished cutting, splicing and rearranging.
We finished that first video and learned a lot. We learned to shoot short clips of one question and one answer, which made it easier to edit out mistakes. We learned saving and uploading takes a long time. We still worry when “high CPU usage” appears on my laptop computer’s screen.
We have persevered, and our first interviews are up. While we have not yet reached “Tech Hottie” status, our characters’ authors are brilliant. Here are the links:
Arlen Rains Graber’s A Plane Tree in Provence
Conrad Jestmore’s River of Murder
B.D. Tharp’s Feisty Family Values
Bonnie Myrick’s Out of Control
Hazel Hart’s The Night Before Christmas
For more information on our authors beyond the interviews, visit our Keyhole Conversations vlog. And while you’re there, be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss our book reviews. Remember, we always welcome your comments and suggestions.