To Pinterest Or Not To Pinterest...Is That The Question?
March 26, 2015Hi Everyone,
The editing continues and The Fixer: The Naked Man gets closer to completion. Yay!!! I spoke to my graphic designer, Alan, and the process of a book cover has begun!!
Continuing the discussion of letting people know about The Fixer, can we talk Pinterest for a moment? I discovered Pinterest through an article on book marketing. It was important to make a Pinterest board for your book. An author needed to do this. The article didn't really say why or how this was a necessity but it had to be done.
I signed up. I have boards for my two books, Project Jennifer and For Better Or Worse. I like Pinterest. It took me a few minutes to figure out it was electronic scrapbooking but I'm in. It's actually quite addictive, in a good way. When I put together my board for For Better Or Worse it gave me the chance to post pics of my inspiration for the Ian character: Ewan McGregor.
The weird, wonderful thing about writing is inspiration can come from anywhere, a movie, a song, an actor or actress. There were 10 characters in FBOW and yet, I really only had a visual on Ian. That doesn't mean I didn't love the other characters (and you really do need to love them all, even the ones that are shits), but having that picture reference helped me to develop the character and identify tics and habits. Like I said, weird and wonderful.
So back to The Fixer: The Naked Man. I had an idea of what Katerina Mills looked like before I made the connection to an actress that was the perfect match (more on that in a minute). However, the character of Charles Winter was the big surprise. I had trouble imagining him; I had trouble seeing him. I liked him but I couldn't seem to get a handle on him; he didn't stand out. I tried writing his description but it just... wasn't. I consoled myself. He was supposed to be a one shot supporting character anyway. In, out, and gone.
When I moved on to writing the rough draft for the second book, I couldn't stop thinking about him. Would he come back? Meh, I would think even as he kept lurking in the back of my mind (characters do that, you know, they lurk in the subconscious, just waiting for their chance to take over and run amok, little stinkers). I would think, maybe, he might show up again in a future book, someday... And then...
I was spending my Christmas holiday channel flipping and catching up on movies when...I saw Him for the first time (who for the moment will remain nameless). An actor who was the perfect inspiration for Charles Winter. He had it all: height, build, face, and that voice! That was all I needed. I had a visual and my character had the all clear signal: let the running amok begin!
That's when the writing took off like (insert your cliche of choice here - I'm going with "a bat out of hell." I like the old faithfuls :)). The whole relationship between these characters opened up. The direction of the series twisted and turned in unexpected ways. That weird, wonderful process of making connections and new meanings from narrative, plot twists, and dialogue began to flow. I could visualize what would happen to these two characters, what they would have to go through, the road they would have to travel, sometimes together, sometimes apart. Seeing my characters visually led me to seeing them emotionally. Now I'm even more attached to this series. And...yet again, I point out my "petite" problem...I'm the only one.
Sooooo, back to Pinterest and my marketing conundrum. Question: Do I make a Pinterest board and post pics of the actor and actress who are the inspiration for these characters? Isn't that doing the reader a disservice? Isn't that depriving the reader of the fun of choosing for themselves? Does it ruin the reader experience?
It is nothing new that writers find inspiration in actors for stories. How many screenwriters have said, "I wrote this part for (insert name here)." I do wonder what would have happened if John Malkovich had said "Thanks but no thanks" to starring in Being John Malkovich. Awkward.
Let's consider Jane Austen for a minute. When she wrote Pride and Prejudice , did she have a real life inspiration for Mr. Darcy? She could not have imagined that one day Colin Firth would be Mr. Darcy. (No offense to Mathew Macfadyen, his performance was excellent.)
How about Sherlock Holmes? Is it Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, or Benedict Cumberbatch?
Who would Arthur Conan Doyle choose? All of them? One? None? Will the real Sherlock Holmes please stand up? Actually, I think it is all of them, each in their own wonderful way.
The chance of the actors who sparked my imagination for Katerina Mills and Charles Winter starring in a film or tv adaptation of The Fixer series is probably something I won't have to worry about now or any time in the near future. But as Jake Barnes said in The Sun Also Rises, "Isn't it pretty to think so?"
But I do wonder, do I reveal this part of this story's evolution or should it remain the writer's secret?
What do you think? Let me know.
Until next time, when I tackle yet another path in the marketing maze, The Contest.