What Haunted Me At 17?

8614306455 d0a946ce5d What Haunted Me At 17?

Yesterday was my birthday, which is a pretty good time to reflect on the person you were, are, and hope to be. (Or let’s be honest, I’m actually writing this on my birthday to post it tomorrow, and if that seems a little overly honest, then think again. Maybe it’s just some distancing tactic – I wouldn’t put it past myself.) Anyway, over the last week or so, I might have thought a lot more about getting older if it weren’t for the fact that I was thinking about who I was, and more importantly, what haunted me at 17 for a guest post on Nova Ren Suma‘s blog in support of her new YA novel, 17 & Gone. (I even had the chance to

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Melissa Montovani at 17, or thereabouts.

peek into my old journals for the first time in years and realized just how dramatic I was back then, and I have to say that some veils are better left closed.)

Now, I’m excited to say that my guest post was published on Nova Ren Suma’s blog on Saturday, but I’ve been so busy that I hadn’t had the chance to share the news with you. If you would like to see what haunted me at 17, then please check out the post. My contribution to the Haunted at 17 blog series is one of the first times that I’ve opened up on the Internet in a personal way, and it’s about a situation that I think a lot of people (teens and otherwise) have gone through, even if not in exactly the same way as I did, so I hope it resonates with you.

And then once you do that, definitely go out and read 17 & Gone if you haven’t already (it’s available now). This suggestion is especially fitting if you like slightly creepy, Gothic YA because from past experiences, I can tell that Nova Ren Suma knows how to tap into the consciousness of a haunted teen perfectly. Also, Gothic literature is one of my favorite types of reads, so yeah, there’s that. I mean, even if you aren’t up on  all the ins and outs of Gothic lit, you can read it because it’s my favorite type of book if you want. I’ll let you. icon smile What Haunted Me At 17?

  20 comments for “What Haunted Me At 17?

  1. January 28, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Oh wow I am the first person to comment and it’s my first time here too. Well the first trailer did nothing for me at all. Based on it I would not go out and get the book or read it I’m sorry to admit. It was bland and uninteresting (the trailer not the book). But the second author created one was intriguing and captured my attention. It made me want to read it, and pass along the video to some friends. Some of the best book trailers I have seen were made by authors. And with all the free resources out there their no reason why authors shouldn’t go make their own. I mean who better understands a story than it’s creator?

  2. January 28, 2011 at 5:26 am

    I much prefer the second one, too. I remember watching it a while ago and being thoroughly impressed. :-)

  3. January 28, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Yes, you definitely are the first person to comment on this post, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed your first visit to YABookShelf.com. :)

    I completely agree with you about the first trailer. I think that I’d already read the description for Hold Still before I ever saw either of the trailers, but I don’t think that the first one would have won me over either. I think that the tone of the book should be matched by a trailer, even if the images are different from the book cover for the most part, and I really don’t believe that the creators of this trailer matched the tone at all. I’m glad that you had the same reaction as I did to the second one, and I hope that you love the book as much as I did when you get the chance to read it.

    I agree with you that an author definitely has a way into the story and understands it intimately. As someone who studied English literature and who was all about the literary criticism in the past, I think it’s possible for other people to have a great understanding of a novel, but they have to work at it. Sometimes that doesn’t happen with various aspects of marketing, but I think for someone to really engage readers with their efforts (whether it’s through book design or book trailers), then NEED to understand the book intimately too. If they don’t, then I think you’re right that an author might have a very real advantage when it comes to creating a book trailer.

  4. January 28, 2011 at 9:23 am

    That was the same thought I had when I first saw the second one, too, Helene. In fact, I can’t really only watch it once. When I see it, I have to play it again at least 3 more times. I really have no idea how many times I’ve seen this trailer. : )

  5. January 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    When I think of trailers, I think of the one that Maggie Stiefvater did on her own for Linger. She even composed the music for the background. It was stop-motion and she did all the cut-outs herself. She’s super talented!! At the end Scolastic has a part in the trailer, but following Maggie on her blog, she did the hard work behind the trailer. Successful!

  6. January 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I know exactly what you mean about the ones Maggie Stiefvater did for not only Linger, but also Shiver. Those were gorgeous trailers and I think they were really successful as well.

  7. January 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Just saw this post on All Things YA and had to stop by.
    I’m a debut author and I’m working on my trailer now. The process reminds me of why I hated screenwriting! In a trailer (like a movie) so much of the story is told visually. I’m good with words, but imagery? Type treatments? Music? (Not to mention putting it all together.) It’s pretty cool that so many authors are able to do it all so well! I’ll follow along the discussion and see what I can learn. Thanks!!

  8. January 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks for stopping by, Amy.

    I can only imagine how overwhelming the whole process could be, and I know from experience that it doesn’t always work in the favor of the one who is trying to do it. I think the author-created/funded trailer for Hold Still definitely does suggest that it is possible. And of course, every one you make will only get better. :)

  9. January 28, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Oh wow the second trailer is so much better. I think low budget trailers often feel like they have more heart. That being said if technology and money are used right they can make awesome trailers, but the heart still has to be there.

  10. January 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Yes, you’re right about that…no matter how much something costs, it definitely must have the heart in it. It’s true of any trailer, but with a book like this, I think it’s even more important.

  11. January 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I definitely liked the author-made video better. I think a lot of what makes a “good” trailer boils down to concept — is the trailer fascinating enough to make you want to learn more about the book?Eyeballing low-budget vs. high-budgets can be tricky. Sometimes it can be hard to categorize production value just by looking at a video. Although if I saw something with tons of VFX/mogfx I’d assume that it’s higher budget. I did a live-action book trailer for a joy project with no budget and I have no idea whether it looks like someone spent money on it or not.One of my favorite author-made trailers is Courtney Summers FALL FOR ANYTHING. Captures the tone and emotion of the novel perfectly.http://courtneysummers.ca/2010…/

  12. January 28, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I see what you mean about it difficult to be 100% certain about the budget used for a book trailer. It’s possible that an author with a great concept might put more money into it than a publisher would. And of course, the way one can judge a trailer is successful is that it has a great concept and it’s executed well. If, on the other hand, something is executed well, and there is nothing behind it, then it won’t mean much.

    I know what you mean about the Fall For Anything trailer fitting the tone of the emotion. I’d seen it before, but I’m glad that you’re sharing it with everyone.

  13. Darcy
    January 29, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Melissa:I did a blog post in response to your article. Enjoy!http://booktrailermanual.com/b…/Darcybooktrailermanual.com

  14. January 29, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Thanks Darcy! I’ll check it out. :)

  15. January 29, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Oh, wow, I loved the trailer put together by the author so much more. I wasn’t expecting that.

  16. January 29, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Yeah, I think I know what you mean. We have an expectation that a publisher would understand how to create something better, and sometimes that is very true. Just not all the time.

  17. Kathleen
    March 26, 2011 at 4:24 am

    I just found this site. I like the author one better too. I made one for my YA fantasy coming soon that was fun to do but my musical choices were limited. Here is the link to mine:http://animoto.com/play/Ru3qVx

  18. March 26, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Yay! Hope you like my site, Kathleen. :)Yes, it’s so much better than the one that Penguin created. I think, in part, because it reaches the aesthetic that people have come accustomed to seeing on the web – the YouTube aesthetic. Plus, you get the voice of the character who is there but isn’t there in the novel, a voice that conveys real emotion.Thanks for sharing your video as well. I like the look of it, despite the fact that I generally prefer trailers with video, rather than picture content. It’s too bad that you couldn’t select any music that you wanted.

  19. Marian Rocco
    April 6, 2011 at 2:19 am

    The author-made trailer is beautiful. It is hard though, to get the professional feel that you want in the video, even if you have captured the emotion in the book. This is the one that I made for American Smile early last year, using students, friends and a JVC camera.

  20. April 6, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Yes, I’m sure that it is difficult to get a really professional look when you don’t have professional equipment at your disposal. I think that, in the case of the Hold Still trailer, some of the author’s friends went to film school and helped in the conception and making of it.

    I checked out the trailer you made for American Smile as well as the earlier one that was posted a year ago. The one you mentioned above is a lot more professional looking and sounding because, like the Hold Still one, you don’t have actors with speaking lines and the settings are more believable than the party scene in the earlier trailer. Personally, I think that voice overs work better than amateur actors playing the role of particular characters in the novel. Even the music, which isn’t modern at all, works better because the viewer has a sense that it’s a story about World War II. Finally, I like the trailer you mentioned because it tells less of the story and thus, gives the viewer more of a tease of what they can expect from the novel.

    Thanks so much for sharing it, and please feel free to come back on Fridays to see what trailers we’ll be discussing with Book Trailer Talks. :)

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