NovelRocket readers, I'm delighted to introduce my friend, Lynne Gentry, with you today. We've known each other for close to a decade, having been in the same small critique group in North Texas for a number of years. It's an honor to share Lynne and her story with you today. Enjoy!
For many writers, the only thing worse than standing in front of an audience is standing in front of a camera. According to the vacation video your teenager took of you on her phone, you sound like a braying donkey, your laugh lines are canyons, and even if you worked out for weeks, you would never have the arms of Michelle Obama.
But here’s the deal. Well-done author videos help sell books. Is there a way to make the experience less painful and more successful?
While I offer my acting clients all sorts of media tips, there’s one little secret that always changes their on-camera appearance. Commercial actors call it creating a vis-à-vis. A make-believe person to talk to instead of the camera.
You’re a writer. You make up people all the time. How hard can it be to create an imaginary audience and then strategically place them in front of the camera lens? Like who, you ask. Depends on your message.
You speak differently to a child than you do to your boss or a stranger. Selling mature fiction? Pretend you’re talking to your grandmother. Have a YA dystopian? Imagine an impatient teenager standing in front of you and suddenly your choice of words and vocal inflections change. Who you create in your mind depends on who you’re targeting with your video.
But no matter the listener you chose to create in your head, remember readers want to feel connected to their favorite authors. Always talk to your vis-à-vis as if you were talking to your best friend. Imagine yourself sitting at a kitchen table with a cup of coffee. Look into her eyes. See her encouragement? The moment you do, it changes the way you feel. A smile forms at the corners of your mouth. Your eyes twinkle. Your voice has a much more natural cadence.
Most importantly, changing the way you feel, changes the way you look on camera.
Go ahead. Make your videos. And remember, bloopers make great party fodder.
Lynne Gentry has written for numerous publications. Her latest novel, Return to Exile, is the second book in The Carthage Chronicles series. She is a professional media trainer and public speaker. She is a playwright with several full-length musicals and a children’s theater curriculum to her credit. Lynne loves spending time with her family and taking her medical therapy dog to visit the hospitals.
ABOUT RETURN TO EXILE
Six years ago, impossible circumstances forced Dr. Lisbeth Hastings to leave behind the love of her life, not just in another country, but in another time. Her work as a top-notch epidemiologist and parenting her little girl helps alleviate the pain, but at night when her exhausted head hits the pillow, images of her beloved Cyprian haunt her sleep.
Cyprian Thascius returns from political exile a broken man. He’s lost his faith, the love of his life, and his purpose. He attempts to move on, to face the danger that is looming over Carthage, but when Cyprian’s true love suddenly reappears, his heart becomes as imperiled as the fledgling church he seeks to save.
Have the years that kept Lisbeth and Cyprian apart created too wide a chasm to bridge? In the midst of a new epidemic and rising oppression, will their love be the most costly fatality?
Filled with gripping action and raw emotion, this spell-binding adventure of star-crossed lovers captivates with every turn of the page in this electric continuation of The Carthage Chronicles.