Entries by Mary Maddox

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HOW I MADE MY OWN BOOK TRAILER

Here is the entire saga of my adventure in video production wherein I make my own book trailer, “Rad Pays His Respects.” Some readers may have already seen the first posts. If so, I invite them to pick up where they left off.

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What the hell is a codec?

After some research into editing software, I narrowed my choices to three: Sony Vega, Corel Video Studio, and Adobe Premier Pro. All three companies offered free download of a trial version that would function for a month then shut down unless you paid up. So I began with Vega. I downloaded the trial version of […]

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How hard could it be

When I began promoting Talion, I noticed book trailers were hot. I found dozens on You Tube, thirty-second or one minute ads with authors talking about their books or music and visuals to evoke the book’s atmosphere. I thought Talion deserved a trailer too. And I knew right away what it would be. In my […]

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I recognize that nasal stranger

I used Soundbooth to record myself reading the passage from Talion. Listening to my own voice was painful. Worse, the recording was peppered with electronic noise and distortion. Figuring I just needed practice using Soundbooth, I fiddled with the settings and made a second recording. More snap, crackle, and pop. I gazed at the pathetic […]

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Storyboard and Rough Cut

Joe laid down the rules. First, I had to make a storyboard laying out the shots of my book trailer and matching them to the voiceover narrative. Then I had to make a rough cut in Premier Pro. My trailer should be 60 seconds long precisely, Joe told me, like an ad on TV. “But […]

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There’s nothing you can’t FX

I trimmed my rough cut to a 60-second video keyed to the narrative voiceover. Still it wasn’t right. The framing and unsteadiness of some shots made them look like vacation movies. Since they were filmed on three separate occasions, the lighting and color tone didn’t match. All the shots were too cheerfully green for the […]

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Becoming a Writer

I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger on the site Review from Here. My post describes the moment when my imagination came to life:  When I was four, my family lived in Soldiers’ Summit, Utah, a forlorn place high in the Wasatch Mountains. Population two or three dozen people, tops. Our house was heated with a coal […]

Maybe a Blunt Rejection Hurts Less

Yesterday I was looking through an old copy of Milan Kundera’s The Art of the Novel when came across this form rejection tucked between the pages. I forget what story I submitted to The Quarterly but  I remember that this form letter, which tries so hard to cushion the blow, didn’t make me feel any better about […]

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Hallelujah! Happy, Happy, Happy!

I’ve just received the kind of review every writer dreams of. Not only does the reviewer love Talion but he appreciates what I’m doing in the novel. He notices style. And has style! Lu Jakes doesn’t have a chance. She never had one. She’s a teenager trapped in a Utah trailer with a drunk for […]

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I Am Interviewed on Bookpleasures.com

Here is a brief excerpt of my interview with Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com: “I’m not quite sure why the macabre draws me. It’s probably a combination of temperament, personal history and literary preferences. I see darkness in the world, in people, most of all in myself. But there’s light as well. I hope readers will […]