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Book Trailers and Marketing Blog

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Mon, 04 Nov 2013 23:06:00 +0000


While everyone is excited about the new Christine Feehan web series Before the Dark because it answers a lot of questions from the book, gives insight to the first Prince of Carpathians and has its own mystery, there's a story behind the story that went on weeks before the shoot.  


What it looked like in the show and what it looked like prior. 
 

The time period is late 1400's to early 1500's so we got a little flexibility between medieval and Renaissance and we took into account things like the village would be lived in by nocturnal people who could access cultures around the world. There was some ambiguity as well. Did they have dignitaries from other races or places come to meet with the Prince or did they all stay to themselves for the most part? Since they are vampire hunters and vampires looked for human victims we decided that the Carpathians would have to travel sometimes.

We started construction first on Vladimir and Sarantha's home. They lived humbly for the most part, but they are being who love the sensual things of life. So we had pelts and furs everywhere. There was the main receiving area where Vladimir could meet with visitors or discuss strategies and then there was a room that led to their private chambers and was not open to visitors.

 
Vlad had a man cave. Yes, we gave Vlad his own personal room where he could contemplate the things that matter to him in private. He had his personal items, both sentimental and practical in here as well as him most favorite chair, a dark wood and dark leather chair that he spent a lot of time in. Primarily we see these two rooms when we see Vladimir and Sarantha.






Once the Vlad and Sarantha scenes were shot our team went to work using that same space but redecorating for Lycans. The Lycan seer, Catalina, and her husband Hemming were very different from the Carpathians. They had a traditional bedroom and in many of the scenes with them you can see a white bassinet just inside and if you really look for it you can see the side of a headboard near that.

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The room was decorated for people who live primarily in the day. You'll see antlers and other items you might associate with a werewolf couple. What people may not catch are the things you don't see there. Most Lycans are part of a pack. They travel and work together. And where you get a sense that Vlad and Sarantha are in a village surrounded by their people, Catalina and Hemming are set apart from everyone. That is a clue.

The final set and the only one not shot in the same space that of Yana the human empath. She is human and has human needs. She lost her mother not too long ago and lives alone. So, we gave her a cat. If you look real hard you'll see the cat sometimes. We felt that she would want companionship. She loves interacting with people and was very close to her mother, so we thought she would be lonely and gave her a feline companion. We wondered how many people would think the cat is a familiar, but truly it's a companion. Yana loves animals. Yana loves people. Yana is probably the most beloved person in the history of humans because the Lycans, Carpathians and the Mages all adore her.

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Since Yana is a midwife and herbalist she makes her living selling medicines and herbs. She provides much needed remedies for all races. She's like Florence Nightingale of the paranormal world. She has a beautiful heart and always wants to help people. She is trusted by all just as her mother before her.
Part of her bedside manner has to do with being an empath. She knows how people are feeling and puts them at ease. So, we wanted plants, dried flowers and herbs and lots of candles for Yana. She has an "open door" policy and her home is always at the ready for any unexpected guests. The chair Yana sits in is an antique rocking chair owned by director Sheila English and it was transported to the set each day of shooting.

The two biggest problems with Yana's set design had to do with the fact that the physical space was so small and we still had to fit a camera crew in it as well as actors, and that there was a large electric fence meter that we could not move. So we overcame the ugly device by putting up a patrician and running flowers through the cracks in it.

The location we used is a huge barn. We wanted to have a village look to it on the inside and this was perfect. The barn also had electrical outlets and that was perfect for lighting and plugging in cameras.
It took 6 people to design the set.

Some of the props inside the homes also have interesting stories. The hourglass in Vladimir's home was a gift Christine Feehan gave to all of the readers who attended her FAN event. The map on Vlad's table was hand drawn by Renee Fecher using a historical map of the area around the time the story is set.

The walls were dressed with different kinds of fabric or with table place mats made of wood, stapled across the wall in the barn.

They may call it "movie magic" but the only thing magical about the hard work that went into setting up the rooms was the final product; a room that transported back in time.






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Wed, 04 Apr 2012 22:47:00 +0000


Introducing a new series by NYT bestselling author Christina Dodd, Bella Terra the Deception Series.  Set in  California wine country an area the author loves to visit, you'll be introduced to the Di Luca family and their winery, Bella Terra. From the entrance gate Bella Terra is everything you would imagine a Napa Valley vineyard to be. With tangles of grape vines, roping for miles as it circles the winery. A world class restaurant, and resort.

Beneath surface however, lie old secrets.

Secrets have a way of not staying hidden, and those that are harbored within Bella Terra are surfacing will bring a trail of evil.

The first novel, Secrets of Bella Terra introduced the Di Luca family, the matriarch Sarah Di Luca who knows that the present generation may have to pay for the sins of the past. The three Di Luca sons, handsome, independent, and each harboring their own demons. Rafe the middle son is successful in his own right, and when ex-flame comes back to Bella Terra when grandmother Sarah is attacked, all the old feelings slam into his heart like an earthquake. They were young, in love, in passion, until his demons drove her away, leaving her feeling betrayed and heartbroken. His past, ghosts of Bella Terra's past, a priceless pink diamond, and an exclusive bottle of wine stand between them.

Revenge at Bella Terra continues the Di Luca family saga. Chloe was an author that burst onto the bestseller list with her first book. Now, she is struggling to write a second book that will be as good. Coming to the wine country to find seclusion and write, she is drawn to Eli Di Luca and his engrossing tales of the Bella Terra's secret and violent past.
Her heart  spins out of control for Eli, but the secrets of his own past will tear them apart. As the secrets unfold, danger and vengeance lay in wait, and she must trust this man of secrets who has broken her heart or she may never not survive.

Betrayal brings Noah DiLuca full circle from the sweet memories of a first summer love to her reappearance at Bella Terra nine years later. He walked away from her once, although she never knew he had to leave to save her. As their passion rekindles, will they embrace their hearts desires or will the same dark secrets that drove them apart, come back to end not only their love by their very lives?



Thu, 22 Mar 2012 19:14:00 +0000


Social mediaimplies socialization, exchanges of communication, dialog and community through media, most commonly online media.  The purpose of social media is to engage, yet people often mistake their own, personal purpose for using social media as the primary purpose.
Time and again I see people or agencies treating social media like the holy grail of outreach for their products and services.  Just because it can be used to further your product, service or brand does not change the fact that social media was not created for that purpose.  Using a social platform to encourage community involvement with you or your company or even your product is fine.  But, you need to be “encouraging community” and not just using it as your commercial platform or online cork board where one way communications happens from you to the people you hope will see your message.

If you are posting one way communications, hoping that will encourage people to talk, you have failed at social media. Epic fail!

IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME

With the right incentive this might be true. I would come to what you build if there’s something in it for me. 

And there are the magic words. “Something in it for me.”

Your communication should consider what the receiver of this message will get out of it. Why waste your time posting things no one cares about? I actually have an answer for that. We do it because we don’t know better, just don’t comprehend social media or because the delivery of the message is more important to us than the recipient. 

So many marketers make the mistake of using analytics as their primary source of determining what to do and when.  They make a science of relationships for the purpose of motivating people to care.  There’s got to be an oxymoron in there somewhere.

Using number crunching feels good to marketers and to companies because they feel numbers don’t lie.  Here’s the thing about numbers; they can be manipulated according to agendas and they do not tell the whole story. Maybe they do for widgets, but certainly not for human beings. 

Using numbers to motivate people to care is like saying the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42.  We can put a spin on it so it sounds good and fits our agenda, but smart people will always look to the agenda of the person giving out those stats. The answer to life, the universe and everything really is 42. If you don’t believe me, Google it. Really. 

The fact is, like with most anything, you have to work hard at social media if you want to motivate people to care about you or whatever you are hoping to promote.  You have to establish relationships, build a brand, create and maintain an environment of mutual trust and loyalty. It will not be instant.  It will take ongoing effort.  It is harder to do than crunching numbers even if you suck at math.  You have to have energy to be successful at social media and maintaining relationships. 

When I see someone commercializing their relationships on social media I cringe.  I see it and I know that is a shining example of why people hate marketers.  Those kinds of marketers only care about themselves. They are self-centered and have no interest in you beyond what they want to use you for. I don’t like those types of marketers either.

There are success stories out there though.  There are people using social media to engage people with their brand or product. Those marketers know the magic solution isn’t found in analytics, it’s found in relationships.

And before the marketers of the group start to say I’m nay-saying analytics, I will say that I do use analytics.  I like to measure how I’m doing and see if there are any trends I should be aware of. But, I do it responsibly and I do it to improve myself, not to manipulate people. Analytics are great, but with great analytics comes great responsibility, and you should always use it for good.

No one wants to feel like a number. No one wants to read ads. No one wants to be manipulated or tricked. Stop commercializing your relationships.  People want to feel valued, involved, respected and they want to feel that you are as loyal to them as they are to you.  If you want that trust, respect, motivation and loyalty from them get it the old fashioned way; earn it.

Article by: Sheila Clover English CEO, Circle of Seven Productions





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