Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
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(Note: I owe a massive apology to this author. I should have posted this about a month ago, at least, but my life has been hell with medical drama so it got pushed to the back burner while I focused on surviving the month of April.)
When I first heard of book trailers, I kind of thought they were silly. Why make a cinematic trailer for a decidedly not cinematic book? Then I watched a few really great book trailers—and immediately went and bought the books. How could I not? If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a book trailer is worth even more in showing exactly why the viewer should absolutely want to read this book.
So then came the question: Could I do a book trailer for one of my books? The answer was yes … if I was willing to suffer for it.
While the production company Cave Puppet Films set about finding an actress, my big job was the costume. Emi, the heroine, wears the traditional uniform of a Japanese miko—a shrine maiden—and I couldn’t just order one from Amazon. I had to make it myself. I’m not exactly a seamstress, so I recruited my properly skilled mother to help.
Eleven yards of fabric (if that doesn’t sound like a lot, imagine enough fabric to carpet a large room), many weekends, a lot of trial and error, and a horrifying moment where I accidentally stabbed myself with a pin and bled on the white kimono we’d just finished, but eventually we had a costume.
Cave Puppet Films had found the perfect actress, assembled a crew, and we were ready except for one thing—a location. Though we had originally wanted a mountain site, that just wasn’t going to work. Instead, we scouted some semi-local spots, but it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Imagine snow, cold, and steep terrain. I may have slid down the side of a ravine on my butt at one point. But locations were chosen and we were ready to film!
Shoot day dawned overcast—great conditions for shooting—but more than a little chilly at -16°C (3°F). Once the actress was ready, she and the five-person crew had to trek twenty minutes into the woods. And, of course, I was tagging along, determined not to miss out.
Then came four hours of trying to stand still and be quiet so my chattering teeth didn’t ruin a shot.
But cold or not, watching the filming process one of the coolest things I’ve seen. The best part, by far, was seeing the lovely and talented actress Seraphin in full costume in the snowy woods—my character, in the flesh, right in front of me, as though the book was coming to life before my eyes. It’s definitely an experience I will never forget, and yep, almost freezing to death was completely worth it.
Check out the Red Winter book trailer here: https://youtu.be/dqOJIzLihXc