Category Archives: Videos

Wanted – One New Member! is looking for one new Member!


Yes? But have you heard that we are looking for one more author to join us?

 That could be YOU!

Have YOU bought your ticket for a Summer Audience yet 17 authors, a full programme of speakers and an address by celebrated author
Jeannie Johnson

If you are a reader, writer or even a


published author, then you will LOVE

A Summer Audience on 16 June 2012

Being held at:
Sir William Romney’s School in Tetbury, Gloucestershire

It’s a day of talks that will interest everyone who loves books – from branding and publishing, through to an insight into some very personal writing journeys. Readings from a wide range of genres, mini-workshops and mingling. A fun summer day out, that we hope will encourage a few new writers to begin their journey and for the more experienced to hear other new authors sharing their knowledge. But also for avid readers who are interested in getting a glimpse of the before and after life of a published novel. has 30 featured authors who were hand-picked and ‘invited’ to be members of our group … but we are marking our first ever event in a very special way – we are looking for our 31st author!

One lucky ticket holder who enters our ‘No. 31 Competition’ by 6 June 2012 will be chosen to join our group and become a featured author.

1. Purchase a ticket; one entry per person and a ticket number MUST be provided
2. Open to new writers and published authors alike, who are keen to join a mutually supportive and active group to promote each other’s work
3. Applicants must have a Twitter and FB account and be active on social media on a regular basis. This is a 100% active group
4. Entry requirements are listed below and must be received by midnight on 6 June 2012. Entries after that time may not be considered
5. A panel of members will pick the winner and their decision will be final
6. Please click through to read our website rules and confirm in your Email that you are happy to accept those rules if you are offered a place.
How to apply –
Send a short Email to : with the following
Name (if you use a pen name please supply your real name as well) Ticket number Country in which you live Genre/genres in which you write What have you written to date? Please list titles; if you are working on your first manuscript indicate when you expect to complete it Do you have a blog/website? Please insert URL Your Twitter A/C: @name

Answer the question ‘Why would you like to join our group’ – just a short paragraph Confirm you have read and agree the website rules
You will receive an automatic response confirming your Email has been safely received. Please note that this is a Inbox

And to those who enter – good luck, we can’t wait to see who will be joining
our wonderfully supportive group of Authors and Associate Readers!”

Readers’ Corner interview for TV Cogeco

Yesterday morning, fellow Writers’ Ink member, Joe Mossman, and I had the honour of being interviewed for our cable television’s local program, Readers’ Corner.

Joe Mossman, myself and host of Readers' Corner, Doreen Barnes

Doreen immediately put us at ease, although I must admit that I wasn’t the least bit nervous beforehand. The comfortable surroundings of the library at The Wedgewood Retirement Resort. This is the same venue where I plan on holding my book launch except I’ll be in the media room across the hall.

We talked about our group, Writers’ Ink, when it came to be, what we each got from it, how the meetings are structured, when/where/how often they’re held, etc. Then Doreen asked me about my novel. That would take an entire program on its own so unfortunately, she had to cut me off but we are going to do a program together after my book comes out so I have that to look forward to.

Once the link to our interview is available, I’ll post it here, so check back often. I’ll also post it on Facebook and Twitter.

T’is the Season…

I can finally say that I got my Christmas tree up and decorated, although things didn’t go quite as planned. I ended up moving all the furniture out of its’ normal position so I could have the tree out far enough I could walk around it as I decorated. This distressed the dog to no end because his bed wasn’t in its usual location and worse still, it was rolled up! I managed to move a few things around a bit more and spread out his bed onto which he promptly settled on. A couple of bruises later, as a result of bumping into things, I had the lights strung and the angel on the top. Phew.

As the tree took shape, after each string of lights, I paused and took a photo. It was on one of these passes across the room that I rubbed against the dog the wrong way and he let out a huge hound yelp. It didn’t take long to discover the reason for his discomfort. The entire flap of his right ear was engorged… with what, we didn’t know. I called the vet and luckily they had an opening. So we made a flying visit there. The poor beast has had chronic ear problems for as long as I can remember. It was explained to us at the vet’s that he’d broken the blood vessels in his ear shaking his head. But with his history, and the size of it, it was going to require surgery. They were very good with him and drained what they could out of his ear, and sent us home with the same pain medication he’ll be on post-op. So tomorrow, I’ll take my poor wee conehead and drop him at the vet’s on my way to work and then pick him up after.

You can really see in the bottom photo how swollen his ear flap is and they’d drained it. Basically, it will continue to swell until they can get in there and repair the damage. Poor boy. The cone they put on him yesterday is clear and he hasn’t tried to pull it off – not once, unlike the opaque one he had after a previous ear surgery.

Thankfully, the pain medication is keeping him comfortable. We gave it to him yesterday afternoon at 5:00 and he won’t get any more until the same time today.

His biggest problem right now is he can’t drink out of his dish with the water bottle. He tried yesterday and knocked the bottle off and we had water all over the place! All is not lost, we keep the bottle filled and on the counter so we just have to make sure his dish has water in it.

What is going to bother him the most is not being allowed to eat in the morning. Nothing after 8:00 tonight. He’s not going to be best pleased so say the least.

After our flying visit to the vet’s, I finally was able to finish decorating the tree. You can view the video I created here.

Book Trailers

They look and sound fantastic when well done. Not so much when they’re not. Who would have thought they would be so difficult to do and do well? Certainly not this girl.

Yeah, yeah, I bragged that I’d worked on my trailer for A Shadow in the Past and would be passing on the link when the time to reveal it rolled around. Read on and you’ll see why the big reveal is currently on hold.

Shortly after I launched my website, a few years ago, I put together really primitive book trailers for the two complete manuscripts I had at the time – Sarah’s Gift and The Anniversary. When I say primitive, I mean there was no sound track (music or narration) and it wasn’t even made with Windows Movie Maker (XP version). I converted the photos to .gif format and used Animation Shop that came with the version of Paint Shop Pro I was using at the time. You could still have transitions and some good ones at that. My biggest problem then was my 640×480 pictures were too big and part way through making one of the trailers, I would run out of memory… the computer, too… (grin) In the end, I had to resize my photos down to 320×240 in order to be able to get a single animated .gif saved so I could upload it to my website.

Fast forward back to the near distant past. When I accepted the contract from 4RV Publishing, I took down my novels page. Sarah’s Gift wasn’t Sarah’s Gift anymore. Not anywhere close to that first story I’d put together and had received more reject letters/e-mails than I care to remember. So why leave something that outdated and irrelevant up there? My other manuscript, I withdrew from the publisher since they’d had it for over two years and hadn’t done anything with it. Now, with the new first novel, this second manuscript in its current form doesn’t fit with my current direction. But I digress.

Back to book trailers. I experimented with the old Movie Maker (Windows XP version) and the new Windows Live Movie Maker for Windows 7.0. I decided that it was easier to start from scratch so I got my photos imported, my transitions and effects chosen, titles at the beginning and credits at the end. So far so good, you say. Not quite.

It was after I had the video set up the way I wanted that I decided to record the audio track. I knew what I wanted for it but it was almost half an hour long! I mean I wasn’t making a television show. So I found a good place to end the audio track. I’m still at about the eight minute mark but far better than what I had before.

So, plug my USB MP3 recorder into my laptop and download the file, open it in Audacity and I’m off to the races. Took a long time to cut the excess time at the end but I got there in the end. Then I thought some of my pauses were a bit too long so shortened them. I’d flubbed in a few places so was able to cut them out entirely (yay!) as I didn’t relish the idea of recording it over again. Import the audio track into my movie and save it.

I watched and listened and was feeling pleased with myself so took the plunge and uploaded it to You Tube. I sent the link to two people who have made book trailers and made excellent ones. People whose input I value. They both pointed out the same thing. I’m talking about one thing but the photo on the screen didn’t match. That was something that never occurred to me.

Back to the drawing board… I went back to my script that I read from and have marked what pictures need to be put where so now it’s a matter of getting the correct duration for them and their transitions to properly align themselves with my audio track. Oh, and those gaps I shortened before? I’m stretching some of them out again.

I read that the best size of photo to use for a book trailer was 640×480. I’ve been able to find “most” of the original book trailer photos in that size or larger so have scaled them to that size. Now I’m good to go. I think there were only two that I would have to hunt down and re-scan and they weren’t overly relevant to the scene(s) I narrated so I’m not overly fussed.

Irritating, aggravating and addiciting! Even though things aren’t going as well as I would have liked, I’m learning as I go and having a blast doing it!