Thursday, May 27, 2010

A glance at the cover of James R. Knight’s history of the Battle of Franklin, was enough to make me aware of what I would find inside. Having grown up in the South where I was immersed in the culture and history of the region, I have always enjoyed books about the Civil War written by knowledgeable writers. Knight’s careful research of the events surrounding one of the most decisive battles of the war did not disappoint. He has a captivating writing style that makes you feel that you have been thrust to the events. You can, in fact, almost smell the dust, the periods of despair, and the push toward victory that drove these determined men onward. Most writers who explain historical events, strive to answer the question of why this particular set of circumstances occurred. Knight draws us a little closer to the truth in his careful attention to detail. This book, which is part of History Press’s Sesquicentennial Series, is available at Amazon.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Book Trailer

The making of a book trailer. It’s not as easy as you think -- or is it?

I turned off a busy street into the narrow entrance of a shopping center, then came to an abrupt halt, staring at the grill of an SUV. The parking spaces running at the wrong angle should have given the driver a hint, as should the arrow pointing into the wrong direction. I couldn’t back into the busy street, and after a lot of finger and hand motions from the driver, he reluctantly backed away and I came up the ramp and did a hard right to avoid a collision with his bumper. As I squeezed past, he leaned out his window and shouted, “What’s in your head, dude?” Had he paused for a moment, I would have told him. My head at the moment was filled with a song from a 1987 album by an Australian singing group called Midnight Oil. The video is on YouTube and is called, Beds are Burning. The album has been a favorite of mine for many years. For anyone thinking of creating a book trailer, there are some almost indescribable elements in this four minute offering that make it worth studying. The performance is a miniature movie with all of the plot and visual elements required to get the message across. Should you record something similar to promote your book? Probably not, but you can definitely get some ideas from the music, the musicians, and the message. It is a protest song about the mistreatment of the Australian aborigines and the need to address the problem. It almost makes me want to return to
the ‘60s and wave a sign or two.