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Friday, September 22, 2017


By Rain Trueax

Finding a way to communicate with readers is an ongoing issue for many writers. In 2013, I discovered videos of authors discussing their work. One particularly memorable one was by Mary Alice Monroe. It was lovely to watch her on the river as she discussed her book. 

Other videos were of writers sitting at their desks discussing inspiration for their latest book. I liked both types but it was the latter that made me think-- hey, I could do that. All it needed was a webcam or cell phone, and willingness to give it a try. In 2013, I made my first.

Creating a blog, [Videos and Discussions], I kept its title loose because it was in my mind that maybe I could find others who would share their videos there and by others, I was thinking not only writers but painters, photographers, potters, sculptors. I've seen videos of painters showing their work coming together and it's exciting to view process. Well, the sharing with others didn't transpire, and then I forgot about doing them for a few years until early this September when I'd been watching RV folks talking of their lives. Hey, I could do that and did my first new one since 2015. 

When we have something we dearly love doing, the topic isn't hard to find. Where I still use my webcam, it'd be easy now to use a cell phone and I might switch to that in the future if I do some outdoors. 

I think of mine, not as a lecture but chatting with a friend. To that end, I do not write out a script or outline. To find what I want to say, I begin by talking into the webcam for about four minutes-- these are not keepers. I usually do a couple while I figure out what works.

Since my desk is in the living room, I want lighting right for the webcam, which is above my monitor. Turning off and on some lights, I aim for stronger lighting on one side of the room. Next, comes getting me ready. I put on makeup, the kind that I only use when heading to town. Neutral colored tops seem to work best for me. When I looked back over the videos I've made, I realized I own a lot of tan tops... If I play music, it has to be very soft, unless it's where I own the digital rights, as some regularly look for copyright infringements on YouTube-- and it can be an infringement if it's recognizable. 

Once I am doing them, the phone will ring or my husband walks into the room when he didn't know what I was doing. Eventually though (third try for the one below), I get one that works. Listening to it, there were a few 'ands and uhs' that I wish hadn't been there but not enough to redo it.  Doing it too many times would make it stale and lead me to be bored and showing it. Last step is sending it off to my YouTube channel. That's where I also have book trailers and nature videos that have come out of trips.

If you have done such videos, I'd love to add yours to Video and Discussion. For me it is part of connecting on a different level, making ourselves real to those who only know us online, and sharing our inspirations.


  1. Rain, what a great idea. I really enjoyed your video. I am so timid about making one like yours because I don't like the way I photograph--they look like me. :) You did a lovely job.

  2. Thank you, Caroline. I think lighting is key. I am sure your many fans would like seeing you talk about your inspiration. It adds a little reality to this cyber world. YouTube gives us a chance to know others in ways we won't likely. I enjoy watching people discussing a lot of topics (RV living is a recent favorite).

  3. Nice video. Like Caroline, I'm not keen on being photographed or video-taped. Have you noticed an uptick in sales after you post it?

  4. I don't think these videos add to sales anymore than the book trailers do. I am also not sure readers care if the author is good looking. It's the enthusiasm for the books that matters or has to me. I have found authors that way though and looked for more of their books. The trailers take more time to do as they have to be put together. Here, I am just talking what is on my mind. I will have to keep track in the future to see if it matters.


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