Tag Archives: art

Where Is Your Creative Zone?

by Jessica Barrett, Events Manager

I am a painter. Oil and acrylics. Landscapes and still life. Lately, I haven’t been very inspired likely due to stress, a recent bout of the flu and a winter that just won’t go away. But this past Sunday, I got up early and enjoyed some reading and coffee in the quiet of the morning, went and got a massage, then went to my mom’s for Sunday dinner. While there I sat on her sunporch with the sun beaming in through the glass, I laid down in the warm light, stretched out like a cat and fell asleep.

I awoke later to sound of my toddlers talking to grandma about bees, butterflies and flowers. And in my freshly awakened, relaxed state, it hit me. I should paint something whimsical. Something for one of my girls’ rooms. Later that evening, looking out my bay window into my wooded backyard, I did just that. I painted some cute buzzy bees – it was outside my comfort zone and it felt great. And, if I must say so, it turned out cute.

Recently, my colleague, Shelley, wrote asking what inspires you as an author, what drives you to write every day and what drives you to create your next masterpiece. It’s not just ‘what’ inspires you, it’s also ‘where’ inspires you.  You need to be in the right frame of mind, the right place and the right time for true inspiration to take over.  My quiet morning, massage, catnap, and favorite spot in my home put me in the creative zone.

Where is your creative space?

You Oughta Be In Pictures!

by Hashim Hathaway, Literary Publicist

Book adaptations for the screen are all the rage. Have been for years. Filmmakers are always looking for new and fresh material to adapt into movies for mass consumption. If you think about it, there are only a set number of ideas in Hollywood, and the majority of them usually find their beginnings on the printed page. Now generally, the main books set for adaptation generally come in the form of whatever latest best-seller is setting the world on fire. Authors like John Grisham, Stephen King or Tom Clancy represent some of the names that usually appear on the hotlist of producers. It seems whatever they write usually ends up as some sort of film property. If this is true, how can an indie author compete?

Generally, those marquee authors get their film deals not just because they’re popular and well read – placing them in the sights of studios and producers – but also because their agents negotiate deals for adaptation. Their agents work around the clock to sell the rights to their films, to offer studios first-look deals to whatever book comes down the pike. For the indie author who generally has no agency representation, the opportunity to see their work on the silver screen seems like a near-impossibility. But nothing is impossible.

Arguably, the first step towards seeing your words come to life on screen is to write something worth watching. It seems like such an arbitrary thing to say, but the reality is that there are many authors who want their work to end up on screen; however they never stop to think whether or not it should. If you’re one of those authors who want to see their dreams come to life, then the first step is to write something that you yourself would pay to see. Of course, opinions vary, but to be able to visualize just what you’re writing as film material would help make selling your property a bit easier.

There are many steps to take to make it all happen, but for the indie author, there is always help. With the new Hollywood Book-to-Screen packages from AuthorHive, authors have the unique opportunity to have help in preparing their material to catch the eye of producers and filmmakers always hungry for new and exciting content.  Authors will work with professionals who are skilled in creating treatments and even scripts based on the author’s material, all with the goal of attracting the attention needed to make the transition from book to screen. Certainly, there are no guarantees in life, but with the help of AuthorHive there is finally a chance for indie authors to get their work on the Silver Screen along with the likes of Grisham, King and Clancy.

Twitter “Noobs”: 5 Things You Can Learn from @50Cent

 by Sandy Dunwoody, Literary Publicist

In my eyes, the introduction of @50Cent and @OprahTheDog has to be the most interesting (and educational) development in the Twitterverse since…well, Twitter itself.

For those of you who are still in the dark, platinum-selling rapper 50 Cent—who once left his Twitter account to his PR team—suddenly became active in the Twitter world, slinging grammar-challenged tweets rife with controversy into cyberspace. Since then, 50 Cent has been experimenting with fan engagement while gaining footing with a new medium to spread his message. He tweeted that he was looking for love online, which started an avalanche of responses and Twitter photos. He also recently created an account for his dog “Oprah,” garnering over 8,000 followers in two days, and his hints at the dog’s abusive “master” enflamed the animal advocate group PETA. 50 Cent’s garbled tweets even inspired a mock “Queen’s English” 50 Cent translation Twitter page (@English50Cent).

 I’d argue there are a few lessons to be learned from 50 Cent for those who are new to Twitter, both on what to do and what NOT to do (who would have ever thought 50 Cent could be educational?):

  1. Be Active:  At first, 50 Cent was leery of Twitter as a medium to reach his fans—much like many who still are unsure of the value of the popular social media site. But, once he jumped in and began tweeting regularly, he saw a quick response from his followers (now numbering over 3 million). Now, he tweets several times an hour and has mastered the art of links, attachments and replies.
  2. Be Personal:  When his account was maintained by his team, 50 Cent’s tweets lacked the singeing personality and pizzazz that they have now. Now, we can peek into his whirlwind life as a famous rapper (which, if you judged merely by his tweets, consists mostly of sex, money and “hustling”). By being humorous, personal and newsworthy, he’s given followers a reason to pay attention to him (besides his obvious fame factor).
  3. Engage!:  Inspired by the immediate buzz he made, 50 Cent created ways to engage his fans. His quest to find a girlfriend online started an impromptu contest, and even celebrities like Perez Hilton joined in for fun (although 50 Cents resulting homophobic tweets caused a stir in the gay community). While I wouldn’t suggest mimicking his behavior entirely, he has the right idea of using creative methods to engage your followers and keep them interested. If you’re an author, for example, offer a free chapter to your followers.
  4. Be Responsible:  A warning: exercise your power responsibly. I think most would agree that 50 Cent has been abusing his influence and his 3-million-follower soapbox by causing unnecessary controversy. Twitter is a great tool to use to your advantage, but be aware of the consequences.
  5. Be Professional:  It would be safe to say that if 50 Cent’s mother was next to him when he tweeted, he’d be getting soap in that mouth of his! Remember that Twitter is a very public platform, and if your account is public anyone can read what you write. Tweet as if your mother, child, teacher AND employer have access to your Twitter page. That means cutting out profanity, writing legibly, and not tweeting about anything you would deem embarrassing.

What are your thoughts about 50 Cent’s sudden arrival to Twitter? Does it inspire you to become more involved?