Kaitlyn Dunnett, as many of you know, is a pseudonym. And some of you also know that I write non-mystery historical novels under a second pseudonym, Kate Emerson. Sometimes this triple identity thing gets a little confusing. Most of the time, it’s fun.
Back in October, the week before Hurricane Sandy came to town, I made a trip to Manhattan to meet with my (well, okay, with Kate’s) editor at Gallery Books and to make a short promotional video to be used at the Simon and Schuster website to promote the most recent Kate Emerson novel, The King’s Damsel, and the next entry, Royal Inheritance, which will be out this summer. Here follows a brief account of my experience in front of the camera.
I have to admit to a little nervousness going in. In the past I’ve been interviewed on local TV news and been filmed presenting programs and on panels, but I haven’t had a lot of experience in front of a video camera. I certainly don’t think of myself as particularly photogenic! Nor am I the glitz and glitter type. I don’t even wear makeup. So, what you’ll see if you watch the interview is the real me, wearing “business casual” with the stress on casual and looking the way I always do, except maybe a tad more neat.
Simon and Schuster has their own mini-studio in the same building with their editorial offices. A two-person team handled lights and camera while my publicist, with whom I’ve exchanged emails for ages but had never met until that day, read off the questions we’d prepared in advance. I’d thought of answers in advance, too, but that doesn’t mean I stuck to the script. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know exactly what I said until I saw the video. They told me I sounded fine, so at that point I took their word for it.
The instructions were simple enough. First, look at the camera, not at the person asking the questions. Second, try to work the question into the answer, since only my voice is on the finished product. I was seated on a high stool with one of those tiny microphones clipped to the neck of my blouse. There were two huge lights, one on either side of the camera, so I really couldn’t see much. The reassuring news was that everything would be edited and I could have a do-over if I needed it.
Let’s face it, for a writer, talking about her books and writing in general isn’t a hardship. I had no trouble babbling on in response to the questions. The only thing that needed to be re-done was right at the end. My editor, who had been sitting in the background, pointed out that I’d never mentioned the title of the next book. I added a bit to do that, and then promptly started laughing. I have no idea why. Probably from relief, since there isn’t anything inherently funny about the title. Anyway, we re-did that bit, without the guffaws, and that was it. I was off to enjoy a very nice lunch with my editor and I await, belatedly nervous, the result of my video interview.
It took a while for the video to be edited and posted, but the finished product (if I do say so myself) isn’t half bad. A few too many ah’s, but that’s better than “um” and a vast improvement over the habit I had as a young woman of ending every sentence with “y’know?”
You’ll find a link at the bottom of the blog.
Hey, I don’t want you to leave just yet. There’s more to this post, the audio portion, as it were. A while back, all six Kate Emerson historical novels, including the one not yet in stores, were bought by Audible.com. The first three are now available as downloads.
This is another first for me. The only other time anything I’ve written was recorded, it was a chapter in a grade school textbook taken from my juvenile biography of Nellie Bly.
The reader for these novels is Alison Larkin. She has a pleasant voice and a British accent. I have to admit that I’ve only listened to a tiny bit of one book. Aside from the fact that I have mixed feelings about hearing my own words read to me, I don’t have anything on which to download audiobooks except my computer. The last place I want to sit and listen for any extended period of time is in my office!!! I do listen to audiobooks when I’m driving, but my car doesn’t even have a CD player. I’m still playing audiocassettes.
For those with more up-to-date equipment, the three Kate Emerson novels available as downloads are The Pleasure Palace (11 hours 11 minutes), Between Two Queens (12 hours 8 minutes), and By Royal Decree (10 hours 32 minutes). They are all set at the court of Henry VIII and have a few of the same characters, but they are stand-alones as far as plot and protagonists.
I had no control over production or the selection of the performer, so I can only hope that the results will please folks who enjoy hearing books read aloud. There is, however, one small error in the listings at Audible.com and Amazon.com that I’m sharing here in the hope of minimizing confusion. This may not matter to anyone but me, but in both places they give copyright information and it reads “© Kathy Lee Emerson.” Now, you all know that Kate Emerson and Kaitlyn Dunnett are my pseudonyms, but my real name is Kathy LYNN Emerson, not Kathy LEE. And, trust me on this, Kathy Lee Emerson is one pseudonym I will NEVER use.
Unfortunately, a lot of people, especially those who were fans of Regis and Kathy Lee, make this mistake. It is really, really annoying!!! I’m pretty easy going as a rule. I’ll answer to Kathy, Kate, Kaitlyn, Sandy (my husband’s name), and even Hey, You, but I draw the line at Kathy Lee!
Okay. Rant over. And here, as promised, is the link to the video interview. Enjoy!