Last summer when I should have been writing book two of the The Grave Winner series, I decided instead to make a book trailer. I borrowed my boyfriend’s shiny new camera/video camera and skipped out into the backyard with it and a pitcher of water. The water wasn’t for drinking, though I probably should have since it was August. Triple digit heat sucks. Did I mention I live in Hell?


Anyway, I scooped some mud up onto the porch and poured the pitcher of water on it to – you guessed it – make mud! But I had to work fast because the water was already being sucked into the hot air by that silly thing called evaporation. I mushed my hands into the mud and proceeded to slather myself with it. Because, you see, I needed to turn myself into a zombie who’s just come back from the dead. Then I had to take a picture of myself walking all zombified. Because that’s what I do on hot afternoons.

Here are my sexy zombie legs. I guess I’m also part vampire. Look at all that pale!

You can kind of see my owl tattoo on my right ankle.

You can kind of see my owl tattoo on my right ankle.

I don’t have a fence in my backyard, so it’s quite possible my neighbors wondered what the deuce I was up to. Perhaps they knew I was just some crazy, procrastinating writer. Or maybe they thought I was really a zombie. Either way, no one called the cops, so yay!


After I cleaned myself up, I came inside and started messing around with Intelli-Studio. It’s this movie making program that came with BF’s camera. He’d used it previously to produce videos of our Washington, D.C. vacation and of our cat being silly. So, since he’d already given me a one-minute tutorial, I set to work on arranging the pictures and video in the order I wanted.


It turned out I probably could’ve used more than a minute long tutorial because apparently Intelli-Studio is for intelligent people, and I can only count to monkey. But I can be crazy stubborn, so I guess that helped me kind of figure it out. The program does have some cool bells and whistles and stuff, which is why I refused to switch to an easier to use program. Did I mention I’m stubborn?


The photos and videos I’d taken weren’t going to be enough for what I envisioned, so I scoured the internet for royalty free websites. I found everything I needed at Not everything is free there, but the forest chase video, the kiss, and the scary lady were so perfect, I thought it was worth it to shell out a few bucks.


Now, I knew I wanted some movement with the scary lady picture because she’s pretty important. You can download Photo Story for free, and it lets you create movement with your pictures like zooming in on scary people so it feels like they’re chasing you. It’s not terribly difficult to use either.


By the time I got to this point, school had started and my book trailer production got pushed to the back burner. Then my computer died. All the work I’d done vanished. I blame Intelli-Studio for not letting me save my project anywhere other than the actual program. Guess how many four letter words I said on that day…


Luckily, I did still have all my pictures and everything I bought from saved to my flash drive. So, I started rebuilding everything. I was almost finished, but I needed my book cover, which I didn’t have yet, and some creepy music to make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you watched the video.


That’s when I found   I could spend hours at Incompetech! The catalog is giant, the music is high quality, and you can filter your search by genre or feel. I found two songs that were so perfect, I donated money to the website even though it’s all free. I also found the perfect ending sound to the video at


But guess what happened next? Since Intelli-Studio had it in for me from day zero, it picked up a glitch at Glitchville and threw it in my face by deleting my entire project. Oh, the words I said. The things I threw. To be honest, I probably should have called the cops on myself. BF and the kitty slinked around on top of the eggshells that spotted our floor for hours.


Then, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I started again at the beginning. You’d think I’d learn to switch programs! Give up! Have someone else do it! But no.


When I got my amazing book cover, I added it to my book trailer and was pretty much done. I declared it finally finished when I threw it up onto Youtube.


If you’re asking if I will ever make another book trailer again, the answer is NO! But I think it did turn out pretty great. Here it is in all its glory: