Me, Myself & Baby I

Out of the mouths of babes

Author Sarah Pekkanen Gives a Behind-the-Scenes of Her Book Trailer & Highlights The Power of Women’s Friendships

When I implemented weekly Wednesday guest blog posts, never in a million years did I ever expect an internationally bestselling author who I’ve read and admire would happily contribute a personally written post for MY blog.  And I might add that we made the arrangements directly through Facebook, not through her publicist, agent or manager.  (There’s a story right there about how social media has changed all types of relationships and makes them more personal and profound)

I must say that Sarah Pekkanen is so in touch with her fans.  Not only does she have a Facebook page where she interacts with her readers, but she offered personalized book plates before the release of her most recent book These Girls.

Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally bestselling author of The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, and These Girls. Her work has been published in People, The Washington Post, and USA TODAY, among other publications. She lives with her husband and three sons (Jack, Will and Dylan) in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

For my first two novels, I hired professionals to create book trailers – and I was thrilled with the results. I loved the idea of using mini-movies to help spread the word about my books, and I heard from readers that they enjoyed viewing them as well.

But as my publication date for THESE GIRLS approached, I decided against filming another trailer for a variety of reasons – mostly because I wanted to try something different to gauge its effectiveness in attracting new readers.

Right after making that decision, I stopped by a cocktail party thrown by my hometown’s magazine and began chatting with the young videographer who creates content for the magazine’s website. Book trailers were on my mind, so I brought them up, and told her about ones I’d seen that I particularly liked (I’m talking to you, Julie Klam!) Then something strange happened; a fully formed idea for a book trailer lit up my mind.

“Do you remember at the end of the movie ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ when all the married couples talked about how they met?” I asked the videographer.

“Sure,”she said.

“My new book centers around three women who end up sharing an apartment in New York City, and become best friends,” I said. “Wouldn’t it be cool to find real-life best friends and interview them about how they met? And model a book trailer after those ‘When Harry Met Sally’ outtakes?”

“Yes!”she said. “And I can help.”

A few weeks later, I’d located more than a dozen sets of best friends – pairs of women as old as 93, and girls as young as 10 – who shared incredible bonds. I drove around town in my minivan with Emma the videographer riding shotgun, and we knocked on the doors of these women, who welcomed us into their homes and opened up their hearts. Some friends wiped away tears as they talked about the tough times they’d helped each another through (divorce, death of a parent, bankruptcy); others pairs of pals couldn’t stop laughing. They interrupted one another to fill in missing details, finished each other’s stories, and filled up their wine glasses and toasted to all of the adventures they’d shared. More than once, I had to pause before asking my next question because I was wiping away tears of my own.

The experience was incredible, and left me with a new appreciation for the power of women’s friendships. We shot hours and hours of raw footage and turned it into a 3-minute trailer for THESE GIRLS.

I’ve also asked the videographer for one final thing: to create a DVD for each of the women we interviewed that includes both the finished trailer as well as their full interview. I’m also planning to give all of these best friends bottles of wine to open while they watch their personalized DVDs. I’m hoping they’ll raise their glasses and toast to all of the adventures their futures hold.

Thanks again, Sarah!  You’ve raised the bar high for future guest bloggers.

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