Author Guest Post
This was an interesting concept to me – storytellers using more than one platform to engage their audiences. The timing of it was even more fitting. I was finishing up the final draft of my novel Hard Hats and Doormats, which included plenty of mentions of Twitter and music playlists. Was there a way for me to better connect readers with my story through channels beyond the written format?
The concept is known as transmedia. You can read more about it here, but basically, that means telling a single story across multiple platforms. It’s an interesting idea, but how do you use it without alienating some of your audience? Even with the rise of ebooks – and my instinctive desire to want to include social media to develop my tech savvy character – not every reader has embraced new forms of technology.
Fortunately for me, Bernie Su, LBD’s head writer and co-creator, had some good insight to offer on the subject of transmedia storytelling:
The first thing you should know is my belief that “transmedia” should not be required. Transmedia should enhance but not prevent any viewer from enjoying the basic story without diving all the way down the story threads. I may not believe this 5 years from now but I believe it now and I believe it strongly. My writing team knows this and when they come up with cool transmedia threads the first thing I say is “great… as long as it’s not required.”
Now Bernie and I were speaking the same language. He and his team were using Transmedia as a way to provide bonus features for those audience members who wanted more story even when there wasn’t something to see, or in my case read. That’s something I could definitely use.
After doing this preliminary research, and before sending my novel out for another round of queries with agents and publishers, I snapped up a few Twitter handles for my characters. I wasn’t sure then if I’d ever tweet from those accounts, but I liked the idea of having real handles in the book in case a reader saw them in the text and wondered if they were real.
Enter @theLexiBurke (main character Lexi Burke’s handle), @RealKaraDeWitt (Lexi’s best friend and co-worker) and @Jason_Beaumont (her sexy co-worker and love interest). With those handles in my possession, I updated my novel and sent it away.
And then a couple of weeks before my book launched in December, I returned to those accounts and decided I might as well use them. While I don’t Tweet from them as often as I do my personal Twitter account, it has been fun for me to add a little bonus character development courtesy of social media.
By the way, if you decide to follow them, don’t worry about any book spoilers. They’re currently about five months behind the start of the novel.)
Another perk to today’s modern era is being able to share music playlists with readers. Instead of having to list 50 songs that might appear on Lexi’s travel playlist, I can provide you a few links:
• Lexi’s Pump-Up Playlist
• Lexi’s Travel Playlist
• Lexi’s Blue Playlist
And as a bonus here’s a link to my envisioned soundtrack for the novel and theme songs for each of the main characters. http://change-the-word.blogspot.com/2013/12/hard-hats-launch-day-soundtrack.html
Transmedia might be a passing fad, or perhaps it’s here to stay. Either way, it has become a way for me to be a more dynamic story-teller.
About The Author
Born and raised in Nebraska – in a city, not on a farm – she is a devoted fan of football, British period drama, writing in bars and her cats, Jane and Bingley.
Hard Hats and Doormats - Book Trailer
Hard Hats and Doormats by Laura Chapman
Publisher: Marching Ink LLC
Publication Date: December 9, 2013
Format: Paperback - 286 pages / Kindle - 732 KB / Nook - 2 MB
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: Hard Hats and Doormats
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
But after losing out on a big promotion–-because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol.
While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders.
Who says nice girls have to finish last?
My Book Review:
In her debut novel, Hard Hats and Doormats, author Laura Chapman introduces her readers to a smart professional woman who has sacrificed her personal life in order to follow the rules and climb the corporate ladder. But when she gets passed over for a promotion that she felt she deserved, she's tired of being a corporate doormat and playing by the rules, and adopts a new policy of going after her heart's desire!
Twenty-four year old Lexi Burke is a Human Resource Field Manager for Gulf America, a Gulf Coast chemical company based in Houston, Texas. She's a hard-working, dedicated professional who has been a stickler for following the company rules and regulations. She's sacrificed her personal life for her job, even while harboring a secret crush on hunky refinery plant manager Jason Beaumont. But all that's about to change when she gets passed over for a promotion, all bets are off, and Lexi is ready to follow a new set of policies, one that includes following her heart.
This was such a fun story to read, from the start you can't help but get drawn into Lexi's world. I loved following Lexi's journey of self-discovery and finding love. She's a realistic sassy woman who the reader can relate to, her transformation from strict rules follower to standing on her own two feet and finding a happy balance in her professional and personal life is well worth the read, especially when her heart's desire is a swoon worthy hunk of an oil man named Jason Beaumont.
With a quirky cast of characters who are fun to follow; humorous dialogue and interactions; a richly descriptive Texas and Gulf Coast setting; and a storyline that has a lot of laugh-out-loud moments; Hard Hats and Doormats is a thoroughly entertaining and easy read that will leave you smiling.
Kudos to author Laura Chapman on her debut novel, I look forward to reading more of her novels in the future.
RATING: 4 STARS ****
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