It's one of those moments that make you go, "So that's why I became a writer." A link from Pinterest showed up on my Google Alerts, and I clicked through to find a board inspired by my novella Poison Dance.
It blew me away. The pinner had posted images for everything from characters to settings to the Minadan spices that play a key role in the plot. As Poison Dance's author, I obviously have images of the story in my head, but there's something about seeing it presented visually that really brought it to life.
So... after I finished squealing, I tracked down the pinner: Morgan Mittelbrun, an art student who loves to read books and dance. Turns out that Morgan makes a lot Pinterest boards based on books she reads. I thought they were awesome, both from the perspective of a fellow reader who loves to fangirl over my favorite series, and as a writer who might use boards like these for writing and marketing. I invited Morgan to drop by the blog for an interview, and she kindly agreed.
(Slight aside: I found out later that Morgan had posted the pinboard on my Facebook page, but I never saw that message because Facebook automatically hides posts made by other people. A cautionary tale, for those who run facebook pages... )
Livia: What made you start putting together Pinboards for the books that you read?
Morgan: About a year ago I started posting images on tumblr to connect with other readers. I found that I was particularly interested in the idea of an archive. I liked the set up really. It was so structured and yet open at the same time. I was so conscious of how each post interacted with the one before it.
A few months after I found Pinterest (probably while searching for images on google) and that's when I was able to create and contain my own archives for the books I was reading. While reading at the time I had all these vivid images in my head about the characters and their world and no way to express it. Pinterest gave me my own personal database of images to pull from and put together to try and create the worlds and characters I loved to read about.
Livia: Do you have any favorite boards you'd like to share? What do you like about them?
Morgan: That's a tough question. Making boards is such a process and it's taken time for me to develop my style. I don't know if I have a favorite but I'm probably most attached to the first board I made, SCARLET by AC Gaughen.
|Once An Angel|
It really allowed me to begin stretching my full creative capabilities and sort through images by picking out the specific ones I'd wanted to use. There were so many things to draw upon, the medieval settings, weapons, and gowns as well as jewelry that I could connect back to symbols in the book. Her story is actually what led me to yours!
The latest board I've made is for Once an Angel by Teresa Medeiros and I believe if you switch back and forth from my first and latest you will see my progression and development of style. In the past I've tried to make boards while reading and found that I liked them less in the end because the boards reflected more of my own ideas of the book rather than me actually translating them through images after I had finished the last page.
I'd say Monstrous Beauty, Of Beast and Beauty, For Darkness Shows the Stars, and Across a Star Swept Sea are some of my best boards because I feel that they are very specialized in the world of the books they were created for. I love all my boards though. They're testaments to my love for the books they're made for.
|For Darkness Shows The Stars|
Morgan: Thank you so much! I really liked how the board for your Novella turned out. There aren't a lot of images pinned but they all work well together to create a cohesive description of your descriptive world!
I'd say to start with breaking down the elements of the story. The setting, characters, and symbols in the book help lay the groundworks for your board. If it's hard to know where to start just try typing in key words to generate ideas about what you want your board to look like. I always begin with the book cover. I then use the colors and overall theme to develop my color pallet and style of images I'll end up pinning to the board. Although this is less important in regards to finding things that speak truth to the book's words. Then I start looking into what type of clothing or accessories the characters would wear. Look for clothes and accessories inspired by symbols in the book that you can incorporate in your board. I love looking up jewelry. I use etsy to also pull clothing choices. Keep in mind that you have the whole internet at your fingertips as well.
Pinning character selections usually starts with physical descriptions. Hair color, eye color, etc. I might type in "medieval girl" or "auburn hair and blue eyes" like I did for your board when looking for Thalia. You'll be amazed at the variety of images that pop up. If I get stuck or can't find what I'm looking for I continue to type in words or phrases that will help me find the images I'm looking for. Once I have the images in front of me I think back on how I envisioned the character in my head while reading and try to find an image that either fits well with the board or carries an essence of that character. It's best sometimes to just like things and then refer back to them. Once you see them all together you can begin to pick and choose which you'd like to pin and in what order.
The images are there. You just have to be creative with your word search and be willing to spend the time to scroll through all the images. Be creative and have fun! My boards are my way of expressing my feelings and unwinding
Livia: You mentioned looking for images on etsy. Do you search anywhere else, or do you usually stay in pinterest and google images?
Morgan: I usually stay in pinterest and google but anywhere else if fair game. There are so many great image sites to choose from. It just depends where my search leads me.
Livia: Thank you so much, Morgan! And now I'll turn the questions over to my readers. Do you ever use Pinterest for writing or reading inspiration?
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I've been tempted to use interest for works in progress, but concern about copyright issues holds me back. Any advice?ReplyDelete
That's 'pinterest.' Autocorrect doesn't believe in it...ReplyDelete
Wow, what an honor to have someone pick out cool pictures based on your novella! Beautiful pics too.ReplyDelete
Very neat, it's a great board! I've used Pinterest for two of my novels, but I've kept them secret, where only I can see them. I figure when I suddenly started pinning gargoyles and pistols, people would think I was really weird... =)ReplyDelete
very cool idea! i might do this for my books! thanks for the inspiration.ReplyDelete
Oh, that's just cool.ReplyDelete
What a cool idea. Not only is it an innovative way to share, showcase and market a book, the boards themselves have such strong visual appeal. I'm not sure everyone could pull off what Morgan did, in terms of the beauty of her boards, but it's definitely an idea worth sharing.ReplyDelete