ATO- Ann Videan
Hey lovelies! Time again for the #ATO We’ve got another cool one today: Ann Videan and her new YA series Song of the Ocarina!
Take it away Ann!
What do movies, involvement of future readers, and bad-boy rock stars in New Zealand have to do with my stories?
I often tell a story, when I speak as an author, about my emotional reactions while watching the movie Back to the Future in 1985.
I found my life’s inspiration in the scene where Marty’s dad receives his box of books. I remember watching Biff running in the front door, carrying a large cardboard box yelling, “Mr. McFly! Mr. McFly, this just arrived… I think it’s your new book.” The whole family gathers around to admire George’s first novel.
In my mind, a choir sang Hallelujah as he brought forth the first volume from the box. I remember thinking, as I sat in the dark of the theatre, “Someday, I’m going have my own box of books, just like George McFly.”
As a fun aside, I went to college at Arizona State University in the late 1970s with the actor who played the role of Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson). Tom and I were movie buddies, and I adored his sense of humor. He now does stand-up comedy and voice-over work, among many other creative endeavors. I saw him for the first time on the big screen in Back to the Future and I was thrilled to witness his big break.
I actually experienced my own George McFly moment in 2011 when I received my box of Rhythms & Muse, my first self-published women’s fiction novel.
Not only was finishing a book a thrill, but the experience of self-publishing — doing everything myself except editing and front-cover art — also brought me a new skill set to provide to clients. I’ve owned Videan Unlimited, my own home-based marketing firm, since 1996. Now, in my day job, I help other writers and entrepreneurs write, edit, self-publish and generate word-of-mouth marketing.
This broad marketing background led to a unique aspect in the writing of my pending second novel, Song of the Ocarina. Before I get into all that, though, let me give you a quick synopsis to give you an idea of what it’s about. Here’s the blurb:
“Desperate to understand her place in the world, teenage musical prodigy Lark Tūrehu unwittingly follows her handsome music teacher Noel Stone into the parallel realm of Delfaerune. With her extreme height and long, silver-white hair, she already considers herself a freak in her Queenstown, New Zealand university, so how can she possibly deal with the added burden of her role as the Noble Fae’s leading musical spell caster?
Not only must she retrieve and master the Kura Ocarina to earn the title of the realm’s “Maestra,” but the faefolk expect her to use the ancient wind instrument to save the human race from extinction at the hands of the Dark Fae.”
This first book in my Delfaerune Rhapsody series represents writing in a new genre for me. It’s a new-adult fantasy — geared to readers aged 18 to 25. So, from a marketing perspective, I felt I needed to look at some different, creative avenues to involve my new audience members. A key aspect of word-of-mouth marketing involves engaging your audience in the process of what you’re creating. So, as I went along, I started asking future readers and young adults I encountered to provide input into the story, with the promise of including their name on my Acknowledgements page.
I requested and received input for a set of Roshambo (rock, paper, scissors) symbols and hand gestures for my Fae characters’ use. Readers sent in their favorite songs to add to Lark’s ever-present iPod playlists. They also shared recipes to feed my vegetarian Fae at parties and events described in the story.
A unique marketing aspect for my Rhythms & Muse story in 2011 was a complementary music CD of five original songs I composed and performed. I plan to compile an original music “soundtrack” for Song of the Ocarina, too. This time, though, I will enlist the talent of a couple young rock bands to help me create the music. You can also watch for a Spotify playlist of all the nearly fifty songs that come up in the story.
Through all this input and exploration I discovered I love, love, love creating new worlds, especially for young-adult fantasy stories. In this series, I got to create a fresh, unique world where music joins with Earth energy to conjure balance among all creatures, extinct and mythical creatures talk and live peacefully, and the Dark Fae bad boys — like Mikk, Kert and Axyl — pattern themselves after burned-out human rock stars.
The setting played a key role in the story as well. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect setting than New Zealand in which to place my story. My family visited the country in 2008, and I completely fell in love with everything about it. The beauty. The power of nature everywhere. Its straightforward people. Its sense of other-worldness. The sheer magic of the place spoke to me.
It helped me develop the way the magic works — or doesn’t — in a fantasy world. If you’d like a full description of how the magic works, here’s a link to a Song of the Ocarina excerpt from my ANVidean.com blog
So, now you know how my writing was influenced by Back to the Future, bad-boy rock stars, and New Zealand. I hope you enjoy the input provided by my future readers once the book is complete. Watch for it next month on Amazonat www.tinyurl.com/ANVamazon.
Win my second copy of Song of the Ocarina!
When I open my box filled with copies of Song of the Ocarina, I will lift out a copy for me, of course. The next copy I lift out could be yours…signed, sealed, and delivered. J
If you comment about this post on either Ann Narcisian Videan’s or L.H. Nichole’s blogs or Facebook pages, you become eligible to win the second copy of this new-adult fantasy adventure. It’s book one in my pending Delfaerune Rhapsody series.
We will pick the winner at random from among the comments received on these sites:
- Ann Narcisian Videan’s Words.Music.Village blog: ANVidean.com
- Ann Narcisian Videan’s Facebook page
- L.H. Nicole’s blog: AKA this post
- L.H. Nicole’s Facebook page
Ann Narcisian Videan is the author/singer/songwriter of Rhythms & Muse a women’s fiction novel and accompanying music soundtrack. Currently, she’s writing the Delfaerune Rhapsody Series, a trilogy of young-adult fantasy adventure novels about an 18-year-old New Zealander who discovers she’s the fae musical prodigy who must retrieve and master three ancient instruments to save her worlds. Ann also serves as a fiction editor for sweet-romance publisher Desert Breeze Publishing, writes and edits marketing content for authors and visionary entrepreneurs, and offers a 30-year marketing background focused on strategic word-of-mouth consulting. Find her at anvidean.com, videanunlimited.com, her blog and LinkedIn
Alright alright! What a cool post right? Not gonna lie, I’m one of Ann’s critique partners, so I’ve read this book with a red pen. I gotta say, it’s a good one! Perfect for Fantasy lovers.
<3 always LH