Tuesday, June 20, 2017 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Ways to Use Pinterest as an Author by Regan Walker


When people first started telling me about Pinterest, I confess I knew fear. How could I resist spending all day on such great eye candy? But then it occurred to me I could harness this eye candy and use it to help me write. Instead of saving hundreds of pictures in folders on my desktop, I realized I could load them onto Pinterest!

I began using Pinterest as a writing took six books ago. Initially, it was just for me as I’m very visual and I write from pictures, whether actual pictures or pictures in my mind. I want to “see” the places and characters as I tell the story. But as I loaded my first board, I realized I could provide some eye candy for my readers, too. Now, I cannot imagine writing my stories without Pinterest.

1. As I do my historical research, I begin to build a new Pinterest storyboard, capturing the “foundation” for my story.

When I first create a storyboard, I leave it “Secret” (an option for Pinterest users) until I’ve added some basic pins on setting, the main characters and my initial research. The storyboards for my books include the covers of the books I consulted, loads of maps, clothing of the period, food, birds, dwelling places, even pets.

I also pull enticing quotes from my stories and using Quozio and other free tools, I make a pretty visual and post it. Fro example, on the board for Echo in the Wind, there is a picture of the silver cup the hero Jean Donet gives his new godson. I found a picture of the cup I wanted and added the text that Donet has the silversmith engrave on it (“It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.” ~ Sir Francis Drake)


I should probably tell you that I do not plot. When I begin to write, I have done my basic historical research to know the events that occurred during the time of my story; I have a general idea of the main characters, where the story begins and where it is likely to end. All the rest is magic.

Once the board is settled in my mind (that is to say, I’m pretty sure where the story is headed), I post it on Facebook in the Regan Walker’s Readers group. I might Tweet about it. And I invite my readers to “follow” the board to see how the story develops. Those who are anxious for my next release tell me this builds their excitement for the coming novel.

2. I write from my Pinterest storyboard for my work in progress.

Each morning when I begin to write, I pull up Pinterest along with the OED (Oxford English Dictionary for constant word checks to avoid modern words) and run them in my browser. Throughout the day, as I’m describing a place, a gown or even a person, I consult my board.

I also add to the board from my continuing online research. For example, I was writing a scene at Versailles and realized I had no idea what Marie Antoinette’s servants wore in the way of livery, which led me off on a small rabbit trail to find out. (Turns out it was the reverse of the king’s colors; it’s in the story.)

Sometimes I might pin from a search on Pinterest itself, but that is rare for me. I need historical images free of modern effects (I try to avoid cars, modern dress, buildings that weren’t there at the time, electric lights, etc.). As a result, you will often see period art on my boards that captures more accurately the culture of the time. This is particularly true of the boards for my Medieval Warriors series. Finding scenery uncluttered by telephone wires can be a challenge!

Take a look at the board for Echo in the Wind, my new Georgian romance, and you’ll see what I mean. The full board is HERE:
https://www.pinterest.com/reganwalker123/echo-in-the-wind-by-regan-walker/

Since my stories include both real historical figures and fictional characters, you will note pictures of real people with their actual names and other characters with fictional names. My readers tell me I weave the two kinds of characters seamlessly so they cannot tell who is “real” and who is “fictional” unless they know the history, look it up, or, they read my Author’s Note, which will describe in more detail some bits from my research. That is just how I want it. Why not live and love inside of the real historical events?



3. I include the link for my Pinterest board for the story in the “back of the book” material and in my promotion.


I include links to my Pinterest storyboard in the book itself. I also use the Pinterest storyboard in my promotion and on my website. Readers tell me they like this as it makes the story live on. As I tell them, “It’s my research in pictures!”

If you have never used Pinterest, it’s not difficult and there are helps on Pinterest itself with videos. See: https://help.pinterest.com/en/guide/all-about-pinterest

And happy pinning!


ECHO IN THE WIND

“Walker sweeps you away to a time and place you'll NEVER want to leave!”
                  ~ NY Times Bestselling author Danelle Harmon

England and France 1784

Cast out by his noble father for marrying the woman he loved, Jean Donet took to the sea, becoming a smuggler, delivering French brandy and tea to the south coast of England. When his young wife died, he nearly lost his sanity. In time, he became a pirate and then a privateer, vowing to never again risk his heart.

As Donet’s wealth grew, so grew his fame as a daring ship’s captain, the terror of the English Channel in the American War. When his father and older brother die in a carriage accident in France, Jean becomes the comte de Saintonge, a title he never wanted.

Lady Joanna West cares little for London Society, which considers her its darling. Marriage in the ton is either dull or disastrous. She wants no part of it. To help the poor in Sussex, she joins in their smuggling. Now she is the master of the beach, risking her reputation and her life. One night off the coast of Bognor, Joanna encounters the menacing captain of a smuggling ship, never realizing he is the mysterious comte de Saintonge.

Can Donet resist the English vixen who entices him as no other woman? Will Lady Joanna risk all for an uncertain chance at love in the arms of the dashing Jean Donet?

***

Regan Walker is an award-winning, Amazon #1 bestselling author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romances. A lawyer turned full-time writer, she has six times been featured on USA TODAY’s HEA blog and nominated six times for the prestigious RONE award (her novel, The Red Wolf’s Prize won Best Historical Novel for 2015 in the Medieval category). Her novel The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland won the Gold Medal in the Illumination Awards in 2017.

Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government have given Regan a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown”. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding sovereign who taps his subjects for special assignments. Each of her novels features real history and real historical figures. And, of course, adventure and love.

Keep in touch with Regan on Facebook,  and do join Regan Walker’s Readers.

You can sign up for her newsletter on her website.

Echo in the Wind on Amazon:   U.S.        U.K.       CANADA

You can also find Regan on Goodreads, Regan's Amazon Author Page, and Regan's Pinterest boards.




9 comments:

Zari Reede said...

I have heard about using Pinterest as a way to do a story board and promote your book, but confess I have not ventured to explore. I get overwhelmed by all of the social media a modern writer has to keep up with. Your story sounds alluring and I'll have to put it on my to read list! Best wishes for your success.

HiDee said...

Clever uses. Thanks for joining us today and sharing your tips!

Regan Walker said...

Thanks, Zari! I'm glad Echo in the Wind appeals to you. I do confess that I have to discipline myself not to go crazy on Pinterest. Most of my pins are uploaded by me.

Regan Walker said...

Thanks for having me on the blog, HiDee!

RT Wolfe said...

Brilliant. Thank you, Regan!
-R.T. Wolfe

Regan Walker said...

So glad you found it helpful, RT. I have never seen another author write from her storyboard or display her research, but then I'm very visual.

Sabrina Templin said...

Thank you fo sharing how you go about a story. I love that you use Pinterest boards I can consult it as I go along or look at it after reading. I love that you have an author's not afterwards. I have not read the author's note yet in my book of yours To Tame the Wind yet as I don't want to spoil any of the story for myself. I look forward to finidn out what was fact and what was fiction.

Regan Walker said...

Thank you so much, Sabrina. You are the reader I write for! My Author's Note may not tell you all (that would take another book) but I try to hit the highlights.

Regan Walker said...

Thanks, RT. I'm so glad you found it helpful!

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