Monday, 29 May 2017

Pinterest - the Passion and the Problem (AO Post)

Welcome to The Love Weavers' blog. If unfamiliar with the blog and its authors, scroll down.

Pinterest is an interesting phenomenon. The place is full of people contentedly making up their virtual corrals where they pin...well, just about any picture they fancy, unless the copyright holder makes it obvious they may not. Pictures for a Pinterest board can be sourced from three broad places. 

The first, and simplest, is from Pinterest itself. The site often suggests something a pinner might fancy for a particular board. Sourcing from Pinterest is easy because the Pin It button is right there, there's a handy search function, and there's almost no chance of accidentally adopting a picture and getting a terse "take-it-down-or-else" note from the owner. 

The second is the broader internet. Many images now have a "Pin It" button, so a search through google images may give exactly what one wants, along with a fairly easy way to acquire it.

The third is to upload a file from one's own computer. This can be a scan, a photo, or something someone else has sent. The virtue of this is one can get the specific picture, a picture probably no one else has, and something personal. Mind you, if someone else likes the look of it, that person will merrily pin it! 

So, why is Pinterest appearing at the Loveweavers' blog? Well, Pinterest is a peculiarly useful tool for authors. Lark Westerly (That's me, on this occasion) and Sally Odgers (also me) both have boards on Pinterest that have to do with specific books or series. The most recent is the Fairy in the Bed series board which currently has 100 pins.  Some of these are particularly to publicise the series. Therefore, the book covers of the current four books (Fairy on the Christmas Tree, Horizontal Bunny Hop, Green Balls, and Honey and the Harvest Hob) are pinned. 

Then we have two pictures of a Yorkshire smock, giving a visual record for what Hob Cottman would be wearing during his association with Honey Bakewell Over There, (that is, when he wears anything at all). There are some braided up-do hairstyles, showing how Honey's hair might look at one point of the book, a honey-bee earring, photos of chalk cliffs and waterfall pools, which reflect the setting, some slip dresses with floral lace overlay, to give the impression of the dress Honey wears, and some pictures of the actor Keri Russell when she was younger, because her face, figure and hair are quite similar to Honey's.

These pictures give an impression, for the author, the readers and for the cover artist, to show how people and places and items in the book might look. I was delighted to find that dresses like the one I imagined for Honey do indeed exist. I had no idea before. They're not exactly the same, but they give the feel for it. I was pleased to find an actor who looked like "my" Honey, and the chalk cliffs looking just as I imagined them. 

Pinterest offers thousands of possibilities for those with a passion for pictures and pinning, so where does the problem lie?

Okay, in the grand scheme of things, it's not a big problem... but it's so easy to hold a picture in the mind's eye and want to show it to readers. The difficulty is when one wants something a bit out of the ordinary. 

"Honey" was easy to represent, not only via Keri Russell, but via other lovely young women in their twenties. Honey herself has warm looks and a cool personality, and the picture eXtasy Books' cover artist found/created for her is just right. See that cover? There's Honey, with the wavy hair, the pretty but slightly remote face, and a gorgeous dress which, if not exactly as described, gives the right impression. There's Hob's cottage, the fairy-tale setting for her honeymoon after she's jilted at the altar. I found similar elements for the Pinterest board- crowds of cottages, lots of lovely dresses, and girls who looked like Honey. 

When it came to Hob Cottman, the hero, Pinterest offered little. I did find garments similar to his smock, but what were the chances of finding Hob himself? Zero, as it turned out.  

Here's a partial description of Hob, the first time Honey gets a good look at him.


He had brown hair down to his collar and a pleasantly broad face. His clothes made no great impression on her other than being well-worn and chosen for comfort rather than style. He was moderately tall and broad-chested, but the most arresting thing about him was his eyes. Instead of the brown or hazel his colouring suggested, they were the dark translucent blue of sapphires. His face was unlined, but lived-in, and he looked around thirty.

Hob isn't human, but he is able to "pass". He's not a Yorkshireman, but that's the impression he gives, partly from upbringing and partly because that's who he is. It's a fairly simple description, right? But do you think I could find anyone remotely resembling this on Pinterest? Even forgetting the eye-colour, it's virtually impossible to find an actor of the appropriate age who isn't sporting designer stubble. There are actors out there who look vaguely similar... Sam Neill in his younger days would probably do, but most of the pictures of him have him in shades, collar-and-tie, or in costume as a film character. Besides, he's Sam Neill and instantly recognisable as such. 

Yes, finding appropriate men to stand in for Lark's fairies - sturdy hob men, tall fair summermen, intense pixies and the slightly eccentric mutable fay - is difficult. Most of them look too modern, too groomed, or too recognisable. I needed (well, wanted) a braw and mischievous Scot in a McTavish kilt to model for Hamish in the upcoming Floribunda and the Best Men. Could I find one? Plenty of men in kilts, (even some Scottish Gingers), but  they were usually done up in shirts and ties, or full Edinburgh Tattoo regalia. I found one boy perched on a stepladder, and another scruffier one for McTavish, who is Hamish's Clansman manifestation, but nothing quite right. Ewan McGregor at thirty-seven might do - do you reckon I could ask him to adjust his age and model the McTavish plaid? 

Finding Mary's gown, Pen Swan and Flori's bridesmaid dress from other stories was also difficult. There are silvery-peach-pink loose dresses on Pinterest, but they're modelled by tiny Asian girls and teenaged blondes. Mary is over forty. Pen is forty-two, and Flori is a BBW... she needs to be to snuggle up to Hamish and not get squashed.  Please, Pinterest, please - give us some gorgeous looking men and women who are not OTT famous, Size 6, ripped like a youthful Arnie or in that curious half-shaved style that makes my skin cringe. (Either grow it or shave it, love, or else forget about getting lucky.) 

On the plus side, I found a man who, aside from his eye colour, is a dead ringer for mutable fay Duffy Inkersoll from Pen and Ink (coming soon). No green pixie men were forthcoming, but Martine from eXtasy Books discovered (or created) Peck Grene for his particular cover. (Check him out here!)    

Yes, cultivating a Pinterest board for this series has been fun, challenging, and a great time-sink, but this, coupled with the covers artists at eXtasy Books have provided and the running lists of people, places, names and terms at Lark's website - http://larksinger.weebly.com - helps give this developing series a foothold in the visual reality of our world.

So, readers and writers and other love weavers out there - what do you think? Do you make or seek Pinterest boards? And hey, if you happen to have, or to be, a gorgeous man who could stand in for one of Lark's fairies in the bed, what about posting a picture on Pinterest? Lark will be there in seconds to adopt it.

The Fairy in the Bed series is available from eXtasy books HERE 


ABOUT THE BLOG

Who are we? The Love Weavers are a bunch of writers. We all write for Extasy Books and/or Devine Destinies and a lot of us write in other places as well. We write in multiple genres for general and adult readership. Many of our books are love stories of some kind or another, and we enjoy looking at love in all its wonderful variety. 
The purpose of this blog is to tell our readers something about our craft, our passion for stories, how we build our worlds, what characters we choose and why, how we use clothing, food, music, weather, colour, themes, symbolism, history, science, and (okay) love to bring these stories to life.

Some of our posts are suitable for general readers. 
These will have a big G at the top.  (G)
Some are in between.
These may have a big PG13 at the top. (PG13)
Some of our posts are suitable for adults only.
These will have a big AO at the top. (AO)
Welcome to The Love Weavers' blog. We can't wait to share the love.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for some hints on how to use Pinterest. I used to be on it, but then there a big hullabaloo about copyright and I shied away. Guess, it's time to go back.

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  2. I find it fun. It's probably safest to use your own files or those from Pinterest itself.

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