One of the great things about being a writer is that I get to dabble into so many areas of expertise. Typically this happens during research a I need to learn the ins and outs of my main character’s careers and the legal system, plus murder methods—although I doubt I’ll ever use my knowledge of the latter.
Lately, though, I’m trying to teach myself how to be competent in a whole new field so that I can publicize my books better on social media. I’m teaching myself how to create animated videos. It’s truly fun for me; I’ve always liked cartooning, which is what led me to invent my first mystery series protagonist—Molly Masters. She creates eCards, although originally she created faxable cartoons. During signings, I draw a cartoon cat or dog. My original vision for the books was that they’d contain my own cartoon drawings, but I was assured many times that that would be a production nightmare.
As technology has advanced, it seems logical to me to create animated cartoons on Youtube, etc. So, I’m very slowly learning how to rig characters so that they can walk and so forth. Unfortunately, I am also cheap and working with a tight budget, so I went for an affordable software package—Moho—instead of subscription software, which is much easier to use, but costs a minimum of $20/month for as long as you use the product. I’d like to have the ability to create individualized cartoons for my books for as long as they’re on the market.
I’m hoping to be passably proficient at animation in another six months. Watch for my heroines—Molly Masters, Allida Babcock, and Erin Gilbert— coming in cartoon form in March of 2017.