I originally opened a Pinterest account as an adjunct to my persona as a writer. The general opinion was that it was a perfect way to give one a brand and to give one’s books a visual dimension. So when I set up my account, I gave it a purely medieval focus – looking at many aspects of medieval life.
Each book I’ve written has its own board and images that underline the story are included in that board. Originally this was just for the readers of my books to become familiar with the worlds I was creating but as time went on and I wrote further books, I found it was inspirational for me as the writer to create a board to refer to during the writing of that book. Consequently you will find Gisborne: Book of Kings has a board, even though it is a long way from publication and has no cover yet. But it’s filled with images which help propel the story forward in my mind.
However, early on, Pinterest began to do its thing – you know the thing I am talking about, whereby you begin grazing through images, finding many that interest you on other levels entirely. For example I stitch, so I found that Me the Writer just had to create a board called Threads. And I garden and so I had to have a board called Tree and Leaf. I love miniature books – Miniscule. Paper Art – Eclectica and so on.
Was this departure from historical fiction and historical fantasy, from the medieval era and from my books good for the brand Prue Batten? And what is a brand anyway? At its most basic level and according to Wikipedia, Brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers.” Not only that “brand owners manage their brands carefully to create shareholder value”. In the case of novels, that would be you, the reader – you’re the shareholder. So by broadening the so-called brand, does that mean I weaken the Prue Batten brand in your eyes? Probably some marketing guru would say, ‘Yes! Keep it narrow, keep it focused, make it YOU!’
But you see, all of these other facets make Me the Writer. Without stitching, the first two historical fantasy novels would never have seen the light of day as that is a strong theme running through both. The fourth and final in the Chronicles is about paper and silk, something that winds its way through my life on a daily basis. Without stitching and paper, The Chronicles of Eirie would never have been and the third in the series would never have won a silver medal. Likewise, without gardening, I would never have that intrinsic connection with ‘Out There’ that’s so vital in my settings.
There are other facets too that make me … well, Me!
For example – Jack Russell Terriers (Soulmates), a certain part of Tasmania (Heart and Soul), bookish things in general (Bibliophile). Tolkein, Robin Hood, Richard III, Renaissance and so on. All full of glorious images and rich colour. Inspiration by the BUCKETLOAD!
So where does that leave Brand Prue Batten, do you think? Any ideas?
I do have three private boards that I love delving into. They are for my eyes only but relate to writing in one instance and to things that matter to me in the others. I’ll keep them ‘secret’ as they truly don’t add to the so-called brand in any way. But I’m contemplating new ‘public’ boards. Have you got any suggestions for me? What would you like to see in respect of Me the Writer and that strange thing called a brand?
I’d love to hear…