No, I knew I wouldn't be able to keep quiet about this any longer - so here we are - no blog posts for weeks and now two in one day.... Well, at last I can come clean about what I've been doing. Huge bragging moment coming up... Last week I was on location in deepest beautiful rural and exclusive Cheshire, filming three television adverts for The Writers Bureau
Sooo - this is my face being done-over... and the end result... Hmmm - shame about the hair - but they did say to "leave it and we'll sort it out" - hmmm again...
It was absolutely brilliant!!!! After last year's hoo-ha with the Advertising Standards Agency (who thought I shouldn't be in the WB adverts because I wasn't a genuine ex-student - I am! - and couldn't be called a best-seller because my books, while appearing in lots of best-seller charts, had never appeared in the Sunday Times - but who have now agreed that I can be called "award-winning") and the damning mention in that article in The Times about the WB and me being a gurning non-entity - my paraphrasing by the way - I wondered if the WB would ever use me to publicise their wonderful distance learning writing course again. But they did and have - and I LOVED every minute of it.
The adverts (two 30 second ones and one 60 second) will be aired from the autumn on terrestrial and satellite TV stations as well as having a You Tube slot, and will run for at least 18 months. And of course it was fantastic reciprocal publicity as the ads will feature all my books as well as extolling the virtues of the WB course.
I've just dotted the photos about on the blog - I think they're fairly self-explanatory - and hopefully they'll give some idea of what it was like.
The film crew were amazing - especially given that I'm a giddy amateur - and were very patient and made it all wonderfully easy. And I had a proper screen make-up session and my hair was all gussied-up by the lovely Debra (an award winning make-up artist who works with Very Famous Film and Telly People), and I was wired for sound and had three scripts (and a blissfully easy auto cue!) and still managed to not be able to walk, talk, look at a book, sit down, smile, read lines and type at the same time... Duh!
We arrived at the farmhouse location (they filmed in the very pretty courtyard garden and the weather was perfect) at 10 a.m. and left again at 5.30 p.m. All that time to shoot three little adverts!!! So many takes - so many things (for me) to get wrong.... But no-one seemed to mind and we even had a proper chuck-wagon roll up for lunch time like Real Filming - and I can't remember ever laughing so much for so long.
And mindful of the fact that the camera adds POUNDS I'd crash dieted (not to be recommended) for 2 weeks beforehand and lost 14lbs in 14 days (two Slim Fast Shakes and a Weight Watchers soup - 600 cals per day) but still looked billowy on screen... Now realise that those really thin people you see on TV must be Really Really Really Thin in real life.
At the moment all the ads are being edited and cut and sliced and spliced (or whatever the technical terms are) and I've been promised that I'll get a preview as soon as they're ready - and that's going to be the really scary bit... Still, right now, I'm back home and still floating with the glamour and excitement of it all. So -a huge THANK YOU to The Writers Bureau for being brilliant hosts and friends and for giving me not only this fantastic opportunity and experience but also such a magical time Oop North - and I truly hope I didn't let you down.