Fifteen-year-old Cuss Brewster is not a criminal. Well, maybe a slight criminal in the state of New York where he accidentally burns down his neighbor’s barn. It’s not his first fire-related mishap, so a judge tells Cuss, “Behave for the next six months, or you’ll go to jail.” But for Cuss, behaving is a lot harder than it seems. Trouble hounds him. He rescues children from a church fire, only to have the authorities accuse him of starting the fire. While working at a landscaping job, he forgets to follow instructions and winds ups smashing a client’s bay window. The grumpy client threatens to sue. Then, a mere two weeks before his probation hearing, Cuss confuses the brake and gas pedals on someone’s vintage Porsche and crashes the car through garage doors. Cuss can almost taste prison food….
How did you decide to create a trailer and what was your experience?
I checked out many book trailers on the Internet and became intrigued. I created a storyboard, isolating just three plot elements. Then I joined Flickr and checked out photos (Creative Commons) and found photos I could use with attribution. I matched the storyboard with the photos. At first, I used Animoto to create a trailer, but there were too many restrictions both in tools to create the trailer and then with distribution. Then, I used the same photos and storyboard to create a trailer on iMovie with my Mac laptop. That offered me a lot more flexibility. After I tested it on a few people, I posted it to YouTube. I’ve included it in my emailed press releases, posted it on Facebook and have included it on sites like this one.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This book is about a teen with undiagnosed learning disabilities. He has a rough go of it, until a neighbor family takes the time to get to know him and set him in a better direction. In my extended family, several members struggle with learning disabilities. I wrote this book for them. My intention is that it offers hope to those who struggle and provides a funny, engaging book for the reluctant reader.
Deborah M. Prum began her writing career at age seven. Perched atop a chrome kitchen chair, she pecked out children’s stories on her mother’s Royal typewriter. Every plot contained a similar theme. At the outset, some disaster (plane crash, rampant disease, ravaging insects) took the lives of parents and all other authority figures. The kids ate wild berries and skinned rabbits to make clothing. Without exception, by the end of each tale, the sturdy little survivors had created a utopia and lived blissfully ever after. Unfortunately, it did not occur to Deb’s parents to call a child psychologist.
Author of young adult novel, FATTY IN THE BACK SEAT, Deborah M. Prum has won five awards for her fiction. Her short stories have appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, as well as in many other journals and literary anthologies. FIRST KISS AND OTHER CAUTIONARY TALES is an eBook and audiobook collection of essays, most of which first aired on NPR-member stations. She’s written about the craft of writing for both The Writer magazine and The Writer’s Handbook. She’s given writing workshops and has taught at WriterHouse in Charlottesville, Virginia.