C. Hope Flinchbaugh is a Literary Agent for HigherLife Publishing. She started her writing career as a freelance writer/journalist for Christianity Today, Charisma, Focus on the Family, and various other children, teen, and adult magazines. In the last nine years, she authored four books with outstanding publishers, Bethany House, Destiny Image, and Charisma House, while contributing short stories or articles to other compilations. Hope loves to talk to new and experienced authors who are seeking publication. Most traditional publishers are cutting back on the few titles that they are releasing each year and, while they are less willing to take a risk on an unknown author, there are a few who are looking for that one book that shines, that special manuscript that grabs them when they read the first page. If that’s your book, then Hope would like to see it! The Flinchbaugh home is full of laughter and surprises these days as she and her husband and three biological children recently welcomed two new daughters from Burma.
Writing a Video Book Trailer Script
I was lined up as one of the keynote speakers on Thursday night at this year’s Colorado Christian Writers Conference. The director (Marlene Bagnull) invited any faculty member that had a passion for a particular area of social justice issues to join us in addressing the conferees that evening. This bubbly little gal named Bonnie Calhoun walked to the podium—do you know her? She’s “only” the founder and publisher of this wonderful Christian Fiction Online Magazine that you’re browsing through right now.
Now, Bonnie is like a triage nurse for teenagers. You should have heard her go! (Have you written about that for CFOM, Bonnie?) Ha! Me? I talked about North Korea. I’m not “brown nosing” Bonnie, I’m pointing out that she has a passion for her subject and so do I.
There are a few writers who write simply because they enjoy the craft of writing. Even fewer writers/authors are doing this work just to make a living at something. Most writers that I know are still plugging away at the computer because they are engaged in a larger vision, something bigger than they are; something God put in their hearts to pursue.
It’s this kind of passion that inspired me to do a trailer for You Tube on the plight of North Korean families. I knew nothing about constructing You Tube videos—absolutely nothing. I knew how to click on a few You Tube links that people sent me, but that’s as advanced as I became.
I’m going to be honest. It took me hours upon hours. I went on You Tube to find out what they required. It really didn’t make a lot of sense to me--I didn’t understand the technical stuff. But I didn’t quit. I went onto the You Tube website, started my own account (at least that part was uncomplicated), and clicked “upload video.” I followed the directions given.
Now, that sounds simple enough. But the whole thing was rather complicated. By necessity, my You Tube video (aka book trailer) took on the life of an upgraded power point presentation. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I didn’t quit. My passion for rescuing starving families out of North Korea wouldn’t allow me to quit—it just wasn’t an option.
I mean, picture five homeless, orphaned children ages fifteen months to twelve years living inside a hole they dug out in the side of a hill, scavenging for food from strangers, plucking grass out of the ground for dinner tonight, protecting one another from the elements the best they can . . . I can’t let them down. I have to tell their story. I’d lay my life down for them much less forty hours creating a You Tube video. I was determined—I didn’t quit.
I didn’t get it finished in a day or even a week. It took a few weeks for me to finalize the entire project. I was paid nothing except the satisfaction that I did what Proverbs 31:8,9 says to do:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
(Incidentally, I write that scripture reference into the front cover of my books when I do book signings.)
I made a few mistakes in the You Tube, but the mistakes wouldn’t erase and I knew I did my very best for those I loved. I annoyed a couple North Korean “minders” (we call them spies). They found my You Tube on the internet and made angry comments on how American “infidels” don’t understand the “dear leader” Kim Jong-il. Good! I was thrilled that this video was raising the standard of justice for those being crushed by that regime. Kim Jong-il once stated that Christians were his most volatile enemy. He’s got that right! (Don’t get me going . . .)
North Korea: Out Of The Darkness
Back to the book trailer—er--You Tube video.
Just look at where this video
has been shown now!
The greatest joy for me was when I showed this video to North Korean refugees at the prayer vigil in DC. We brought in about ten people who’d escaped from North Korea and fled to South Korea. They were there in DC to testify before congress what had happened to them during their escape and what life was actually like inside North Korea. As the You Tube played out, the screen was suddenly filled with the picture of the lion—The Lion of the Tribe of Judah--with starving children in His mane, jumping out of the darkness.
Gasps went up all over the auditorium.
Gut-wrenching sobs. These precious people who lived in these terrible conditions saw their lives portrayed on a video in front of them. It was overwhelming. But when they saw the Lion of the Tribe of Judah rescue them, they knew—we all knew. The entire meeting went up in prayer and Christians from various countries rushed to our North Korean friends and prayed over them with tears of love and compassion.
And still my North Korean video/book trailer/You Tube plays on. All I can say is that we are helping to rescue just a trickle of people who are trying to cross the border. Some are shot, some sent back into work labor camps where they're executed or tortured or die of hard labor and starvation. But we cheer for the ones we can help. Right now I am working behind the scenes to bring a particular group of orphans out of this country. My book, I’ll Cross the River, and the You Tube video is helping in this process. And it’s worth every minute I dumped into it.