Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Using Pinterest for Pinspiration

by Kendel Lynn, @kendel_lynn

When I first heard of Pinterest, I wanted to cry. Another social networking site to use, learn, master? Can’t be done. It’s asking too much of me. 

I can barely handle Twitter and Goodreads, and I’m not on the Facebook or Google Plus, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, StatWatch. (I made that last one up.) However, someone kindly took the time to show me what Pinterest truly was, and once I figured it out, and how it worked for me, I was hooked.

Pinterest is a way to organize all those beautiful pictures you see every day, from the delicious torte you’d love to make (but never will) to the beach you’d love to visit (and hopefully will). And for us creative types, it’s a visual playground of inspiration. In one weekend, I created boards for different aspects of my protagonist’s world. While Elliott Lisbon comes to life on the printed page, she’s viewed in vibrant color on the Pinterest page.

I spent hours finding the perfect images for her cottage: adorable yellow rain boots on a shelf with a wooden sailboat and a starfish, a charming blue cottage door, a hammock on the porch with overstuffed pillows, and of course, her MINI Cooper Convertible parked on the sand! While most of these are not described in BOARD STIFF, these photos embody the spirit of her beachside living. And I so want to visit her there!

Seven boards later, I had a pictorial of her world, the parties she attends, the foundation where she works, and even her enviable wardrobe. Later I added specific boards for each of her stories: SWITCH BACK (in OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE) and BOARD STIFF. Random and fun and beautiful windows into each story.

Pinterest offers us a way to engage readers outside the printed page, to share moments inside a character’s life, long after the cover is closed. Have you ever finished a book, then sat there wishing you could spend just a little more time inside? Wouldn’t it be nice if Warner Brothers built every writer a theme park? Why should Harry Potter have all the fun?! Until then, we can create our own Pinterest-land and give all our readers tickets to the best rides.

Explore your visual creativity, not just the written one. I enjoy browsing for just the right pictures, and even if no one ever sees my collections, I visit them and add to them and love them all the same.

Have I given you Pinspiration? I hope so – now send me your pins!

Kendel Lynn is a Southern California native who now parks her flip-flops in Dallas, Texas. She read her first Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators at the age of seven and has loved mysteries ever since. Her debut novel, BOARD STIFF, won several literary competitions, including the Zola Award for Mystery/Suspense. 

Along with writing and reading, she spends her time as the managing editor of Henery Press where she acquires, edits, and figures out ways to avoid the gym but still eat cupcakes for dinner.