My New YouTube Channel

About a year ago, I thought of creating a “visual short story” featuring Alan Boltby and Sara Ramachandran, the protagonists from my last book, Crook’s Hill. After a lot of work, and some innovation, too, I’m pleased to announce my YouTube channel: “Mini-Mysteries by Peter Fritze.” They’re “mini-mysteries” because they’re about 20 minutes long and broken into bite-sized episodes.

Click on the arrow above to watch the trailer for “Demeter,” the first mini-mystery. All five episodes are available on YouTube now (links are on my video page, too). In Demeter, Alan unravels the theft of a brooch named after the Greek goddess of agriculture that’s long harboured an astonishing secret.

Plans are underway for two more mini-mysteries. Each mini-mystery can be watched as a stand-alone production. However, each also fits into Alan and Sara’s broad story arc that began with Crook’s Hill and will continue after the three mini-mysteries in a new Alan Boltby suspense mystery novel.

Why A ‘Visual Short Story’?

I first thought of a visual short story when struggling how to market Crook’s Hill. Many authors market their books the same way: give away copies; ask a little desperately for Amazon reviews; throw up a quickly untended website; torture themselves on social media; and develop email lists by offering “special” content. I wanted to try something different.

Over time, the idea became its own fascinating challenge. Now, before digging into the next Alan Boltby novel, I want to see if the mini-mysteries catch a new audience for Alan’s burgeoning sleuthing skills and fraught relationship with Sara.

Is It New?

Little is truly new. Humans have told stories, short and long, since the earliest days. Visual forms, for example on Greek vases and in Egyptian tombs, have abounded since ancient times. In literature, creating quality short stories is a craft. And authors have long explored other media.

I will say, though, that when I studied YouTube and other platforms, and asked around, I didn’t see the type of visual short story I imagined. So, I embarked on creating Demeter as I conceived it: a stand-alone production, though part of a grander story arc; organized into brief episodes for “on-the-go” viewing; minimalist in design, to spur viewers’ imagination as books do; and relatively cost-effective to create.

The Process

To create Demeter, I needed to learn the difference between writing a script and a novel. For example, a script relies only on dialogue and direction while novels lean heavily on description. After working up three scripts, I settled on Demeter. 

Then I decided how to portray the “visual” aspect of the short story. In theory, I could have used film, animation or illustrations. The costs and complexities of the first two drove me to illustrations. They also allowed for the minimalist dream-like feel I was after. Special thanks to Gregor Leithead.

The next step was to source help for the studio voice recording of Demeter. Special thanks to Tara MacIntosh, Michael Black and Angie Littlefield.

To pull the production together, I needed high-end video editing software and computer processing. I bought a MacBook Pro and Final Cut Pro. Once I’d studied the YouTube platform and created my channel, it was straightforward to upload Demeter.

Have a Look and Comment!

“Mini-Mysteries by Peter Fritze” is an experiment. Please give Demeter a watch and let me know what you think!

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