Welcome to the second and final day of my Isle of Wight book festival. There are three more authors stopping by today and I'm looking forward to introducing them to you all over the course of the next few hours.
First up is Lucinda Blanchard, author of Swaying.
Lucinda was born, raised and still lives on the Isle of Wight, apart from a few months backpacking around Australia in her early twenties. She's married with three young children. After two sons she admits she wanted to experience life with a daughter and followed a strict diet, she succeeded. It lead her to explore what could happen if that obsession became all-encompassing. She has appeared on BBC Radio Solent, the Isle of Wight County Press, On The Wight and The Island Echo. She is advertised on two US gender swaying websites. She was inspired to write having read JoJo Moye's Me Before You which touched on the controversial subject of euthanasia.
Swaying is a controversial novel about gender disappointment and desire. Lucinda's gripping debut novel explores the taboo subject of gender-disappointment. It covers diet, timing, abortion, gender scans and 'Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), the act of choosing the sex of a child using IVF, which is currently illegal in the UK. It is based on her own desire to have a much longed for daughter after giving birth to two delightful sons.
The fictionalised account follows Charlotte who desperately wants a daughter, and takes the reader on an emotional voyage from humour then desperation as Charlotte seeks every possible avenue to achieve her goal. The obsession becomes destructive as it begins to threaten her sanity, her marriage, the happiness of her two sons and its wider impact.
I read this a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. You can read my review here.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love a good cover and I have to say that this one certainly caught my eye. I'm sure you all know the saying 'You can't judge a book by it's cover' but is that really true? Here are Lucinda's thoughts on the subject as well as the story behind how her own beautiful book cover came into being.
Judging a book by its cover
You should never judge a book by its cover, so they say. I disagree. The cover is the first thing that catches a prospective reader’s eye. On Amazon your cover is just a tiny thumbnail. You need it to stand out, and tell the reader instantly what your book is about and draw them in to hopefully buying it.
I self published my debut novel ‘Swaying’ on Kindle Direct Publishing (for the ebook) and Createspace (for the paperback). There are loads of covers to choose from, provided by Amazon, but now that I’ve seen them, when I notice a book using a Kindle cover, I am pleased I didn’t use one. You can buy images and adapt them yourself or use stock images, many of which are free – although that means that others may well be using the same image for their book or product. Alternatively you can pay a professional to create your cover for you – prices start from around £180.00.
I decided to create my own cover. ‘Swaying’ is about a woman who desperately wants a daughter. It follows her controversial journey as she attempts to sway the odds in favour of having a girl, even though it threatens her sanity, her marriage, her two sons’ happiness and her friend’s life. I therefore wanted to depict both male and female genders. My original idea was a wicker basket full of eggs, mainly blue ones, with a few pink dotted in. This was to illustrate the daughter my character was so desperate to have.
With an array of different shaped and sized baskets, I arranged and rearranged eggs that I painted with my children’s poster paints. I decided to hold six eggs in my hands to see how that looked. A photographer took close up pictures for me. The very last photograph to be taken, was my last minute decision to hold a pink egg in one hand and a blue in the other. Not for one moment thinking that I’d actually choose that option, but just to experiment. A week later, looking though the proofs, I was surprised to find that my favourite was in fact that last photograph. I’m so pleased I didn’t just stick with my original idea, but experimented with different variations.The photographer came round for a second sitting. I put on a turquoise dress, that I wore for my first son’s christening, and held a pink egg in one hand and a blue in the other while she snapped away. A screen behind me, professional lights to the side, and guess what... I preferred my friend’s photograph she took with her mobile phone. So I used that instead. The turquoise dress is the background of my book. It just goes to show, you can have a professional looking cover, with an expert finish, taking it yourself with your mobile phone, costing nothing. Next was the choice of font, title size, matt or glossy cover. I chose a matt finish. I’m really pleased with the final result. I hope you like it too. And yes, you can judge a book by its cover.
If you'd like to find out more about Lucinda or connect with her you can find her by using the links below.
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I'd like to thank Lucinda for taking the time to stop by today and sharing the story of her book cover with us. It's been a pleasure to have you here.