Happy Monday everyone!
Today I have the honour of hosting the author of Swaying, Lucinda Blanchard. Her book sounds amazing, and I am looking forward to reading it 🙂
I will let her take it away!
My name is Lucinda Blanchard and I am 36 years old. I am married with three young children and live on the Isle of Wight. I was born and raised on the island and apart from a few months backpacking around Australia when I was in my 20s, I have always lived here. In fact, the Isle of Wight is where my novel, ‘Swaying’ is set.
I was first inspired to write when I read ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes. She wrote about a controversial subject, euthanasia. When I was on maternity leave with my daughter, after having two sons, I thought that the taboo subject of gender preference would be interesting to write about. Fortunately for me, my daughter slept well, as did my sons, so that enabled me to write while I was off work and my boys were at school and pre-school. So that is how I started to write ‘Swaying’.
I signed up for a college course on novel writing which was on one evening a week and learnt so much about the craft, not to mention all the new friends I made. It was a little daunting at first, sharing my story idea with strangers because a lot of people don’t understand gender desire, and it is something that some people, especially if they can’t have their own children, find hard to sympathise with. But everyone was lovely and supportive, it is a fictional novel after all. I don’t think anyone has written a fictional book like this before, so I don’t have anything to compare it with. It isn’t a ‘how to’ book, but there are lots of tips and suggestions which might help, if that’s something you believe in. ‘Swaying’ follows the story of Charlotte, she desperately wants a daughter, the novel starts off with humorous experiments, but later the tone changes as she embarks on her controversial journey 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 decided to portray the dark side of obsession and to contrast it with as many perspectives as I could. The book focuses on Charlotte and Ian’s marriage and the strain her choices put them through. It also explores diet, timing, abortion, gender scans and PGD which stands for Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis, which is basically choosing the sex of your child with IVF. It is illegal in this country, so you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens…
I would class ‘Swaying’ as contemporary women’s fiction and you can purchase it from Amazon in paperback and ebook at:
I write part-time, because I’m a busy mum of three and I work in an Insurance office three days a week too. I don’t have a particular structure to my writing day, I just fit it in whenever I can everyday. I always have a notebook with me at all times to jot down ideas, I even have one by my bed, you never know when inspiration will hit you, and as hard as you try to recall it in the morning, after a nights sleep, it usually slips away. So, half asleep and in the dark I write down any ideas that enter my head and try to decipher it when my alarm clock wakes me up. Interestingly, I find that the less time I have, the more productive I’m able to be, somehow! I am a member of Wight Writers which is a weekly writing group. We meet up on a Thursday evening and read out some of our writing and all take it in turns to critique each others work. The constructive criticism has been invaluable to me, and again I’ve made lots of new friends. It’s great to spend time with like-minded people.
I am currently writing something completely unlike my first novel, ‘Swaying’. It’s a different genre and age group – young adult, supernatural and time-travel. It hasn’t got a title yet and I’m only half way through the first draft. I have written a very rough, vague outline, and I tend to plot only a few chapters in advance. I think the hardest thing about writing is getting past the mid-point (which is what I’m trying to do at the moment.) But the most challenging thing of all is probably trying to market the finished product. Unless people know it’s out there, you haven’t a hope of getting noticed.
At Christmas I did a book-stall with a friend from the college group, we both sold our books at Cowes Yacht Haven and it was really successful, which was a great boost to both of us. We were also at Cowes Library on 6th February promoting our books on National Libraries Day, and our books are now available to borrow from all the libraries on the Isle of Wight. It’s lovely to speak to your readers and get feedback.
I read a lot and like a mixture of different genres. Since becoming an Indie Author, whenever possible, I support other self-published authors by reading their books, and if I enjoy them, I write a review on Amazon. I have recently read ‘Free to be Tegan’ by Mary Grand, ‘Righteous Release’ by Richard Gardner, and I am currently reading ‘Escape to the Country’ by Patsy Collins, all Indie Books, and all really well written and thoroughly enjoyable.
Readers can contact me on:
Thanks for talking to us Lucinda, and all the best for your book! Let me know what you think, dear readers!