A warm welcome to Lucinda Blanchard!

Happy Monday everyone!

swaying

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!

Call for blog guests!

As you know, my blog is new, and I would love to feature other authors and bloggers on my blog. I am happy to hear any news – books coming out, Day in the Life of, cover reveals etc. If you have something you want to share, please get in touch!

Bloggers: authors love you, you review our books and fill our timeline with interesting posts. Do you have something to say, want to share your blog services?

Get in touch! Please contact dovecards@hotmail.co.uk with the title name BLOG POST SUBMISSION, and I will get back to you. I am planning to run at least one a week.

So if you have a cover to share etc, please get in touch!

 

Inspiration

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I am currently working on a new book, one that I made a start on using NaNoWriMo. I didn’t win NaNoWriMo, I never do, but it does focus me to get an idea done on the page, so in my opinion, it’s a very worthwhile kick in the pants. I am a third of the way through now, in between other projects, and I am enjoying the story. The inspiration for this book came to me one day, as an abstract idea, and then the other characters and plot evolved from there. I have been researching the book a great deal since the start of my book, which is why it is such a slow process at the moment, but it got me to thinking of inspiration.

Where do we get inspiration from? I read extensively, but when I am writing a book, I make sure I don’t read anything remotely similar in plot, so that my own writing is fresh in my head. I like to read books that are vastly different, so it’s like a break for me – something different to relax with.

I read magazines too, news headlines, snippets of conversations on buses, trains etc are always good and can plant a seed that can grow into a story or plot line.

Other inspirations to me are book blogs, writing websites, and competitions.

 

Competitions are a fab way of exercising your writing muscle. Even if you don’t actually enter the competition, you can still use the prompt as a jumping off point for your own piece of writing. A competition win enabled me to be able to live out my dream of having a book out there on the shelves, and I will always see them as a fabulous resource for writers in many ways.

So enter that competition, send off that entry, submit, submit, submit!

What inspires you? I would love to hear of your top tips!

 

 

Writing time

 

In November, I decided to take the plunge and write full time for a year, to really concentrate on The Chic Boutique on Baker Street and everything that might follow.

My two boys struggle within the school system at times, so I also felt that being less constrained with teaching would enable me to cut out the need for childcare and juggling life so much.

So after enjoying Christmas, January came and I knuckled down to my new life. The amazing news that I had won the Writers Bureau Writer of the Year Award was amazing, and gave me a fabulous boost.

Now, writing/working from home is more difficult than I thought. There is always something to distract you, from the washing, to the pets needing attention, the odd episode of Nashville – it’s very easy to end up with a very clean house and an empty notepad.

What are your writing habits? I am still adjusting, but find that setting a writing target for each day works well, as does turning off the internet/phone, and ignoring the washing pile. J K Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book in a coffee shop, and I can see her point. Much easier to focus when all you have is your writing tool and a large caramel latte. Thank the Lord I don’t watch Jeremy Kyle, or all would be lost!

Maybe I shall test this theory out…and soon.

Happy writing everyone, and please, do share your writing time tips!