CHRISTINE M. KNIGHT

An Australian author who provides insight into the human condition.

Author Christine M Knight's Blog

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A BOOK COVER FOR 'LIFE SONG'

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This blog is an update on the journey to publication for Life Song.  With a few months to go before the release date, I feel both excited and a bit overwhelmed. Plans are underway for marketing, and if it all comes off as planned, I’ll be thrilled as well as very busy.

Recently, the process for acquiring a book cover design was completed. I was really interested in Highlight Publishing’s approach and impressed by the market research that went into the selection of the five finalist designs. Highlight Publishing used 99 Designs to source the cover designs. In particular, their field research focused on the story line that potential readers' saw in the book cover design. Readers make their purchase decisions based on a book cover so it is crucial that a book cover accurately suggest the novel's plot and concerns otherwise readers become dissatisfied.

Highlight Publishing kept me informed during the cover design process including sharing the links to the designers’ work. Their feedback to designers during the process was impressive. The publisher picked two winning designs and then continued market research in the field before deciding on which book cover design the company would use. Overall, Highlight Publishing feedback about the designers was that they wee great to work with and highly responsive to feedback. 

I’ve uploaded the five finalist designs for you. In order, the designers are Banateanul, Pintado, Chameleon Studio, Elveni, and LSDesigns. You can view the entire design field if you go  to http://99designs.com.au/book-cover-design/contests/book-magazine-cover-wanted-highlight-publishing-199075

Should you wish to contact any of the designers with a design project, I have provided a contact email address for you, provided to Highlight Publishing for inclusion in this and other blogs.

Designer: Banateanul           Email: contact@powerimage.ro

Designer: Pintado  Email: rogerdespi.8229@gmail.com

Designer: Chameleon Studio

Designer: Elveni Email: elv3ni@gmail.com
Elveni's cover design  below will be used for the sequel to 'Life Song'. That novel is called 'Song Bird' and will be released October 2014. Obviously, the title will need to be adjusted accordingly and the mother and child silhouette will be removed.  

Designer: LSDdesigns Email: suzanastankovic09@gmail.com

Below is an explanation to interested readers who corresponded with me by email about the choice of book cover. A number of them wanted to know why Arrowdesigns’ book cover didn’t make the final cut. I’ve copied Highlight Publishing’s marketing team’s explanation below that design.

Designer: Arrowdesigns  

Arrowdesigns' uses a poignant photograph of a mother and child by Mikael Vojinovic, a French photographer, (http://www.designwoo.com/2010/08/mi…vojinovic) as the central image in the book cover design. The image of mother and child in this design conveys the anguish and struggle of a single parent and her bond with her child. While this is a beautiful design, this cover design does not tell the potential reader about the story line in Life Song, and in fact misleads the reader. For that reason Highlight Publishing did not include it in the finalist designs. This cover provides a window into Mavis Mills’ earlier life as a single mother a few years before the start of the novel. Life Song is about better times. 

Viewers of the competition also emailed me about Banateanul's innovative, beautiful design of the book as a guitar with the image of a young woman on the road looking back in the guitar keyhole. Field research showed potential readers had a warm response to the design but thought the novel was 'just another chick on the road trying to make it in the music industry' story. The plot of Life Song is much more than that. 




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Saturday, May 18, 2013

LIFE SONG - an overview of the story

Saturday, May 18, 2013

'Could Mavis live the rest of her life as she'd been living? She couldn't, not now she'd glimpsed another world, fleeting though that vision had been.'

It takes a bold woman to choose the path less travelled especially when she is a single parent.

Mavis was born to be a songbird. Her parents named her after one, a bird with a distinctive song worthy of poetry. With her wings clipped by circumstance, Mavis spent six years of her life grounded and her dream of soaring flight almost forgotten. After a time of making do, Mavis unexpectedly discovers that she has a choice: accept a life that is 'ordinary' or strive to rise above her circumstance, realise her potential, and be among the one percent that shine.

It is a long way to the top in the music industry and more than a name needs to be changed in order to succeed. It is a gruelling challenge with exhausting demands and subtle traps for the uninitiated. Can Mavis make it? Will she be able to navigate her path between singing the music that she was born to score and being moulded by music industry expectations? Can she build a better life for herself and her son? Can she have it all?

Set between 1996-1998 in Australia, Life Song explores the tug-of-wars that come with being a performer, woman, mother, daughter, and the ways individuals and the community shape our realities. It is set against the backdrop of the vibrant Australian live-music scene and a coastal town south of Sydney. Life Song offers genuine insight into the human condition and the journey of the central character to realise her potential while trying to maintain the balance between pursuing a career and being a mother. The reader shares the hard yards of life as well as the rush and exhilaration of being on stage.

 Note to readers

1. Life Song is a standalone novel that follows the life of a secondary character from In and Out of Step (my debut novel), six years after the end of In and Out of Step.  

2. Australians use the British spelling system and not that favoured in the USA.

RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 2013

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Why do I write fiction?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Many people think that a novel is merely a story drawn from the writer's imagination. Fiction involves much more than imagination. Fiction has to be grounded in the reality of life for it to hold readers' interest. The characters and their reactions need to resonate truthfully with what readers know about life and how and why people behave as they do. Imagination allows a writer to create fictional characters in situations that explore aspects of life truthfully without being constrained by the facts of an individual's experience or by fear of a lawsuit.

I am a novelist because I want to capture aspects of Australian life and character that accurately reflect the world that I know. That world is not the outback or pastoral images of Australia. It is urban Australia - coastal town and city. Since the beginning of European settlement, the myth that we are predominantly a nation of bronzed, Aussie outback men with ingenuity and humour has been celebrated and perpetuated in novels and film here and overseas. Images of women are mostly of them somewhere in the background. The accurate historical picture is that we have always been one of the most urbanised nations in the world and still are.

As a proud Australian woman, I want to share memories of the way we were in the recent past - good and bad - and to stimulate thought about the way we are. I want to show how our perceptions of and relationships with others and the world are shaped.

As a writer, I am interested in the nature of love versus romance, the interconnectedness of lives, relationship dynamics, and ripple effect of traumatic events within families, in the workplace, and between partners. I am interested in the change process and its related effects on everyday life.

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The Month's Posts


    LATEST BLOG POSTS

      Wednesday, October 10, 2018

      Reflection on 'In and Out of Step'

      Wednesday, October 10, 2018

      Set between 1988-1990, In and Out of Step’s thesis picks-up on a period of significant change in Australian social and cultural history which mirror the wider western world. The novel reflects the popular perceptions of the era and explores reaction to changing roles and values, the relationship between generations, gender dynamics, and power in society through contrasting character perspectives.  

      The novel charts Cassie Sleight's (rhymes with slate) and her generation’s journeys in new and uncharted territory in their relationships: personal, social, and work after the second wave of the women’s movement.

      Life forces the women in my novels to reassess what they are doing, how they are doing it, and to evaluate who they are and want to be.

      Through Cassie’s experiences, the reader is entertained and provoked to consider the perceptions held and dualities of women’s roles in western society. That may suggest that this is a non-fiction work masquerading as fiction. However, this aspect is firmly set in the external world of the story and Cassie’s experiences.

      In and Out of Step explores:

      • how identity and relationships are shaped by the way gender operates and gender differences
      • how place—geography, attitudes, values, and culture—shape people’s lives and actions
      • the culture that supports and promotes sexual harassment in the workforce and social spheres
      • changing perceptions of gender roles
      • adapting to change in oneself and the wider world
      • the personal, social, and workplace influences that contribute to change.

      My novelsIn and Out of Step, Life Song, Song Bird portray the diverse and changing realities of women in the time the novels are set: 1980-1990, 1996-1998, 2000-2002.  The stories are anchored in the social and historical context of each period.

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      Saturday, August 12, 2017

      Life Song - a story of metamorphosis

      Saturday, August 12, 2017

      Twenty-two-year-old Mavis Mills first appears in my novel In and Out of Step. Outgoing, gregarious, and confident, Mavis is a significant secondary character in that novel.  Mavis' story - a subplot - is used to provide contrast to and insight into Cassie Sleight's (the central character) journey. 

      At one point in the novel, effervescent Mavis is severely injured – physically, emotionally, and psychologically - by domestic violence and the fire of her partner’s rage. He also destroys her guitar and the copies of her original songs. Part of  the subplot from In and Out of Step explores the context of the domestic violence and provides insight into the psychology of it. Excuses are not made.

      At the start of Life Song, Mavis is twenty-eight-years-old and very different from the young woman who shone throughout most of In and Out of Step. She is the central character in Life Song. She has become subdued, distrustful of her own judgement, and an echo of her former self. Unexpectedly, she discovers she has a choice: continue to live a life tainted by domestic violence or seize the opportunity before her and try to rise above her circumstance and, like the phoenix bird, leave the ashes of her past life behind.

      'Could she live the rest of her life as she'd been living. She couldn't, not now she'd glimpsed another world, fleeting though that vision had been.'

      Life Song is not a cliche 'chic musician on the road' story and is definitely not a romance. It is about the woman Mavis becomes and the people who stand by her as she undergoes transformation – physical, psychological, and to an extent spiritual. She does not solve her problems in the arms of a man but makes the hard choices herself.

      The drama comes from the tugs-of-war that Mavis has to work though. It is made all the harder because Mavis' heart is in conflict with itself. One person, no matter how strong, cannot win a tug-of-war alone. The same applies to Mavis.

      Readers learn about the things that give Mavis strength and that enable her to boldly embrace the inevitable changes coming into her life as she becomes Nikki Mills, the Song Bird from Oz.

      I recommend you listen to two songs from that novel: Sunshine Days and Life Song (A Vision Splendid) to get a feel for this story.

      There are many kinds of wins in life, most of them personal rather than widely acclaimed. It's those personal 'brave heart' moments that define Mavis. Reader feedback through my publisher and website is that Life Song is a gratifying read.

      As part of your journey in reading this blog,  I suggest you listen to Move On.  In my imagination, it is first sung by Mavis' support network, but ultimately the song becomes her personal mantra.

      Australia is a diverse landscape and has diverse communities. Life Song gives readers an opportunity to spend time in some of those communities. The title alludes to the fact that each character's life has its own melody and when sung in concert become the symphony that is Life Song

      Notes:

      Life Song is one of four novels in The Keimera Series. Each novel is a standalone narrative and has the backstory woven into it.  The Keimera Series is an opus.

      Keimera does not in any way allude to chimeraa monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature from Greek mythology.

      If you would like to lend me your support so that I can produce more music from my novels, you can buy any of my songs from CD Baby.  Each of my songs can be purchased for the very small price of $1.69. My music is also on iTunes and other major online music sellers as well.



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      Sunday, June 25, 2017

      The story behind my song 'The Flame'

      Sunday, June 25, 2017


      'The Flame' features in my novel ‘Song Bird’. In the novel, it is sung by rock legend Rick Brody who serenades Nikki Mills (the central character in the novel). In real life, it was sung by Funnie Williams and Thanapat Yarchartoen (aka Film). I produced the song through Karma Sound Studios in Thailand.

      BACKSTORY TO 'THE FLAME' - The Singer or the Song?

      In ‘Song Bird’ and its prequel 'Life Song', Nikki Mills - the Girl from Oz - is a survivor of domestic violence. Once an innocent, she believed the very convincing serenade of her first significant love, Terry Kikby. Long before Nikki met Rick, his song 'The Flame' resonated with her.  She believed that Rick's songs really expressed his own ideas and values.

      Having been at the top of the music industry for sixteen years, Rick finds his music is dropping in the charts. Defined by his 'bad boy' image, he has lost sight of his real self. Consequently,  his music has lost its connection with his fan base. Interested in Nikki as a woman as much as in her skill as a lyricist, Rick collaborates with Nikki on a new album. 

      Flattered by Rick's interest in her and impressed by 'The Flame', Nikki embarks on a relationship with him.  A subplot in the novel explores the ramifications of that decision.  Can she help Rick find the heart that his music once had?  Will Nikki be hurt or healed by the relationship with him?  The answers are found in my novel 'Song Bird'. 

      Readers of this blog may also find the pop rock song 'Masque' and interesting insight into Rick and Nikki's relationship issues.

      I currently have 8 songs on CD Baby and iTunes. You can help me raise the money to produce the rest of my songs by buying one or more of my songs at the very small price of $1.69 per song. They are on sale at CD Baby and  iTunes. Online music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer promote my music, but I only earn approximately one cent per one hundred streams. 

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    NEWS

    • Media article about Christine's music

      03-Jul-2019

      Christine's rock song 'Masque' featured in an article on Marquix TV (http://www.marquix.tv/features/ChristineMKnight1.html) and Avastar (http://www.avastar.tv/features/ChristineMKnight1.html)..
    • As engaging as Bohemian Rhapsody

      10-Mar-2019

      Are you tired of dark narratives on TV, in the cinema, and on the news? Then escape into the world of 'Life Song' and 'Song Bird' , available on Amazon and other major online sellers. Th..
    • Christine M Knight's music update

      10-Mar-2019

      Thank you for visiting Christine M Knight's website. She is not only an author of wonderful novels but also a song composer and producer.. We ask you to help Christine's music cross over to comm..

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