Author Christine M Knight's Blog
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Designer: Pintado Email: email@example.com
Designer: Chameleon Studio
Designer: Elveni Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.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.
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.
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
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.