Writing the blurb for your book is always a nightmare. Frankly it’s easier to write the whole book than that short piece you hope will entice readers to at least click on the ‘Look Inside’ button.
Whenever I’m writing a book I can easily describe the whole plot line in one sentence. This is probably because when I was writing educational scripts for radio and television I had to set out the ‘Aims and Objectives’ on the top of each episode.
I had been taught such boring things while training to be a teacher, but it helped to focus my thinking for the programmes that melded into the topics on the syllabus.
Throughout my rather hectic life, the only thing that got me through the trials and tribulations was my sense of humour – my mother called it warped – but hey, if it kept me sane that was all that mattered.
Maybe she was right in calling me psychotic, for when I retired and started writing books (a whole new skill to learn) I produced books in 3 different genres – memoirs, a comedy and an action adventure series. Wow was this a far cry from the commissioned educational books I wrote for the Big 5 in the 1990s (now that really shows my age. Not many people hop around genres like that. Imagine Agatha Christie writing cookery books, or Enid Blyton penning horror stories, or James Patterson scribbling science text books.
Describing the plots in each of my novels was easy. For each one I’d got my tagline firmly in my head just in case I ever shared an elevator with Steven you-know-who. (Well you never know, he might come to Spain on his holidays one year, he’s got to go somewhere!)
But the blurb, well like so many of us, that took hours but it wasn’t until I came to my latest book that I came unstuck. Yes, the 4th Amie book is like all the others, an action-packed, page turning adventure, set in the African bush, but it has a message. Well to be fair all my books carry a message, hopefully wrapped up in those exciting pages – what Africa is really like through the eyes of a young British housewife – the brutality of a radical religious group – the lengths government will go to to survive. But book 4 was different. The theme popped into my head once I learned about the practice of keeping young girls pure before and after marriage.
I was horrified that so many young girls were at risk, 200 million worldwide even in countries like Britain and incidences in the US are rising.
So, how was I going to sell my book? My main reason for choosing this topic within the story was to raise awareness in the hope that it will help in some small way to raise awareness. So, did I shout about the action, Amie’s missing boyfriend and keep the message under wraps? Or scream from the rooftops that I was exposing a cruel, unnecessary and primitive practice that could lead to distress and even death?
I think in the end I was too scared to broadcast it too loudly. Yes, I chickened out. Maybe as a pure adventure spy story it will sell more books in the long term, and the more readers, the more awareness. It was a see-saw decision – I hope I made the right one.
Have you ever had to make a decision like that?
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About the author
Abandoned in the African bush with a 9 week old baby and no resources Lucinda could look back on a childhood of mental abuse, without knowing that before her lay an even more bizarre future. She would run the worst riding school in the world, broadcast live with a bayonet at her throat, be fired from her teaching position and thrown into the media world. She would learn how to lie in the name of propaganda, write about dozens of topics for a variety of clients and have her own newspaper column. She would meet kings and statesmen, international artists and rural Africans. She would win several awards along the way for her scripting and films. Eventually she would reluctantly leave Africa to retire in Spain. A few months later she would begin writing books – eight to date in a variety of genres – and start a whole new career, collecting more awards.
Back in Europe Lucinda met many people who knew little about Africa except for what they had seen in the media. And so, the Amie stories were born, to paint a true picture of the peoples and culture on the Dark continent wrapped up in a thrilling series of adventures which reflect her love for the lands she unwillingly left behind.
Lucinda’s books on Amazon
Book 4 in the Amie series is available for pre-order now. Release date: September 30th 2017.
They told Amie it was a simple look, listen and report back mission, but from the beginning everything went wrong. She is stalked across borders, the aid workers act suspiciously, she’s assaulted, and abandoned in a rural African hut miles from anywhere. What has happened to her partner Simon and can she trust the charismatic Frenchman who befriends her? The discovery of an ancient tribal tradition and a group of young children to rescue, test her skills to the limit. For the first time, she is prepared to kill to protect the innocent caught up in an international sex trade with an extra horrifying twist.
Book 3 of the Amie series.
Amie returns to her beloved Africa and a settled life, but her enemies have neither forgiven nor forgotten her. They are determined to take their revenge and reclaim their honour. The events of one night change everything, leaving her with no home, no friends and no name; no future. Suddenly she no longer exists and those controlling her make it clear; she either obeys or she dies.
Stolen Future is the third book in the ‘Amie’ series – international multi award winning #1 bestsellers on both sides of the Atlantic. From naive, newly-married housewife, Amie faces challenges that change her beliefs and behaviour beyond all recognition.
A fast-paced action adventure, page turning read set in the wilds of Africa in the modern day.
Book 2 of the Amie series.
Amie can run, but can she hide? International terrorists are on her tail, her husband has vanished and people she thought were friends are coercing her into danger. Where is her beloved orphan, Angelina, where is Jonathan and how will she get out of the bush alive?
The witch doctor predicts her future but can Amie believe what she says?
Another fast-paced, action packed adventure sees Amie using all her wits and knowledge to get out of the Dark Continent in one piece.
Book 1 of the Amie series.
Just an ordinary girl, living in an ordinary town, with nothing but ordinary ambitions, Amie Fish is plunged into hot water when her husband is posted to a country she’s never heard of. Amie’s ability to adapt and make a life for herself in equatorial Togodo, lands her in more trouble than she could have imagined, her life is threatened and everything she holds dear is ripped away from her. She is left fighting for her life. If she could have seen into the future, she would never have stepped foot on that plane.
Other books by Lucinda E. Clarke