Lucienne Boyce | Historical Fiction & Crime Author

”What stands out to me about SilverWood is their commitment to the books, and the quality of the products. They take the design of the books very seriously, and I’m really pleased with the result.“

An award-winning author’s journey with self-publishing

 

Customer testimonial


"What stands out to me about SilverWood is their commitment to the books, and the quality of the products. They take the design of the books very seriously, and I’m really pleased with the result."
Lucienne Boyce | Author
 

Author profile


Lucienne Boyce is an award-winning author of historical fiction, as well as a women’s suffrage historian and biographer. With a desire to become an author for as long as she can remember, Lucienne dedicated herself to writing and developing stories while supporting herself with part-time administrative roles in law firms and then in the University of Bristol’s Law Department until she was able to give up work to focus on her writing.

As a reader, Lucienne had a particular interest in 18th and 19th Century fiction. So after embarking on an MA in English with the Open University in 2006, she chose to specialise in and write her dissertation on 18th Century literature. The course stimulated her interest in the historical and social background that this literature was written against. Lucienne is passionate about bringing light to the lives of ordinary people in history, providing welcome gritty and realistic contrast to the "drawing room and teacups" view of life in that era.

A member of the Historical Novel Society since shortly after its foundation, Lucienne is also a member of the steering committee of the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network. She published her fourth and latest novel, Death Makes No Distinction, in 2019.

Challenge


Lucienne began writing her first book, a thriller entitled To The Fair Land, and developed it to a point at which she was ready to send it to potential publishers. After going through the submissions process, Lucienne was thrilled to sign a deal with an independent publisher. Unfortunately, the publisher ran into unforeseen difficulties and was forced to decrease their output. "My book was effectively pushed to the bottom of the pile," she said. "I was miserable when the deal fell through. It felt like the end of the world after all that work."

In search of advice about the unfulfilled contract and what to do next, Lucienne got in touch with the Society of Authors. They suggested self-publishing to get her book out that way.

Lucienne remembers, "Self-publishing wasn’t what I was looking for. But around that time, I went to an event at a bookshop in Bristol, where I met Helen Hart from SilverWood, and was really impressed by her talk. SilverWood produces books that are indistinguishable from trade books. I wanted my novel to look like a "proper" book - the quality is very important to me."

Self-publishing to realise her dream


After learning more about SilverWood’s packages, processes and ethos of producing trade quality books, Lucienne decided to take the self-publishing route to become a fully-fledged author.

Recalling the experience of publishing To The Fair Land with SilverWood, (released in 2012) Lucienne was impressed by the guidance she received. "I had a main point of contact, a person who was willing to talk to me and tell me what had to be done, and what was going to happen. I didn’t know anything at that stage so that was really helpful."

"I’ve since published fiction and non-fiction books with SilverWood. They’re good at guiding me, they always answer emails, and that’s something in an industry where so often you don’t even get a reply."

SilverWood’s attention to quality and cover design was particularly attractive to Lucienne. She said, "I was happy with the way SilverWood took the design of the book so seriously. The cover for Death Makes No Distinction has won an award. I love it; I think it’s fantastic. The series has an identity, with the dark style reflecting what’s inside - not sweetness and light. I like that obvious identity."

Outcome


To date, Lucienne has published four novels with SilverWood, with three of those forming the Dan Foster Mystery series, as well as a non-fiction book about the Bristol Suffragettes, and a Dan Foster novella as an ebook. For her latest book, Lucienne used her own editor and shared it with beta readers, including her sister (an editor and translator) and husband (a retired English teacher) - so she could be sure it was as good as she could make it.

The first in her series, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery, was published in 2015 and was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, as well as semi-finalist for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016.

The second Dan Foster Mystery, The Butcher’s Block, was published in 2017 and was awarded an IndieBrag Medallion in 2018.

After the release of Death Makes No Distinction, Lucienne is ready to move onto the next Dan Foster book. "I originally thought of writing six for the series, but that might run to seven. I have plans for biographies and other works too."

With plenty of speaking and presenting work behind her, Lucienne is in her element when doing readings and events, but has scaled back her calendar this year after an exhausting schedule in 2018. "I like doing events and I’ll be taking part in some literary festivals next year. I’m not all that comfortable with social media, however, I’m keen to write articles and blogs and market my work with more meaningful content."

As for advice to new authors, Lucienne recommends finding opportunities to become part of the writing community. "Networking is important, you’ve got to make an effort. Once you start making connections, it gives you more confidence. It happens gradually and organically, but once you start connecting, giving talks to readers and meeting other writers, they become your community."

When asked if she would recommend self-publishing, Lucienne is in no doubt. "At one point I felt like my ambition to be a writer was never going to happen, but SilverWood made it possible. It’s a positive choice to self-publish."

Work with SilverWood:


We'd love to hear about your book. If you'd like a hand with your self-publishing journey, please get in touch with us. SilverWood can help you create a professional quality book and will support you every step of the way.

Book cover for 'Death Makes No Distinction' by Lucienne Boyce

Death Makes No Distinction

Lucienne Boyce

Paperback

£10.99

The Butcher's Block

The Butcher's Block

Lucienne Boyce

paperback

£10.99

The Fatal Coin

The Fatal Coin

Lucienne Boyce

ebook

£1.49

Bloodie Bones

Bloodie Bones

Lucienne Boyce

Paperback

£10.99

The Bristol Suffragettes

The Bristol Suffragettes

Lucienne Boyce

Paperback

£11.99

To the Fair Land

To the Fair Land

Lucienne Boyce

Paperback

£10.00

“If you’re thinking of self-publishing, I hope you don't go at it alone. With a team like SilverWood behind you, you have the support you need to publish the best work you believe in.”

J A Higgins