I’m now in the very early stages of my new novel, my first ever sequel, Magick. It follows the story of the Radwinter family, and although I am a very long way off being ready to publish it (the end of 2014, beginning if 2015 probably) I am already having thoughts about its cover. Self publishing on Kindle means I have to design my own book covers… which is exciting, but also a little daunting!
The first book I published was Farholm, and it took me a long time to find what I wanted. There is a theme of dreams of drowning, and I had an idea of looking up through water and seeing the sun, all ripply. I tried all sorts of different things, and then when I was looking back through my pictures of my holiday in Iceland I found a photo I took in an ice cave… it was just right!
My next novel was The Stalking of Rosa Czekov, and the story-line is pretty obvious from the title. I wanted to have a picture of someone looking out from behind a curtain, the stalked person trying to see who was harassing them. I didn’t quite get around to taking any pictures, mainly because I hadn’t a person who could be Rosa Czekov, and then my daughter took a selfie of her eye… with a little playing about it became exactly what I wanted.
Loving Judah was more tricky and I looked through my photos and pondered on it for a long time; I wanted a door or a doorway or a gate, or an opening, or a path… but then I found this picture of a statue in the garden of a country house; again I played around with it to achieve the results I wanted.
Night Vision was inspired by a stunted tree I saw growing out of a rock face; it was such an arresting site that it stayed with me until several years later I found a story to go with it; the tree was in such an awkward position, it was very difficult to get a decent picture of it. The image is mysterious, and the tree as a character in the story is almost mystical, so I was quite happy to have a strange cover.
Flipside is about a man’s breakdown following the trauma of war; he is completely broken by what he experienced and what he witnessed, so I wanted something jagged and broken. I just couldn’t find the right font for it, but I used one which was nearest to what I wanted. I had hoped to find a graffiti font which looked like spray paint or like something roughly done… the chosen font isn’t perfect but it was the best I can do. I messed about with the picture quite a bit, and the cover is unrecognisable as the original photo! I cannot now even find the original photo!
Radwinter, my latest novel, is not only the name of my imaginary family, but a village in Essex. I designed the cover before I visited it, and I took the winter part of the name, and thinking of something cold, I went back to my Iceland pictures and found one of some bones at an old whaling station. The ground as covered in snow. I liked the font I chose, but on reflection some of the letters are not very distinct, the ‘R’ looks like an ‘A’ and the ‘a’ looks like an ‘o’. I do like the overall effect though!