News on the book – Falling Tide. Everything is sorted except the front cover, which has got to be right. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but you do, because unless a book has been recommended to you then the cover is all you have to go on. I think the look of something is super important. Ask anyone who has a classic car, or who is furnishing a room or who has just lost their heart to a painting or a flower.
There are some folk who organise their lives just for comfort or convenience. My dad was one of them. He built things to work, to do their job and I do not think it crossed his mind that what the thing looked like might be important or impinge on others. (He built a green canvass lean-to at the end of his bungalow, right next to his neighbours wall, to store things in the dry. It definitely did that but it did look dreadful and continued to look worse the older it got.) And he was always threatening to paint the house pillar box red! Now I need to be a little careful because many years ago we had an old sofa reupholstered and instead of picking a fabric that was tasteful and neutral, and more to the point would go with the rest of the room I couldn’t walk away from this red and gold material that didn’t really match anything. The sofa remains a big warm blob in our lounge and continues to do my heart good whenever I see it, despite having to repaint the walls and make new curtains so it wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb!
So back to the front cover. I liked the Salt Path cover by Raynor Winn, but since its publication there have been loads of similar ones and a book needs to stand out. I think you pull it off the shelf because it looks like the sort of book you would read, then it stays in your hand because it feels good – the pages are smooth, the type easy. It continues to stay in your hand if the blurb on the back sounds interesting. Finally, I always read a page at random to check that it is readable, that the English is reasonable. That’s the moment I turn back to Chapter One, tuck my legs underneath me and begin. Can’t wait for you to pick up Falling Tide and hopefully feel the same.