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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Cover story

Night Circus
Louise PEnny

Now that editing FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD is all finished (hurray!) I’m working with my artist friend on the cover. After all those words, it’s fascinating to try to encapsulate the book in an image, and we’re working on several different ideas right now to see which will look the best.

Several times now I’ve caught myself gazing at my bookshelf, eyeing up the different spines and working out what is great and what isn’t; or suddenly walking over to the shelf to pull down and gaze at a full cover. It’s not just the image to consider, but the colours, the fonts, the size of the text – there is no right, but there are so many wrongs!

Have you ever bought a book on the strength of the cover? I’ve certainly noticed and been drawn to a novel because of its outer packaging (so much for not being able to judge a book by it). That’s actually how I discovered The Night Circus, Of Bees And Mist, and The Book Thief (my favourite was the one that is no longer available, of the figure of death dancing. Personally, I think it’s so much more eye-catching and evocative than the new cover of a girl hugging a book).

My favourite crime book covers vary from the softness of How The Light Gets In (which makes me want to walk into the cover!) to the stark simplicity of Gone Girl (though that cover has now been replaced too, thanks to the film! The original was plain black with bright orange strands of hair flying across it). Moriarty’s image intrigue’s and draws me in too. for me, something more abstract seems to work than a scene.

It’s going to be a tough decision on how the FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD cover looks. Wish me luck!

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