|New book, & ebook.. new cover... see below|
A troubling week at Hedges Towers. BH departed for his annual Italian Jaunt, upon which 3 fence panels instantly fell down, I mislaid my mobile and house keys and the car developed a 'no-don't-just-turn-up-the-music-sort-it noise under the bonnet. I believe this stare of affairs is called Sod's Law and I'm guessing that things are not going to get any better until he returns. Teeth are being gritted and loins girded in anticipation.
Added to this, the elderly cat (18 years old) continues to decline into furry senescence and needs copious care. I am putting up with the constant demands for attention, broken nights, having to spend a fortune on the only cat food he will now eat and letting him sleep under the radiator in the hope that when I am old and in my dotage, someone will do the same for me.
Meanwhile with publication day drawing closer, I have been asked by several people why I decided to go with a commercial publisher as opposed to self-publishing my book, as I did previously with Jigsaw Pieces Two reasons: firstly, it is all too easy nowadays to write a book, cobble together a cover and upload the finished product to Amazon (actually, it darn well isn't .. as you can read here:). Advances in technology have opened up enormous opportunities for self-publishing that were never there when I started writing books, and that is a good thing.
However, inevitably there is a lot of dross out there and it lets the side down. Poorly produced books with typos, badly designed covers, sold at rock bottom prices is not the way I want to go. Despite the many ''Hey, I produced a book for virtually nothing'' blogs, the writers of the best self-published books have usually used beta readers, then paid out for professional editing, proofreading and cover designing. Hats off to them. It is hard work and not cheap and having done it once, I'm not keen to do it again.
Secondly, to be accepted by a commercial publisher is a sign that my work is of a certain standard. Very few writers are now being taken on by the ''big'' mainstream houses. You have to be young, connected to somebody, the possessor of a fabulously interesting/made up back story, or a celeb. Small commercial independents like Crooked Cat (my publisher) are now the first port of call for serious writers who find the big publishing doors slammed shut. The market is changing once more, as evidenced when Crooked Cat recently opened its doors for submissions and was totally taken aback by the inundation of manuscripts. They are in the business of making money, as are all independent publishers and they only take on a small percentage of the writers who apply. I am one of the lucky few.
With this in mind, I have uploaded the new cover(s) for you to see. It was created by Designer Dave, who is a friend, a professional graphic artist and designed the cover for Jigsaw Pieces. The full title of the new novel is Diamonds & Dust, A Victorian Murder Mystery and the book and ebook should be available on Amazon at the beginning of December, just in time for Christmas. The cover reminds me of contemporary newspaper headings, or theatrical posters which is appropriate to the plot, although I have also been told it is reminiscent of very early Penguin covers. It is quirky and different ... just like the story itself .. and, dare I say it, like the author of the story herself!