Bit of a clanger

factory-affair

You may remember that I’ve recently released A Factory Affair, and done a giveaway on the blog. The winner is the lovely Rosemary Gemmell, and still waiting to hear whether you’d still like the book, Rosemary.

Well, another lovely lady, Elaine Everest, author of Woolworths Girls, and due to release Butlin’s Girls, wondered why I’d put that I was on the shortlist with this for the RNA new talent awards. I didn’t realise the shortlist I was on, along with Elaine, was with the Festival of Romance. For some reason I really thought it was run by the RNA. Maybe it was sponsored by the RNA, but because lots of names I recognised as being romantic writers, were there, and Katie Fforde spoke at the end, and won an award as well. I think that’s why the confusion popped in. So now I’ve corrected the opening of the book to say, this story was on the shortlist of the Festival of Romance, new talent award. We have to get these little details right don’t we? So glad that’s cleared up. Now I need to alter it on the kindle version as well. Thanks to everyone who’s shown an interest in the book, and watch out for another giveaway very soon.

Don’t trifle with me

I’ve made one of my own. Reason being, we had some banana loaf that needed eating. It’s now the base of the trifle with some blackberry jam on. Then a layer of mandarins, red jelly and custard, with the topping you see here.

trifle

One good thing about the weather getting colder, is that we have a real fire. There’s nothing like watching real flames and warming your hands by the fire with a cup of tea and a huge bowl of trifle. The diet can wait until tomorrow.

fire-pic Now I’m working on the next chapter of my latest book and loving it. Still reading through A Factory Affair as well, ready for the release of the paperback. We’ve had some good walks lately through woodlands where fallen leaves were ankle deep, only I didn’t take the phone or camera. Sometimes It’s good to enjoy the moment and forget about camera phones and all things media related.

Enjoy your week, whatever you may be doing, and to anyone doing nanowrimo, keep writing. I didn’t sign up for it, but doing lots of writing all the same.

Escape to the Country.

I’d like to welcome Patsy to my blog to tell us about her debut novel – Escape to the Country.  If you’ve read Patsy’s short stories in Woman’s Weekly or The Weekly News, or My Weekly, then you will be, like me, looking forward to reading her first published novel.  Hoping it’s the first of many Patsy, and thank you for your blog where we all get lots of links to competitions.  I don’t think anyone will mind that you won this one….

Can you judge a book by its cover?
Publishers spend time, money and effort producing covers for books, although it would be quicker and easier to simply print the title, author name, ISBN and price onto a plain background. Doing that would be of some help to the reader. If we already knew the author’s work we could guess whether we might like to read something else by them. The title might give a few clues – ‘The Princess who Seduced a Bricklayer’ is likely to be rather a different story from ”Zombies on a Spaceship’. I don’t think that would be enough to tempt most people to read a book they hadn’t heard of by an author they hadn’t heard of.
How about printing the title onto a genre specific background colour? Pink for romance, I suppose and something the shade of putrefying flesh for zombie stories and blue for erotica. But I digress… This doesn’t happen; books have cover artwork on the front and writing on the back. Does any of this matter?
The blurb on the back is probably the most read part of any book. I’m sure it’s not just me who bases many of my reading decisions on those few paragraphs. While it’s true that decision might be not to read, in the long run I think it’s better for everyone if people don’t repeatedly buy books they don’t enjoy.
What about the cover artwork then. What can that tell us? I used to think the answer was ‘not much’ until the publishers of my book ‘Escape to the Country’ asked me for suggestions. It hadn’t occurred to me I’d get a say (I understand new authors often don’t) so I wasn’t prepared. There’s an important scene in the book that’s sort of repeated so I felt an illustration of that would be good – and said so.
Then I panicked. The scene I’d described was dark (black and brown, not suicide pact like) my book is light and romantic. People who liked the cover might not enjoy the story. I tried to think if there were any books I’d read just after glancing at the cover. There were – I first discovered JD Robb because there was an image of a snowdrop on the cover of one book so I picked it up (and then read the blurb on the back – but I’d not have got that far with a sci-fi book if it hadn’t been for the snowdrop). There were other examples, all of them involving something pretty. My cover wasn’t going to be pretty!
Fortunately Phillip Grizzell who actually designed the cover isn’t an idiot. He used my suggestion to create something that I feel sums up the book quite well. It’s fun, light and romantic – I hope readers will agree the story is too.
Thanks for that glimpse of what’s to come Patsy.  I must add that Patsy wrote in nice paragraphs, somehow it’s all closed up, never mind, I’m sure you get the picture.  Good luck with your lovely book Patsy that I can’t wait to read.  If it’s anywhere like your short stories, then we won’t be dissapointed.