Monday, 29 February 2016

Secrets about the cover...

This is the cover for The Wrong Kind of Clouds - my first novel to be published:

Cover of The Wrong Kind of Clouds

Look closely... you can see that there are clouds with a rip through them that reveals the eye and face beneath.

Some of the novel is set in Malawi.
This is a map of Malawi...


Look again at the shape of the tear through the clouds... and then look at the shape of Malawi.

Clever, isn't it!

I can claim no credit at all! It was the great designers over at Matador who put it together for me.

The Wrong Kind of Clouds is out very soon! Click here to pre-order the paperback.

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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Reading speeds: Kindle or paperback?

I've always had the feeling that I read a book faster if I read it on my Kindle. Depending on the font and line-spacing, I can find it quite difficult to read some books, whereas on my Kindle, I can change the font size and line-spacing to suit me. I also have the Kindle app on my phone and I know that I am far more likely to read a few pages on my phone while I'm waiting in a queue, than read a few pages of a paperback.

It's probably the science geek in me, but I was interested to see if there was evidence - do I genuinely read faster on Kindle or is it just my perception? Given that I logged all the books I read in 2015 with their start-date and finish date and given that I know whether I read the paperback or if they were read on my Kindle, I had lots of actual data to play with!
[Yes, Amanda. It's the science geek in you... no-one else does this...]

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Cover Reveal!!

I've signed off on my cover! Actually, I did a couple of weeks ago (as you might have seen on my Facebook page).

And here it is, front, spine and back!

The Wrong Kind of Clouds cover
The cover!!

What do you all think?? Feedback in the comments?

Just a reminder... if you haven't already, you can sign up for my mailing list just by filling in your email address in the box in the sidebar. No spam, just an email when I post anything new or have some exciting news or offers for you.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Settings: why is a book where it is?

fictional setting
Image by geralt, from pixabay.com
Why are books set where they are?

In some books, the location can act as a character as much as the people - the raft that Pi is on in Yann Martel's The Life of Pi; Mars in Andy Weir's The Martian. It's hard to see how these books could have been set anywhere else.

In other books, the setting is far less relevant - the main thrust of the book is derived from the characters and their story could as easily be set in New York, London or Madrid. Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is set in Missouri, but the location is largely irrelevant to the story.


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Choosing a new book

Image by BSGStudio
Your To Be Read pile looks suspiciously like there's fewer than 100 books in it...

How do you choose which book(s) to buy?

There are thousands of great books published every year; some by big-name publishers, some by smaller publishers and some self-published. Which do you buy? What is pushing you towards a particular book?

Maybe you've seen rave reviews about a book in a magazine. Are they genuine? Have the staff of the magazine read ALL of the new books released that month and these five or six are genuinely the best in their opinion? I'm suspecting that the answer to that is 'no'. I'm suspecting that these are the books they've been sent by the big publishers and possibly some of the smaller publishers. I'm basing that on the fact that in the magazines that I read, none of the books they recommend are published by anyone other than the main publishers. Okay, but there are loads of other, excellent books that have been released; you're just not being told about them, so maybe the recommendations aren't everything.