Well, rages on might be a bit strong. Let’s say ‘continues’.
At a few of the stops on my blog tour, my hosts have questioned the appropriateness of the cover of The Letters. They (and they are usually either men or women who tend to read novels from the ‘literary’ end of the scale) said that they wouldn’t have picked the book up in a bookshop.
In response to these misgivings, my editor Emma has written a very good piece about Snowbooks policy on cover design here. She really knows her stuff.
What do you think? Do covers matter to you? Do you think this is a feminist issue? What do you think it says about the mass market of readers? Do comment here or over at the Snowblog.
My thoughts, for what it’s worth, are that I’d rather my book was picked up and read by as many people as possible – and these covers have made that possible. I wasn’t so sure about this earlier on, and my ego received some much-needed puncturing as a part of the process.
Although I must say I still hanker for a woman with some trees or plants behind her for the next book, The Blue Handbag – Leonard would like a bit of greenery on there somewhere. Don’t tell Emma ; )
I spoke to my Nana last night, and she said she’d almost finished my book.
I must confess to you – there are rude bits in my book. As one of my shocked friends put it – ‘you used the ‘c’ word!’ I’d warned my mum and my aunt in advance, suggesting they skip over those bits if they felt uncomfortable, but I hadn’t warned my Nana.
I asked her last night if she’d got to the rude bits. She had. She wondered how I’d been able to write certain bits (which will become clear when you read the book). And she said she thought I’d written it ‘sensitively’. She was a vegetarian before anyone else had invented it, and is resolutely atheist. I should have known it would take more than that to shock her.
She did say that she wasn’t so keen on the swearing, but conceded that ‘those sort of people probably would swear’. So I think I got away with it. Phew.
If you’d like to make your own mind up about the rude bits you can order The Letters on Amazon UK now or from Snowbooks if you’re overseas. I hope I don’t make you blush.
As I type, thirty copies of The Letters are lying around people’s houses around the world.
Maybe one or two are still in their jiffy bags. Most are probably in one of those towering ‘to read’ piles of books most of us serious readers have. Maybe one or two are sitting on a bedside table. Maybe one is in someone’s hands RIGHT NOW.
A few people have already finished their copies - whilst in the bath, or keeping them up until 1.40am (sorry Liza Lee).
In March, these lovely people will be hosting me on my blog tour. They will be asking me questions about vegetables, and who knows what else.
I’d really love you to join me. And if you are a blogger yourself, and you think might be interested in hosting a leg, do get in touch – I still have a few slots left. Isn’t that a jolly looking bus? I think I shall use it as my virtual transport. All aboard!
PS for those who aren’t familiar with blog tours, I was going to link to Wikipedia but it seems they’ve never heard of them either! Basically it’s like a real life book tour but you visit blogs instead of cities, and the host blog either interviews you, writes a review of the book, or whatever they feel like doing. For more examples, my last book was on blog tour here.
It is very odd to write a story and release it into the wild.
Lovely Caroline and lovely Nik have taken photos of theirs. Clare spent a single day reading from cover to cover, and wrote a lovely post to say so.
Vanessa has told me she’s taking her copy to the Antartica, where she will read it under an iceberg.
Will people find a way to be fond of Violet, or will she be too prickly for them? Will they cry in the same places in the story that I do?
It is very odd to write a story and release it into the wild. Very odd, but what a privelige. What a gift.
When the delivery man knocked on my door at nine o’clock this morning I could have kissed him.
I restrained myself. Instead I took a deep breath and ripped open the top of the cardboard box and there it was – The Letters – my book. Look – there’s my thumb – it must be real!
I’ve been dreaming of this moment since I was seven, when I made my own books by stapling folded paper together and designing my own covers.
Anna and Em at Snowbooks have made a truly beautiful book inside and out, and the quotes they’ve chosen from Caroline, Jacqui and Susan are perfect.
I’m not a huge fan of hardbacks, but having seen how modestly sized and lovely this one is I’d suggest you might want to treat yourself so you don’t have to wait until March for the paperback. You can get it direct from Snowbooks (worldwide delivery) if you want to be sure of receiving it before Christmas, or for a discount from Amazon UK or Amazon US (it should be available there soon fingers crossed).
Thank you Snowbooks. Happy Fiona. I feel like Snoopy did when he did his dance.