As you’ve probably gathered by now, I am incredibly grateful to have met Jonathon Earl Bowser, the artist who painted the awesome cover for ‘COAST: An Act Of Burial’. I am now even further indebted to him for this excellent review which he posted on Amazon. Holy cow do I ever owe this boy a few beers!
“When I was asked to produce the cover art for this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I can’t really say I’m a fan of the genre in general, and certainly not an authority on such things. But I have indeed read every one of Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series, and I think Richards’ book compares favorably to them. It’s exciting, funny, knowledgeable of its subject, and packed full of quirky “Britishisms” that really made the old formula seem fresh. Most importantly for me (the cover artist who must find a way to convey in a single image some of the substance of the whole story) were the vivid descriptions of the many exotic locations. I found surprisingly complete, almost cinematic, pictures forming in my mind as the dynamic action unfolded. It’s easy for a narrative to lose its way when many crazy things are happening, but Richards keeps you well anchored with an unusually strong sense of place – rather like he is recalling events that actually happened (and he did slyly raise an eyebrow at me when I jokingly suggested as much to him in one of our design meetings). Can’t wait for the sequel!”
Thank you Jon! And that is all for now.
Roger and out, X.
Five days to go!
I’ve found a printing company who can turn round copies of my spy novel in small quantities at very reasonable costs. This is great news because it means I can get physical, professionally printed copies into the hands of more reviewers, many of whom prefer that format. It also means I can give a nice copy with a note of appreciation to the people who have really helped me out like Jeff, Jon, Brian, Steve, Kyla and so on. I could maybe sell a few too, and thereby offset some of my costs. I’ve thought about doing a charity thing, where people pay a little more for the book, but I give the proceeds to a worthy cause.
So I’ve been working on a cover layout to send off to this printing company. I say ‘layout’ because it’s not really a design; it’s a pretty generic book cover and it was Jon who did all the hard work with his incredible cover painting. He also provided an updated picture of me, which looks a lot better. My biggest challenge has been how to strip down the ‘blurb’ on the back from 220 words to about 150-160 without totally ruining it, but that’s another story for another time.
Getting back to Jon, regular readers will be familiar with this odd little story, but—would you believe—I share a cover artist with Saddam Hussein! Amazing as it may seem, the notorious dictator stole Jon’s painting ‘The Awakening‘ for his ghost-written 2000 novel ‘Zabibah And The King‘, on which the upcoming movie ‘The Dictator‘ is based. The full and very interesting story can be read on Jon’s website. It is an odd feeling to know that the cover of my espionage thriller was created by the same talent that (unwittingly) painted Saddam’s cover, but it’s a kinda fun little story nonetheless. Jon’s postscript may cause a wry grin.
Swinging the subject rather radically, my computer messed up this morning and lost an incoming email. So if you’ve not heard back from me over something important, please let me know. I’m not being ignorant, I promise!
Roger and out, X.
Review copies are going out… Once in the hands of the reviewers I’m at their mercy! Let me make this perfectly clear though: I don’t expect glowing reviews; I want honest ones. If any book review happens to be both, this blogger will be very pleased indeed. N.B.; if you’re into reviewing books and would like a review copy, please get in touch.
It’s funny: I’ve finalized the manuscript for my spy novel and sent it off to Bookbaby for epub (the filetype that most e-readers use) formatting. Yet I’m so used to coming up with ideas and edits for the text that my brain’s still doing it without having to try. This is a bit of a pain because some of them are good ideas which can’t be included now—but they might make it to the sequel(s). I also find I’m worrying about small details as though they’ll ruin the whole thing in the eyes of the reviewer. Yesterday I went off on some mental rabbit-trail about a character holding a certain object, only to find that in my nervousness I’d recalled it inaccurately and there was nothing actually wrong. I think I need to chill.
Printing out review copies has been an interesting exercise. How to fill a room with the essence of laser printing or what? They make a certain highly recognizable niff which seemed to pervade the whole office. It turns out that the book prints on exactly a hundred pages of letter, double-sided with a ten point font. I don’t know what speed this particular laser printer is supposed to run at, but it made short work of the 172,000 word book and squirted out three whole copies before the toner died (which, in fairness, was already getting low). When I went to buy a new toner cartridge I realized—with shock—the methodology by which the printer manufacturers are driving such nice cars: The printer may be a couple of hundred bucks, but the four toner cartridges total more than twice as much and there are no third-party versions available. So everyone rushes out to buy the printer thinking what a good deal it is, then they have to sell their children to afford the next toner. Whilst such cunning on the part of the manufacturer reeks of cheating in my eyes, I do kinda wish I’d thought of it.
Right, I must away. These review copies aren’t going to laminate, bind and post themselves!
Roger and out, X.