Stickers on Book Covers


Stickers (or more likely pretend stickers) are all the rage on book covers. Those little bright circles used to contain important additional information, such as a shortlisting for a literary prize, but now it can be almost anything including frequent claims that the latest release is the new Gone Girl or for fans of The Girl on the Train or Stieg Larsson.

Anyway, I can hardly complain since I have joined in with my own circular cry for attention, but why stop at one? Perhaps I could coat my entire book cover in circles filled with the best and most exciting quotes?

Where Would we be Without Authors?

London Book Fair 2015
London Book Fair 2015

It’s the final day of London Book Fair. I managed two days out of the three before I thought, enough.

It’s often said book fairs are not for authors – like lambs visiting a slaughterhouse – and best avoided. However, this is the third year I’ve visited and it is changing.

‘Effective PR and Marketing’, ‘5 Ways to Supercharge your eBook sales’, and ‘The Principles of Successful Book Cover Design’ were just three of the many useful seminars on offer.

Alongside author interviews such as Ali Smith who was inspiring, and Conchita Wurst (Eurovision winner) who was entertaining but irritating because: a) I was expecting a seminar full of tips about writing non-fiction, b) her autobiography is ghostwritten, and c) she’s not into books, and only reads “the Vogue”.

Conchita Wurst at LBF 2015Thankfully there were also interesting panel discussions including established talents such as author Melvin Burgess, and his charismatic publisher Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press.

‘Where would we be without authors?’ he said. ‘Publishers are just midwives.’

Writers, Dogs and the Tsunami that is Ill Health


My dog Basil is always with me whether I’m walking, writing, cooking etc. He’s a constant.

Yesterday, however, things changed, and the only walk Basil had was in my arms, wrapped in an old towel, straight to the vet’s where he remained.

Illness can hit like a tsunami. After an average day of walking, writing and more walking, Basil threw up, and in the early hours he repeatedly excreted blood.

With Basil at the vet’s on a drip etc, I didn’t even try to write. How could I concentrate without my little friend? Instead I worked on a linocut for the cover of my upcoming book, London Tsunami.

Linocut in progress
Linocut in progress

The title story, London Tsunami, is about a woman whose partner, without warning, becomes dangerously ill. Whilst other stories in the collection deal with similarly sudden and unexpected shifts in reality.

Cover designToday is of course another day and after a night on intravenous antibiotics Basil has bounced back. He’s now home and although he’s a little quieter and skinnier than normal he’s well on his way back to good health.