By Paul Waters

Maverick cop Jolly Macken goes looking for a killer, but accidentally starts a war

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Most of you won't read this, so I'll tell you again when I see you. But...

for those of you who do read these updates - first of all, thank you - and secondly, here's where we are with Blackwatertown. I'm playing with cover ideas to send to the professional cover designer. It'll have my name, the book title, a celeb writer endorsement (all offers welcome) and perhaps a one-liner to draw in potential readers. And it'll have a picture.

The lone silhouetted male figure seems like a good idea. But how to make it look a bit 1950s, without getting too fussy? Maybe an old car? And should there be something that says it's set in Ireland - without the idea of Northern Ireland putting people off. (NB: It's not set in The Troubles.) Would the spirit of John Hinde postcards help me - third pic along, top row. The Will Dean/Dark Pines cover is clever and effective - something like that with a river perhaps?

I'm just thinking out loud. Once I've submitted my thoughts and received some imagery back, I'll share with those of you who have offered to look over the options - and perhaps in a future update.

In other news, the copy edit is complete, I hope - or if not, nearly complete. Sure who'd have thought that "leant" and "leapt" could be such controversial words? And whether there should be a comma after the "Sure" in the previous sentence. Not if it's someone like me speaking. And that's even before we get into alien concepts like travelling north into the South, and south into the North. Don't blame us, we didn't draw the border.

All being well, I can imagine Blackwatertown being ready by the end of March, or not long thereafter. Of course, that does not mean it will be published then. The publishers, in their wisdom, will decide the best date in 2020. But whenever it is - and I'm gagging to know too - you'll get your copies before everyone else.

Feel free to share this. Or encourage other people to support Blackwatertown. There's still time for other people to get their name inside every copy of the book, before that stage of the production window closes.
Thanks everyone. Paul.

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Jason Grubbs
 Jason Grubbs says:

Hi Paul: Interesting topic as a book cover is often what draws the eye (and attention) of a prospective reader. For crime stories I'm always drawn to an image that conveys a sense of menace or lurking danger. Of the examples you cited I like the Will Dean cover (conveying isolation & danger), Ann Rule, and Michael Ondaatje (foreboding). A solitary figure, a settling fog, and the hulking menace of a building wherein danger awaits...
Hope you're enjoying the process of bringing your book to publication. I appreciate and enjoy the updates!

posted 17th January 2020

Paul Waters
 Paul Waters says:

Thanks for the feedback Jason. All useful thoughts. If only everyone agreed...
I've been getting some strong reactions positive and negative to the same of covers above - but without a clear winner yet. Though the Wealth of Nations, Brad Thor and John Hinde styles do not seem to have any/many fans so far.

posted 17th January 2020

Alena Doll
 Alena Doll says:

Funny, I have all of Ann Rule books, she actually used to live not far from me and we even corresponded via e-mail. Love her writing. I have this weird thinking... maybe a black background with a castle shadow coming out of it (could be even a crumbled castle), in the foreground a man in shadows wearing a hat tucked mostly over his face (Humphrey Bogart-like), he can have cigarette or pipe smoke lifting up into the air to only dissipate into nothing. He is sitting at a table and on that table is a Guinness and a Bushmills shot next to it as a chaser (No name if you cannot get their approval). Maybe also have on that table the paper from the time period announcing war or something similar. Just a few thoughts rambling around my brain. Thanks! Alena~

posted 17th January 2020

Jamie Cawley
 Jamie Cawley says:

For me a key to getting an Irish atmosphere is the grey-green colour of everything, Grey stone, grey sky, grey roads, green-grey grass - hence I feel the appeal of the Wealth of Nations cover next to the Practice to Deceive cover and a bit of Harry's game.

The silhouette conveys the Man Alone feel, which may be what you want and a hat will give a 1950s vibe. Question: is our hero above the scene, looking down at it, walking away from it, into it or what....

It's great anticipation.

posted 18th January 2020

Turlough Somers
 Turlough Somers says:

The comma thing after sure and so and incidentally and of course really irritates me. especially sure, (comma correct here) which trips off every Irish person's tongue. Commas interrupt the flow of thoughts and at the beginning of sentences should be abolished.
Good luck with the cover Paul. I'd be no help when it comes to covers. Sure I'm aesthetically challenged.

posted 18th January 2020

Turlough Somers
 Turlough Somers says:

Oh look sure, I'm my brother's account. Sorry.


posted 18th January 2020

Eamon Somers
 Eamon Somers says:

Sure here I am now in my own account.


posted 18th January 2020

Paul Waters
 Paul Waters says:

Alena - Thanks for your suggestions. Intriguing! I won't go for the castle - because (as you'll read) there's not much of it left in the story. The other points and the overall feel are interesting. And the signals as to the historical period.

Jamie - I was wondering about green. Not sure it's an alluring book cover colour. But grey-green - that could be the answer! The man along silhouette seems a good bet - to let bookshop staff know where to shelve it and readers know what sort of category it belongs in. But your final question is the key - is he above, in it, etc. I originally felt walking towards it - but looking down from a vantage point could work too.

Turlough - hello. You need to watch that brother of yours.

Eamon - Sure you're dead right about the comma in this case. Though to be fair to the copy editor, he did flag up that he might have been mishearing it.

posted 21st January 2020

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