Picture This

By Tobsha Learner

A literary thriller set in the art world of New York

Wednesday, 29 June 2016


So apologies for not posting sooner but I've been extremely busy on the rewrite of the draft, which is NOW IN IT'S FINAL STAGES. For those regular readers of my fiction you might know that I' infamous for being the queen of the rewrite, apart of meticulous research (especially with the historical fiction) I also pride myself on my word craft - and this encapulates rythmn, metaphor (I try and avoid repetition) sentence structure, the venacular (speech paterns/dialogue) visuals and general visceral shadings. And that's not to mention the nuances of plot, particuarly important in a thriller. Often the plotting and clue trail can be a little too obvious in early drafts and it's a question of paring back and making the reader work a little harder so that the adventure is more exciting and unexpected. And often the writer is too close to see the wood for the trees which is why a really good editor is as rare as Hen's teeth. I'm happy to report to you guys who all put your faith and money on the line, UNBOUND hooked me up with a fantastic editor!!Jamie Groves (sorry Jamie but I'm pluggin you anyhow). As I'm a cynical curmudgeon of a very seasoned writer this was a lovely surprise. Not only was he meticulous and a terrible pendant (very neccesary in an editor) he also loved the book (that really helps!) and gave it his 150%. And he was fast and professional. Three rewrites later and we're done, now just waiting for final copy-edit/lay-out pass and the cover art. Thank you Jamie!! It's not always that much of a love affair between writer and editor!

So now to the cover art. After a couple of conversations with the designer we have come up with a couple of concepts and I'd love some feedback so feel free to post/send in/tweet your comments.

We have two takes on the one concept. I was interested in the idea of the eye=erotic gaze but also a sublime reference to  the use of the eye in the surrealist film  Un Chien Andalou. And given that SUSIE my protagonist is an artist involved in the photographic re-enactment of classical paintings, we settled on the idea of a female nude reflected in the iris of a giant female eye but depicted in a strong iconic manner. I have inserted the two images - 

The designer (Mecob designs) has worked wonders with a limited budget, but we'd love feed-back!!!

Keep you posted - the E BOOK should be ready in about a month!!!




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Harold Rubin
 Harold Rubin says:

Hi Tobsha, (love your name - did you make it up?)
I am afraid the cover art looks too much like something to launch a Bond film.
We have something in common, me a play about the vagaries of the art world and you with "Picture This" which I will support.
best luck with it,
Harold Rubin

posted 29th June 2016

Cara Usher
 Cara Usher says:

hey there tobsha. congratulations on finishing this latest work (i'm a recent fan, having only discovered "the witch of cologne" about 3 years ago)!! really looking forward to the ebook edition - hopefully the month will just fly by!!

of the two suggested cover arts, i like the one on the right more. it's very striking, although to begin with, i did wonder why the woman had bat-like ears, until i realised, with a sense of foolishness, that those "ears" were her arms :)

posted 29th June 2016

Tobsha Learner
 Tobsha Learner says:

Thanks Harold, NO, I did not make up my name (I just inherited my great grand mothers first name) trust me, it hasn't been easy having it all my life! (the UK readers of my thrillers know me as TS Learner - publisher thought it best to go genderless -the books are quite muscular ) I'll go out for the play, and forward the comment to the book designer
cheers Tobsha

posted 1st July 2016

Tobsha Learner
 Tobsha Learner says:

Thanks Cara, and thanks for loving The Witch of Cologne - I also write historical thrillers (pub. Sphere c/o LittleBrown UK) you would probably like The Stolen (the Roma, some mysticism and real history) and I will forward your comment to the designer. I think we'll stick with the idea of the image within the retina but make it clearer it's an actual eye
cheers Tobsha

posted 1st July 2016

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