Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Time to break the silence as I finally have an update on Versailles, and it's all good news.
I've been getting a few messages from people who pledged for the book, asking about Versailles' whereabouts. Penguin/Random House, who are responsible for the printing and distribution of the trade edition, have deemed late summer 2016 the best time to publish the novel. It's a while to wait yet but timing for the release of a work of debut literary fiction is important because you want to avoid putting it up against, for example, titles written by big-name authors. In other words we want to give the novel its best chance of getting noticed in a very competitive market. So anyway, this means that anyone who pledged for the special-edition hardback of the book should expect their copy in the post in early summer 2016, some time in advance of the trade edition. Before that happens the novel will go through a period of development, namely an edit, and, most excitingly, design.
And it's the cover design I want to talk about now because I have some amazing news on that front. I recently learned that the very talented and innovative illustrator Yehrin Tong will be designing the cover for Versailles. Yehrin recently won the V&A Book Cover Illustration award for her work on Michel Faber's novel The Book of Strange New Things (http://www.vam.ac.uk/b/villa-2015/book-cover-2015). From the moment Unbound told me Yehrin might be involved I couldn't stop smiling. Her sensibility, which in her own words is characterised by "tessellating mathematical motifs" and "optical illusions" feels perfectly suited to Versailles' atmosphere, themes and form. Yesterday, I helped put together a brief for Yehrin and I just can't wait to see what she comes up with. The whole thing feels like Christmas to the power of Christmas.
Take a look at her website and you'll see why I'm so delighted: