'PLAGUE PITS & RIVER BONES':
BOOK COVER MUSINGS...
One of the most enjoyable things about writing a novel is playing with ideas for the book cover. Usually, by the time I'm half-way through a manuscript (which is where I am at the moment) I've some idea about what I would like on the front cover of the finished book. For me, it's always about the location of the story.
My publishers don't ask me for ideas until I've handed over the manuscript. The book cover design usually runs concurrently with the editing. APub use a very talented designer, called Lisa Horton, for my novels and I love everyone of them. Lisa rose to my challenge and created a fictional Northumbrian pele tower for 'Heiress' but I was more helpful with 'The Sans Pareil Mystery' and gave her pictures, pulled from the Internet, of the original Sans Pareil Theatre. Last year, I walked along the Market Harborough canal tow path and took photos of all the old bridges to help her with the design of the book cover for 'The Sculthorpe Murder.'
Both the bridge and the parliament buildings have been rebuilt since 1812, the year of this novel. Fortunately, there are plenty of paintings from the period to show us what it used to look like - many of them are painted by Canaletto. They're fascinating. I cannot get over how empty the banks of the Thames were two hundred years ago - and how wide the river seems to be without skyscrapers looming over it. Once upon a time, London was a city with a big sky.
Anyway, have a look at the inspirational paintings below and see what you think.