Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Blob . . .

In her comment on the last post Lidia says:

By the way, I love the cover of your next book "At the Sheikh's Command" -- I
like the M&B version better than the HP. It is essentially the same picture,
but you get more background in the M&B version and for some reason that
makes a greater impact

I agree with her - this is one cover where the background seen through the open tent flap is just perfect. Abbie and Prince Malik have ridden through the desert and come to a camp in an oasis. You can the trees of the oasis outside the tent, and beyond that, the shadowy form of a huge sand dune.

Now that sand dune has a special significance for me because the very first Sheikh story I ever wrote - Desert Affair - had a cover that has gone down in the history of M&B covers as one of the worst of record. It has also acquired the half affectionate (the other half appalled) nickname of The Blob.

I've posted the cover here so you can see it in all its gruesome glory. When my son first spotted this book lying on my desk, he thought I'd spilled ink over the cover. For some time, I wasn't quite able to work out what it was - it's a sand dune, obviously, with a huge dark shadow covering one side and with a scraggy tree down there at the bottom. It was very evocative, I was told (though they never said evocative of what). It was distinctive (it was certainly that) - it would make people want to pick it up. Part of the problem was the positioning of that pale yellow band saying 'Romance' across the top - it would look a lot better on the paperback version.

Well, yes it did - on the paperback version it actually looks like a sand dune - the picture has been reversed, and you can see the top of the dune so it looks right and much less of a Blob. And I suppose I should have been grateful to theoriginal cover because I talked about it so much that when the paperback came out, people took one look at it and said - 'Oh there's the Blob!' And so, yes, it did make them pick it up - the design team were right about that.

So I'll admit that when I wrote At The Sheikh's Command, I was a little apprehensive about the sort of cover I might get. It was such a relief to see the wonderful cover that I've posted here (the USA version is in the sidebar). I've had a lot of messages from friends and readers saying how much they like it - and many of them have added some comment like 'No sign of The Blob' this time.

Ah, but . . .is that really true?

Take another look at the shape of the sand dune in all its glory on the cover of Desert Affair (the paperback version.) Then go back to the UK edtion of At The Sheikh's Command - and look at the sand dune you can see rising up in the distance. Isn't that the same dune? Isn't it really The Blob come back to haunt me?


Saskia King said...

Kate - do you mind if I ask a slightly personal question? I saw in your earlier posting when talking about your first book, that you had a break of about 2 years in between that and your second due to illness. Now, I'm nowhere near selling my first BUT I am kind of on a bit of a break due to health and life issues (I'm in my last couple of months of a twin preggy and have two preschoolers already). I am pretty much housebound (and bed bound) and can't sit at a computer for long and frankly, my brain is more than a bit mushy. I now things are going to be lke this for a wee while because for most of the first year my babies MUST come first - and well, its just going to be a bit of a feed-a-thon. I started writing when my son was just under one because he never slept and I found those early morning comfort stints much better to cope with when I was dreaming up crazy plot points. It did a lot for my sanity - so I know I'll get to that point again! ;)
ANYWAY, the question I wanted to ask was in what ways did you try to 'keep your hand in' or keep learning and growing as a writer during the time you were unwell/unable to write? I have been tooling around doing some outlines and character development for fun but wondered what other tips you might have for someone who is still dead keen but currently incapable of spending the true time required. I don't want to slip backwards because I know my writing has improved in the last year or so....
Enough waffle! Any advice greatly appreciated!
Thank you,

Anonymous said...

CarolC says.

Kate lol at the sand dunes, but the pink one in particular is mightily phallic...!

Love the new Sheik cover and can't wait for the book to arrive, I ordered them on Wednesday and was hoping they might be here by now.

blueberri said...

AT THE SHEIKH'S COMMAND'S book cover accurately depicts the deep sensuality you write with, Kate! I can't wait until that book is added to my collection!

Kate Walker said...

Saskia - I'll answer your letter in details on the main blog as I think your question will help others too.

Carol - that dune on the pink cover just looks wierd to me . Enjoy At The Sheikh's Command

Blue - That's sucha lovely compliment! As one of the Hoods to whom the books is dedicated - I hope you love it.


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