Exactly one month out from the launch of The Summer King, and I can finally show the cover to you all.
The first couple of versions of the cover weren’t quite right – the earliest version was a white background with a more angular tree, and just didn’t do it for me. And we were behind the original production schedule, so it wasn’t as though lengthy consultations were going to be practical. Fortunately, both Wendy Harrex (my publisher) and Sarah Maxey (the designer) were determined to get it right, so we had a couple of back-and-forward emails about possible tweaks, and came up with a compromise version that we were all basically satisfied with.
Then over the long weekend, Sarah had a flash of genius and came up with this version:
I was so worried about this part of the book process. I had no idea what I wanted for a cover, just … something special. (Poor Sarah! She must have been cursing me.) So there I was, trying to be grownup and not disappointed that Sarah hadn’t been able to read my mind. Evidently that was good karma! Because as soon as I saw it, I feel in love with my book all over again. How great is that?
As goofy as it sounds, this made my heartbeat speed up a little. It still does. There’s the way that the leaves could be thorns or buds. How Brothers Grimm it looks! The swirls on the tree’s truck – Celtic? Maori? Both? And the colour – red and black, emblem colours of the two places that I call home: Australia and Canterbury. Then there’s the way the colour darkens towards the edges, as though there’s a sun setting behind the tree …
Sarah’s even designed a matching title page and end-papers. It is going to be such a beautiful book, and I am so incredibly grateful. This still feels like some amazing dream.
Lets not wake up for a while yet.