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Time to Judge a Book by its Cover

There is no part of getting my work published that isn’t exciting, but lately two things have really brought it home for me.

I got a package in the mail that I assumed was just another thing I had ordered off Amazon while bored or drinking, that turned out to be five copies of the audiobook of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife. I screamed for a while, then danced with the copies, then remembered I don’t have a CD player in my house.

So, as some of you saw on Facebook live, I sat in my car and made it happen. It took me a few minutes to get past the utter surrealism of my own name on the digital display, but after that I settled in to really listen. The narrator, Angela Dawe is marvelously talented, and brings an insight and subtlety to the work that just slays me. I find myself holding my breath when she reads and I KNOW what happens; I WROTE the thing.

The second thing is cover art. Both times when my publisher has shown me what they were thinking for covers for my book, I was stunned. I had been prepared (by the horror stories of other writers) to fight for better representation: to reject blonde women in high heels running from danger, to argue that my post-apocalyptic dystopia was not best depicted as a woman making a cosmopolitan and eating a salad amid the rubble.

47North has only shown me art that proves that they both respect and understand my work. There were no fights. There were tweaks and revisions, and I’ve been completely satisfied with what the books look like. Delighted, even.

Both of these are really the same thing, denoted by a nifty little Greek word that I see used far too seldom: ekphrasis. Being an author means seeing art made in the image of your own art, inspired by it and extending its reach. Both the performance of the narrator and the work of the artist/designer are ekphrastic expressions, and it’s such a rush to see that come to life.

All of this to say: I’m revealing the cover for my sequel, The Book of Etta. You’ll get to meet her on February 21, 2017.

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9 thoughts on “Time to Judge a Book by its Cover

  1. As someone who spends WAY too much time thinking about book covers, I just wanted to chime in and say I like this cover A LOT.

    Now, it’ll be perfect if they’ll just add a blonde women in high heels running from danger while making a cosmopolitan and eating a salad… (I kid, I kid!)

    Anyway, I love a nice, subtle cover that sets the tone or creates a certain atmosphere for the book within. Obviously, I haven’t read The Book of Etta yet, but I’m very much looking forward to it!

  2. Wow! Just finished “Unnamed” and am blown away! I have been reading voraciously all my life..I am 72..and I mean 3-4 books a week, every genre, and when I finished this book all I could think was “this woman has GOT to keep writing”! So so glad to hear about Etta, coming soon. Keep it up..your plot line is fantastic, your characters are so real! I couldn’t put Unnamed down! You’re young, so hopefully many more books to come!

  3. I just finished Unnamed Midwife. I was absolutely stunned by it. I’ve read dozens of post-apocalyptic books, and most are sadly amateurish and preachy. Yours was amazing. You managed to avoid stock characters, clichés, and silly plot twists that favor romance over reality. Great job, girl! Can’t wait to read the Book of Etta. Oh, and I’m a nurse practitioner, so you can be sure I paid close attention to your medical details. You nailed it.

  4. LOVED Book of the Unnamed Midwife. Listened to it maybe 4 times already, and I only bought it a month ago.
    Cannot wait until February.
    Keep writing.

  5. I’m listening to it on Audible, for the FOURTH TIME. I am a big fan of this genre and this is such a great tale. It is also very empowering to women and I’ve recommended it to my female friends a lot. Absolutely one of my favorites. I will buy all your stuff, just keep it coming. 🙂

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