Gemsigns it is, and a really cool cover

Now that I’ve caught up on my sleep and had a natter with the neighbours about the appalling weather, some news! I pitched up at my publisher’s office on Tuesday and was whisked away to lunch by the lovely Jo Fletcher herself, with my agent and Jo’s editorial assistant and publicity director in tow. I knew I was going to get an update on how the cover art was coming along; I didn’t know they were going to whip out, oh a dozen or so, iterations of the cover of my book!

Complete with title: we’re all really happy with Gemsigns (so kudos to editorial assistant Nicola Budd for the typo that turned it from just ‘okay’ into ‘ooh, cool!’ There are some very good accidents in life.) Complete with my name, obviously, but I still had a moment of shock seeing it there, a thrill up the spine, a sense of surreality. Blimey. I did that.

The cover itself was also a surprise; it wasn’t what I was expecting, although I don’t know what I was expecting. I’d had a rant early on about how repetitive cover art gets, especially in the SFF world; I do not want to bring yet another bloodied hero with a broken broadsword on a blasted battlefield into the house, nor am I any longer intrigued by sleek spaceships illuminated by lasers/phasers/whatever against a backdrop of endless night. Not that any of those visual tropes could even remotely be applied to Gemsigns, but I didn’t want it to be bland and noncommittal either. Give me something that looks designed, I said, something striking, something different.

Boy, did they ever.

All the versions were variations of the same basic idea. Four or five I discarded immediately, to sighs of relief; I just disliked them, the professionals had already judged them a bit too YA.  It took a few seconds longer to discard the next round, and the next, as the distinctions became more subtle; but in very short order we were down to The One. Which is hard, and alluring, and mysterious, and doesn’t look like anything else I’ve seen in quite some time.

Oh, and red. It’s very red.

The picture I took with my phone has been resoundingly approved by friends, but I can’t share it here just yet. Once the required tweaks are made (slightly heavier lines on the title font, a little more shading here, a little less there) and the final final version is approved, bright shiny PDFs will be dispatched for posting. I can’t wait.

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  • Stephanie Saulter

    I love stories.
    My new novel, Sacred, is all about them. Publication info will be posted as soon as I have it. In the meantime check out Gemsigns, Binary and Regeneration, available wherever good books are sold.

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