REGENERATION: US cover reveal

After a season of mostly silence I have news, and it is this: Regeneration will be released in North America on May 3rd. Today we unveil the cover, about which much more will shortly be said:

Regeneration UScover FINAL

The gillungs are thriving. The water-breathing, genetically modified humans have colonized riverbanks and ports long abandoned to the rising seas and pioneered new high-efficiency quantum-battery technology.

But as demand grows, so do fears about their impact on both norm businesses and the natural environment. Then, a biohazard scare at Sinkat, their colony on the Thames, fuels the opposition and threatens to derail the gillungs’ progress. But is this an accident, or is it sabotage?

Detective Sharon Varsi has her suspicions, and Gabriel sees parallels in the propaganda war he’s fighting; politicians and corporations have stakes in this game too. And now there is a new threat: industry tycoon Zavcka Klist is about to be released from prison—and she’s out to regain everything they took from her.


REGENERATION cover reveal!


I’ve been really happy with all my covers, but this may be my favourite of the UK editions – and I’ve had to sit on it for months. It’s gone up on the Jo Fletcher Books site, so I can finally share it here too. (Also coming soon: the Binary cover for the US edition, which continues the theme of the Gemsigns cover and is very, very beautiful.)

Here’s the Regeneration cover copy:

The gillungs – genetically modified, waterbreathing humans – are thriving. They’ve pioneered new aquatic industries, and their high-efficiency quantum battery technology coupled to tidal turbines in the Thames estuary looks set to revolutionise the energy industry. But as demand grows, so does fear of what their newfound power might mean.

Then a biohazard scare at Sinkat, their London headquarters, fuels the opposition and threatens to derail the gillungs’ progress. Was it an accident born of overconfidence, or was it sabotage?

DS Sharon Varsi has her suspicions, and Gabriel sees parallels in the propaganda war he’s trying to manage: politicians and big business have stakes in this game too. And now there is a new threat: Zavcka Klist is out of prison. With powerful new followers and nothing to lose, she’s out to reclaim everything they took from her.

Regeneration is out on 2nd July (but only if I get the copy edits done in time – pressing ‘Publish’, back to work).

BINARY cover reveal!


Ta daah! Isn’t it gorgeous?

Apologies for the length of time this has taken, folks – I am fortunate enough to have a publisher who listens to author input on covers (and accommodates almost all of them), but the tweaks I asked for meant the final version was a bit delayed. Some of you noticed the work-in-progress versions of the cover up on the Jo Fletcher Books website and 2014 catalogue – because sales deadlines wait for no one. Sorry for any confusion that may have caused.

However! I think it was worth the wait. What do you think?

When confiscated genestock is stolen out of secure government quarantine, DI Sharon Varsi finds herself on the biggest case of her career … chasing down a clever thief, a mysterious hacker, and the threat of new, black market gemtech.

Zavcka Klist, ruthless industrial enforcer, has reinvented herself. Now the head of Bel’Natur, she wants gem celebrity Aryel Morningstar’s blessing for the company’s revival of infotech – the science that spawned the Syndrome, nearly destroyed mankind, and led to the creation of the gems. With illness in her own family that only a gemtech can cure, Aryel’s in no position to refuse.

As the infotech programme inches towards a breakthrough, Sharon’s investigations lead ever closer to the dark heart of Bel’Natur, the secrets of Aryel Morningstar’s past … and what Zavcka Klist is really after.

GEMSIGNS cover blurb

My publisher asked if I wanted to have a crack at the jacket copy for Gemsigns. This is, of course, hugely important; how many of us decide to buy a book – or not – by picking up a likely-looking volume, flipping it over and reading the back? (Or the inside flap of the jacket if it’s a hardcover.) You’d think it  wouldn’t be too difficult, but it turns out that 2-3 short, punchy paragraphs that capture the essence of the story without giving too much away, that are enticing enough to hook a prospective reader, are not simple to construct at all. I’ve read my latest draft so many times now it’s a blur. So this is an attempt to crowdsource opinion. Would you buy this book?


Humanity stands on the brink. Again.

Surviving the Syndrome meant genetically altering every person on the planet. But norms and gems are different. Gems may have the superpowers that once made them valuable commodities, but they also have more than their fair share of the disabled, the violent and the psychotic. And a legacy of servitude, to which they will not return.

When the gem Gaela finds an abandoned child with an unregistered ability, events are set in motion that will drag every element of her fractured world into conflict: the vicious intrigues of the gemtech that created her, the holy war of the godgangs, and the fears and prejudices of the norm majority. Ruthless executive Zavcka Klist will do whatever it takes to retrieve little Gabriel. Deformed, unaccountably formidable leader Aryel Morningstar is hiding secrets of her own. Only norm scientist Dr Eli Walker can be trusted to navigate this treacherous terrain, in a desperate search for the truth.

Likes and/or comments much appreciated!

GEMSIGNS cover reveal!

A few weeks ago I reported with much excitement on the cover meeting I’d had with Jo Fletcher Books. As I said then, the concept they came up with managed both to fit the brief perfectly and to be not at all what I expected, to reflect the story while giving nothing away. I was stunned and delighted and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. And now … I can.

The first book of the ®Evolution

Gemsigns will be published April 2013


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.

  • 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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