I’m sure I’ll blog about this in greater detail at some point in the future (I don’t want to give too much away just yet) but, as we’ve been talking about the front cover of Freaks! this week, I thought I’d mention it a little right now.
Writing and having a book published is always a collaborative process. Writers tend to be good at writing, but not so hot on other things, and that’s why publishers employ people who DO know what they’re talking about when it comes to cover design, marketing, type-setting, etc, etc. But, for most (and certainly for me, for my previous two books) those discussions don’t tend to take place until the book’s been written.
With Freaks!, it’s been different, in a few ways. The way it was written being the obvious one. Right from the off, when Caroline and I wrote the stories, we were doing it together. In fact, we were doing it together even before any of the stories had even been written – the concept of the book was a shared thing: a collaboration.
And then, once the book had been written we recruited Darren, which brought a different kind of collaboration to the table: the collaboration between two writers and one illustrator. Now, both of my previous books have been illustrated, so I am used to working with illustrators, but for those other books that’s been done along with a publisher, and not with another writer.
And, while the experience has certainly been different in a lot of ways, it’s been a good one. Working with Caroline has been great fun. Two heads, in this case and for this book, have certainly been been better than one. And having Darren illustrate those stories in his style has been a new and interesting thing too. And the results are good. The results are great.The result is (I hope!) a book, an illustrated collection of short stories, that we’re all extremely proud of.
As I said, we’re at a stage now where we’re talking about the cover with our wonderful publisher. We’ve seen a few concepts. One has won (after a little discussion). And I’ve got to say, I genuinely cannot wait to see the finished design. It is going to be awesome.