Monday, 13 January 2014
Love at first sight
I'm not talking about romantic love here, although that can feel pretty good too. This week I received a surprise parcel from my German publisher, Ullstein, containing ten beautifully packaged copies of my new paperback. I fell for it hook, line and sinker. I'm still so new to this game that a well-designed cover affects me like Cupid's arrow. The heady feeling was swiftly followed by frustration. I wanted to dive in and sample the first few paragraphs but my German leaves a lot to be desired. I will have to bribe my stepson's girlfriend to tell me how the translation flows. Until then the love will be unrequited. I can look at it adoringly, but it can't say much in reply.
The experience got me thinking about covers in general. I always loved the monochrome Penguins which lined the walls of the living room in the London house where I grew up in the Seventies. Book jackets were much less complex then. You knew the genre you were buying from the orange or green dust jackets, and my father would come home from the library, arms loaded with bright yellow Gollancz thrillers. Maybe it was the distinctive covers that always made me steal them when his back was turned. The love affair continues to this day.
And speaking of love affairs. My stepson Matt called today, to say that he's just been on a date for the first time in a while. Maybe there's something in the air!