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This week, artist Jonathon Earl Bowser and I have been discussing the cover image of the new COAST novel.

Isn’t it a little premature, you ask?  Sure it is, but having a very rough mock-up of the previous cover really helped me get into the right mindset when writing ‘Act Of Burial’.  There are a number of things I find inspiring when I write.  Usually, coming to the wordprocessor fresh from watching an action movie really helps, as does playing scores from those kinds of films.  Having images works in the same way.  When I wrote the first book I made a terrible version of what later became Jon’s amazing cover painting.  It featured a couple of friends and myself in a bad montage with submarine, choppers and so on.  I’m no artist, but at least it gave me a sense of direction, so to speak.

This time round I’ve got Jon involved at an earlier stage.  We’ve been passing ideas back and forth and I for one have been thoroughly enjoying the process.  You see, I have a few ideas and suggestions about what needs to be in there (well, if I hadn’t by now there’d be a heck of a problem, wouldn’t there?) but Jon has this amazing way of clarifying it all.  He takes my rough version—which actually isn’t anywhere near as rough as the first time—and sees all the things I don’t.  He makes sense of it.  He draws out the ideas in a way that both emphasizes the details and shapes the whole to make it communicative.  It’s an impressive skill and I feel very privileged to have him on my ‘team’.  I already have in my greasy grasp a rough pencil sketch which has blown me away, and added more fuel to the fire of my writing.  Awesome!

That’s all for now.  Roger and out, X.


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