Posted by kirstyes
by M. A. Griffin
I can’t tell you how excited I was when I first saw the cover to my new novel, PAYBACK.
I’d known the cover had been causing them a few problems. The design team knew what they were after but couldn’t quite get it to work. The wonderfully talented Helen Crawford-White was given the gig, and the publication date was put back as she laboured away; April became May became July.
Then the cover arrived, a pdf attached to an email. I was blown away. It was black, with cool, reflective gold foil lettering. And – I suspect I’m alone in this – I’d always wanted a black book. I have a thing about black books.
Here’s why. To me, black books are holiday books. I guess this goes back to the horror-obsession I had during my teenage years in the late 1980s. As my family’s summer break loomed each year, I’d pack black books about monsters. I remember James Herbert’s The Rats and The Fog, Guy Smith’s The Crabs, Steven King’s stuff and Peter Benchley’s The Deep (which might’ve been more like dark blue.)
It’s worth mentioning that PAYBACK – a heist novel about a gang of anti-capitalist teenage thieves – has little relationship to my summer reading all those years ago. PAYBACK is a thrilling series of robberies, an exploration of direct action and its consequences, a story following powerful and idealistic young activists as they target corrupt organisations and redistribute wealth to the needy. It’s Robin Hood meets The 39 Steps. Nothing like King or Herbert.
Other than, of course, in the colour of its cover.
Black books do special things when you take them to a sunny beach or pool, and this is why I love them:
1. They absorb heat and nearly burn your fingers when you pick them up.
2. The glue that binds them melts faster than other books and the pages begin to separate.
3. Sand attaches itself to the tacky glue between the pages in fine lines. The book almost crunches as you leaf through it.
4. The covers often curl as they dry so your summer read assumes the shape of that elongated ‘m’ we use to indicate distant birds in childhood pictures.
5. Splashed swimming pool water gathers in beads on black covers. Each becomes a super-heated pinprick before it evaporates.
So there you go, folks – five very good reasons to pack PAYBACK in your suitcase this summer!
Cover design by Helen Crawford-White studiohelen.co.uk
PAYBACK by M. A. Griffin out now in paperback (£7.99, Chicken House)
Follow M.A. Griffin on twitter @fletchermoss and find out more at http://www.chickenhousebooks.com
Do check out the other stops on the tour.
Thanks to Laura Smythe and Chicken House for the copy which I’m really looking forward to reading and burning my hands on in this heatwave.