Time to Judge a Book by its Cover

There is no part of getting my work published that isn’t exciting, but lately two things have really brought it home for me.

I got a package in the mail that I assumed was just another thing I had ordered off Amazon while bored or drinking, that turned out to be five copies of the audiobook of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife. I screamed for a while, then danced with the copies, then remembered I don’t have a CD player in my house.

So, as some of you saw on Facebook live, I sat in my car and made it happen. It took me a few minutes to get past the utter surrealism of my own name on the digital display, but after that I settled in to really listen. The narrator, Angela Dawe is marvelously talented, and brings an insight and subtlety to the work that just slays me. I find myself holding my breath when she reads and I KNOW what happens; I WROTE the thing.

The second thing is cover art. Both times when my publisher has shown me what they were thinking for covers for my book, I was stunned. I had been prepared (by the horror stories of other writers) to fight for better representation: to reject blonde women in high heels running from danger, to argue that my post-apocalyptic dystopia was not best depicted as a woman making a cosmopolitan and eating a salad amid the rubble.

47North has only shown me art that proves that they both respect and understand my work. There were no fights. There were tweaks and revisions, and I’ve been completely satisfied with what the books look like. Delighted, even.

Both of these are really the same thing, denoted by a nifty little Greek word that I see used far too seldom: ekphrasis. Being an author means seeing art made in the image of your own art, inspired by it and extending its reach. Both the performance of the narrator and the work of the artist/designer are ekphrastic expressions, and it’s such a rush to see that come to life.

All of this to say: I’m revealing the cover for my sequel, The Book of Etta. You’ll get to meet her on February 21, 2017.




About Meg

Author, essayist, winner of the Philip K. Dick award.
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