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I know it all seems very quiet at the moment, but I promise you that I am beavering away on “Plank 4”.  My writing retreat starts soon, and I am writing big notes to myself like “should this chapter come first??? change order of EVERYTHING” – things that I will be able to address only when I am completely and selfishly immersed in all things Plank.

But of course self-publishing a book is not just about the words, and as a reward for progress thus far I am finally allowing myself to start thinking about the cover.  As you may notice, the Plank covers have something of a shared look – suggested by Design for Writers for “Fatal Forgery”, and so utterly brilliant that I have stuck with it.  In short, the cover is made up of the colour, a fuzzy background image of a document, a sharp foreground image of a line-drawn person, and the title.  The colour, pffft, I leave that to the experts, with the only proviso being that it should be an old colour, not a modern shiny one.  We’ve had blue, yellow and red – old, rich, muted versions of them – so we could go green, or purple, or brown, or maybe something that even Farrow & Ball have yet to invent (Constable’s Buttons?  London Mackerel?).  The title likewise I leave to those who know best – the readers of this blog.  The shortlist of five possibles will be out soon, and then I encourage you all to vote like billy-o.  Frankly this is such a pleasant way to operate that I may soon start asking you to choose my outfits and my meals.

However, I do have to get off my backside and do some of my own work when it comes to the two cover images: background document and foreground figure.  And I must admit that it is great fun, and I have to be stern with myself and not chase too many rabbits down too many holes looking for the “perfect” images.  As happens (thank goodness) by this stage of writing, I have a pretty clear idea of what the book is about, and this time round I knew exactly what I wanted: an auction catalogue in the background, and a miniature portrait of a little girl in the foreground.  Whether we’ll end up with that, I can’t say, as often our final options are dictated by image resolution and copyright, but you know me and my research – any excuse!

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