Publication of TROBAIRITZ the Storyteller goes ahead. Here’s the front and back cover.
What does the cover of TROBAIRITZ tell you?
First, I want it to have warmth. A satisfying, bread and butter sort of comfort. A cover that does something to your senses, even makes your mouth water.
A cover that says it’s not quite in the world you know. An imaginary world. Almost dreamlike.
I hope it makes you ask yourself questions.
Why is it a picture of a village?
Where is it? Does it look like England? No.
Why are there no people in the design?
What does the word Trobairitz mean?
( I wrote a post on who the Trobairitz were. Here is a link to that post. You can go to the Categories section on the right sidebar and in the drop down box choose Trobairitz for all my posts on this subject.)
So, the Trobairitz were female troubadours of the 12th and 13th centuries. What has that got to do with my new novel set in present day Languedoc?
Bringing the past into the present
Trobairitz were bringers of news and storytellers. They sang, too, to their own accompaniment and their themes were often about current affairs and romantic love as well as traditions and the place of women within values and attitudes of the times.
My 21st century Trobairitz is a truck driver. At an overnight truck stop in the heart of Languedoc, Weed tells a story. The themes of tradition and women and relationships are woven into the tale she tells but in her real life those are the very things that cause her problems.
The fact that Weed’s story is set in a circulade is also relevant. A circulade is built in the shape of a snail shell. Curving rows of houses surround and protect the church on top of the hill. They’re designed to confuse raiders. Even today it’s possible to lose one’s way in the maze of narrow streets and alleyways.
In TROBAIRITZ the Storyteller, the shape of the village is reflected in the stories Weed tells. There is a central theme, hiding under the archways, shrinking back into narrow passageways, revealing itself only gradually. I like that kind of a tease in books.
I decided to lighten the appearance of the cover for this first of the TROBAIRITZ trilogy. The original was too dark and didn’t give the right feel. You’ll see there’s still a bit of darkness hovering in the background and, as in real life, there will be episodes of darker happenings as Weed’s story progresses.
I deliberately chose not to have people and/or faces in the design. When I’m reading I like to make up my own images of what the characters look like. I especially don’t like those front covers showing ladies clad in silks and satins etc. which bear no resemblance to the actual story. You might want to read a previous post about book covers.
Why did I make Weed a truck driver?
Our resident teenage online gamer, aka Gollum Boy gave me the idea. We were eating dinner one night and I said,
‘What kind of a job would a woman have where she travelled about to different places all the time?’
‘That’s easy,’ he said. ‘She drives a truck.’
Duh. Why hadn’t I thought of that? I love trucks. I think they’re the sexiest vehicles on the road. GB’s suggestion was perfect for the character I had in mind: a feisty lady who knows how to handle working in a man’s world, a woman who enjoys men’s company but has issues with commitment.
Why does she have issues with commitment? And why is she called Weed?
Ah. TROBAIRITZ the Storyteller – book one of the trilogy is available next Friday 28th November. Just in time for Christmas stockings!