Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Last Month - Part 1.

Err... right. This one's going to be a bit of a stream of consciousness, rather than my usual, meticulous, *ahem!* ever-so-structured prose!

This is partly because this whole month feels like it's been more of a stream of consciousness than my usual, meticulous, *ahem!* ever-so-structured life.... Well, that is, it's been a bit different you see. Usually, my life consists of; getting up, dog-walking, getting dressed (yes, in that order), working, eating, working, eating, So You Think You Can Dance, bed. Things in my life tend not to leap about in pace much. I get work, I panic about work, I panic some more, and then I settle down into a routine to get the job done... and just when things are getting really comfortable, I finish the job, wondering why on earth I was ever worried.

This month has involved me balancing different projects; something I've never done before, which makes the whole process of having a good panic so much trickier to schedule in, I'm sure you'll understand. Sometimes it's been difficult trying to remember which project I was panicking about. In which case, I came up with a cunning plan, and panicked about not knowing which project to panic about- ahhh! See! I don't miss a trick!!!

Anyway, irrespective of everything else, my priority had to be to finish the cover for George and Ghost; in time for it to go to New York (the week before last) and to the Frankfurt Book Fair next week. You might remember me saying everything had gone smoothly with George and that I thought I'd completely finished it. Well, it turns out, the toughest thing about George WAS finishing it.

In essence, I think the problem was, it's a subtle and sensitive story. However, 'subtle' and 'sensitive' aren't really words that sit well with covers, where things have to be bold and eye-catching in order to sell. So the issue, as I saw it, was to find something that was true to the story, but that would still stand out. Not easy.

In the book, I've given the little ghost character a scrap book, so my idea was to have the book look like Ghost's scrap book. This is an idea we carried through in the endpapers, I think, to great effect. However, having put it together this way for the front cover, I wasn't happy about the brightness of the colours and the way the text sat (thinking it looked too modern), and Hodder felt the red was over-powering and it looked too dated! Anyway the result, we all agreed didn't work, and so no one felt too agrieved at the idea of trying something new instead.

We're now going with a variation of one of the inside illustrations instead, which is not quite what I'd expected, but the important thing at the moment, is those crucial (and increasingly rare) co-edition sales. I feel so proud of the book and hope it does really well. However, it is Frankfurt that will have the last say on not just its' cover, but its' future, really. I will post updates on both, as I receive them! Please keep your fingers crossed for George, Ghost, and me!

I've stuck in a segment of the original cover for you to see.


mai s kemble said...

Maybe they could use this illo as some sort of promotional piece... and you could photoshop the red to a different color... but I like it... :)
especially the little ghost stickers!
where is my little ghost friend?

I can relate to the panic you refer to... this job is just a big crazy whirl wind of nervousness mixed with indescribable joy... ??? I always get super attached to my characters and the story and sometimes find myself wondering how they are doing since working on them... but I am partially crazy.
I really think this book is going to look SO good!

Faye said...

Fingers and toes firmly crossed, sweetheart! (And do gimme a bell when you get back from your grans) xxx

Buskitten said...

Wow, Cassia, just catching up myself with various blogs - no time anymore, due to working full-time again! Oh well, it pays the bills! Your work for George and the Ghost is AMAZING! You are so talented and clever, a real inspiration! Better go, as not supposed to be doing this!!
Bye for now!

cassia said...

thanks so much, Mai! I'm not really worried about not using the illustration, tbh. I figure anything I do, I can always stick up here and in my portfolio anyway. It's more just the sitting on the edge of my seat over festival time that makes me squirm!

I know what you mean about feeling attached to the characters (not sure that's evidence that you're not crazy- think it just means you're not the only one!!!)I think that's one of the main reasons I want books to do well- I feel I owe it to the characters!

Ta, Faye, my lovely. Facebook me to tell me when's best with you.

Lol, Buskitten! I won't tell anyone! Do take some time for yourself though, won't you? :0)


Faye said...

Damn Cass, that was an utterly crap little message I left, wasn't it! I love the cover, and I LOVE the concept of it being ghost's scrapbook! Looking at it again, I think the picture on the front is definitely one of my favourites.

I'm beginning to learn how you've been feeling during festival time...I may spend the next four days under my desk.

Would Wednesday be good for you?


cassia said...

don't be daft, Doll! Hearing from you is always grand.

Wednesday sounds excellent. Try to forget about the festival, if you can. Obviously,I hope they get back to you (well, both of us actually!) straight away, but it was a couple of weeks after the fair, I heard feedback from Bologna, and it was a right tease thinking I'd hear back immediately. I'm trying to arrange lots of coffee outings for a bit to take my mind off it! xxxxxxxxx

Faye said...

Apparently they have a meeting on the 20th and Kayt said she'd let me know after that.


I'm pathetically jealous - I wish I could go for coffee outings, but I'm right back in up to my eyes again - trying to finish everything off for the end of November.
Speak soon!

cassia said...

Hang in there, my sweet. You're soooooo close now, and then you'll be freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!