There’s an interesting tale behind this (well, interesting if you’re excited by the ins and outs of book design and how genres can be defined and classified by preconceptions about cover art). Originally we briefed the cover to show two women; both holding daggers behind their backs, one in a white dress, one in a red dress (because: spoilers!). This forced the POV out and ensured more background in the cover than you see here.
Now just as hooded figures have (for good or bad) become synonymous with fantasy and wooden jetties jutting out into misty lakes have become synonymous with psychological thrillers so women in period dresses have become synonymous with historical romances.
This is, of course neither a good or bad thing, it’s just a thing – one of those broad brush strokes that the demands of the market forcibly suggest we use.
Sometimes it’s helpful, sometimes it isn’t. There are elements of romance in Den’s book and the setting while fantasy has a distinct historical feel, but have the cover emphasise these elements at the expense of say darkness, betrayal, politicking (all of which have their place in many historical romances but you get my point) and your broad brush strokes start to mis-sell the book. Which helps no-one.
So we pulled the focus in on the red dress, we emphasised the hidden knife, we darkened parts of the dress, we darkened the background and so the cover began to speak about what the book is about.
We’re thrilled with the final result. We have three covers, each of which powerfully portrays a feel and a character (without ever dictating to the reader what that character might look like) and all of which look of a piece.
The Girl on the Liar’s Throne is out in trade paperback and eBook in January 2016.
To celebrate this brilliant series we’re giving three lucky people a chance to win both The Boy With the Porcelain Blade and The Boy Who Wept Blood. Details on how to enter can be found in the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!