Has it really been six months since I last posted on this site? Time flies when you’re bashing out the third novel.
Well, Murderous Traits is finished, has been through my own editing mill (woefully inadequate as always), has been through several friends and rellies with far more eagle-eyed acuity than mine, and it is now with editor Paula Svenson, as well as still with a few others. Feedback so far has been good (phew!) and it has even been suggested that it the trilogy should become a quartet. We’ll see; I have other fish to fry before I think about that, although perhaps the ideas for Book IV might come when I’m otherwise occupied in one of my usual inspirational venues – working in the garden, riding my bike, beating my body on the rowing machine, gazing out of an aeroplane window. I hope to have Murderous Traits out by the end of November.
However, thinking about the cover for Murderous Traits did set me thinking again about the Rare Traits one. I changed it earlier in the year and that change was the subject of my last post. With one very strongly worded exception, people seemed to like the new cover, although for me there was still a lingering doubt. Was that face really John Andrews? So having sorted the Murderous Traits cover very quickly, I started casually looking through about two hundred thousand Shutterstock images just in case John popped an alternative head up. And eventually he did. The trouble was the new face wasn’t over like the fifteenth-century painting. Mmm.
Then came the inspiration. If the modern face doesn’t match the 15C one, let’s change the 15C one. I played for a while and found that by simply taking the eyes and eyebrows from another photo of the new John model – in a pose that sort of matched the painting – and pasting them on the painting, with a bit of tweaking they not only fell into place well, the 15C face transformed and is now a very convincing 15C version of the modern-day John.
So there we have it: a new (and final) face for John and a remodelling of the old painting – apologies to Antonello da Messina. As you will see, I also changed the colour of the 15C John’s gown and put a hat on his head. The hat comes from another Antonello painting and is authentic for the period. The result is all around you on this page and on all the others on this site since I incorporated the three covers into the banner. However, here’s a larger version:
And the muses that are distracting me from making a trilogy into a quartet? Well, if you read the blurb on the home page, you’ll see mention of Hong Kong as a location. That is going to happen, but first there is another more forensically themed modern-day novel that I’ve been wanting to get written for ages. Working (and maybe final) title: Irrefutable Evidence.
Watch this space!