Oh heck. My next book is reaching a crescendo and one of the peaks that I find especially daunting is the cover decision and, boy, is this tricky.
This is the synopsis:
Jerzy Komaza is adept at turning a blind eye. He has allowed his father’s assaults on his sister, Maria, to continue. Yet when, one hot summer day, he finally snaps, it is Maria who sends him away, fearing the consequences if he stays. Desperate and unsure, he heads for London where his old friend Jan has promised him work.
At first he is completely disorientated. Worse, there’s no sign of Jan. Feeling lost and adrift, he overhears a young woman’s cries. Memories of his sister stir him into action and he intervenes.
The woman is Suzie Thomas, a meth addict dependent on a local thug, Paul Rogers for her supplies and for whom she turns tricks. Rogers runs gangs of workmen around the city and for whom Jan works. Gradually Jerzy is dragged into Suzie’s world, a violent dog eat dog existence of the underclass living next to but apart from London’s affluent citizens.
Jan has his own problems with Rogers and when his cousin Ola Nowak is slashed with a knife, trying to sort out Jan’s debt, he is bent on revenge. Jerzy is torn between stopping Jan and, because of his own growing hatred of Rogers’ casual violence towards Suzie, helping him.
Suzie’s family are hunting for her. Her grandparents hear she has moved back to London and seek her out. In doing so they too find themselves pulled into Rogers orbit.
As the heat builds and the rain pours down, the various forces begin to drag these desperate individuals towards a violent confrontation. And into this mix comes Lech Komoza, Jerzy’s half-brother intent on his own revenge.
This story contains elements of revenge, love, the clash of classes and cultures, the isolation of large cities and the single minded determination to survive. Set against a backdrop of one of the most affluent cities in the western world one hot summer about now, it is a modern parable about the lure of redemption and how hope can be corrupted by desperation.
In considering the cover I’ve decided on an image of Jerzy and Jan. A lot of the action takes place in the Salisbury Square of the title but a significant amount in and around Herne Hill and Brockwell Park in south London. So far so good. As you will see we have used, variously, shots of the two seated in the park, the Square and its obelisk and a general view of the London skyline reflecting what they can see from the park.
My cover designer has come up with a variety of interpretations and, well, here’s where I need help. Below are 7 images. I want to select one and then work on things like the placement of the title, my name, the font etc.
I would be most grateful if you would look at each and vote for your favourite. If, in deciding, you prefer a title layout and/or font from one of the others perhaps you would note that in the comments. Most kind.
Finally, while I’m here, I’m keen to find a couple of beta readers for my next book, Buster and Moo which I wrote in weekly parts, here, last year, although I never quite finished it! Of course anyone kind enough to undertake this task would be able to pigeonhole me for a reciprocal beta read if they needed it. I won’t be in a position to provide the book until end of July at the earliest but if you are interested please let me know on glepard-at-saqnet-dot-co-dot-uk.