The issue is clear from reader feedback – my book cover does not reflect the contents. I am getting caught out in this mis-match. Some of my readers have been kind enough to get in touch and note that the cover suggests a much darker book than it actually is. It is not a dystopian horror flick but actually more of a page turner in the style of a C J Sansom (in my dreams) or a Dick Francis… see what you think, below is the current synopsis and the cover:
“England. 2153 AD. After a global pandemic; a post-apocalyptic world, a new middle ages. After a century of plague and civil war the present peace and hopeful future are threatened by power, politics and treason.
Medieval politics dominate an England divided by fundamentalist religion. After more than thirty years of uneasy peace the country is rebuilding itself. A new era with old problems; political violence and profiteering, lawlessness and twisted piety, but also a more vivid humanity and hope as people rediscover how to live rather than merely survive.
The northern Emirate is crumbling; power is draining from the hands of the ailing Emir, the peacemaker, to his venal and murderous eldest son. Resentment is rife and rebellion stirs as the corruption stretches out from the court and across the nation. In the south the ruling Bishop struggles to retain power and rein in the factions bent on a crusade to destroy the north for faith and profit.
The balance of the fragile peace is threatened by a series of bizarre gangland killings in the underground Old City. The betrayal and murder of a government spy investigating forged coins points to the involvement of the Emirate. Benedict Fuller, ex-soldier, court painter, sometime agent, is propelled, from the darkly brutal slums of the Old City to the hypocrisy of a gilded high society speakeasy in the New Town and far beyond, on the trail of a murderer and traitor. On the way he must trust new friends and fear old ones. Can he prevent the descent to war? Will his world ever be the same?“
My feeling is that while this design is clean, simple and distinctive in the current thriller line up it does not convey the content above. The interesting thing has been the themes that have emerged in my instagram feed as I have tried to capture the mood of the book, indeed re-identify the pictures and places that fed into it. The closeness and richness as well as the brutality of the medieval world come through quite quickly and that is not reflected here. What do you think? Do you agree with my impressions? What sort of imagery do you think would reflect the synopsis better?
Renaissance is available as e-book and paperback on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QXxqSf