During the writing process, I’m not sure what I was expecting to see on the cover of my second book. It had various working titles along the way, until The Cold Cold Sea came to mind while I was looking at photos of Cornwall one day. I suppose I thought my book would look something like the photo below:
The first cover suggestions from the publisher arrived, and we settled on one with cliffs and some sea. I can’t find this image now; I think it’s probably stuck in my old computer that was mashed by malware a couple of years ago. However, it looked pretty much like the pic on the left, if you imagine blustery clouds instead of the more distant rock formation.
I liked this cover, but the publisher was never entirely happy with it and before the book was published, they switched the image to the one that has been on the book for the past four years.
This cover gives a good indication of the atmosphere in the story. ‘Family holiday with sinister undertones’ is the idea, and while I could see that the cover worked, what disturbed me was the fact that, at the time, there was no mention of beach huts in the book. Fortunately, this was still a few months pre-publication, and I was allowed to add a few sentences and alter the geography of the cove where Olivia went missing. I liked the cover, though I missed the sea – having it on the back of the paperback didn’t seem quite enough.
A few months after publication, a different edition of my book appeared on the market – in French. Une Mer si Froide came out firstly with France Loisirs and had a small girl at the window as cover image. At last my book had some sea on the front! I was delighted.
The Presses de la Cité edition, a year or so later, had even more sea. This cover has a very powerful ‘one moment in time’ feeling. Look at the child’s fingers – she is poised, ready to do – what?
My book had three covers now, and the amount of water on the front was increasing all the time.
Then came the hardback edition, also in French. Now the child is in the water – a very unsettling image that goes well with the unsettling story.
The latest French cover, from Editions Charleston, takes us further away from the sea again. I really like this one. It’s moody, we have ocean in the background, and the child is strangely transparent, as if she isn’t really there…
And now it’s the turn of the English edition. The Cold Cold Sea will be available again this summer, the ebook in late August with the paperback following in September, published by Fabrian Books. And the cover is 100% cold cold water – I love it. Huge thanks here to Debbie at The Cover Collection for all her hard work, and I’m sorry I went through so many ‘like this – no, like that – no, like this again with more…’ changes during the creating process. And shh! – I think I love this cover even more than Chosen Child’s…
To finish off with, let’s have another lovely sea pic…