We have a book cover

It is with joy that I present to you...


...my first book cover! (It's a bit clearer if you click on it.)

I have it printed and hanging above my desk, where it distracts me day and night.

The characters on the cover are our heroes of course, Nicolaos and Diotima. The building in the background is the Painted Stoa, which was under construction at the time of the story. The art director, David Rotstein (thank you!), has pulled the background from the third scene, in which the Painted Stoa makes an appearance:

This was the site of the new Stoa Poikile: the Painted Porch. The Stoa was a long portico with columns on the side facing the Agora, and a flat wall at the back. Two painters were using charcoal to sketch on the wall, far apart from each other, ignoring the chatter of the excited crowd about them. One had enough detail in that I could see he was about to paint a battle between the Hellenes and the Amazons; the other had barely begun.

“What’s it to be?” I asked the second man.

“The Fall of Troy,” he said, not turning. His eyes stayed on his work and his arm didn’t stop moving.

His lines were simple and direct, no fancy touches, not much detail, I marveled as the strong walls of Troy suddenly appeared beneath his confident hand. Without a pause he left the walls and began on a figure, a woman who I guessed to be Helen.

I said, “Well, don’t put me in it.”

That stopped him. He gnashed his teeth and said, “Gaah! Why must onlookers always say that?”

He threw a dirty rag at me, which I dodged, and skipped out of the porch.

Nicolaos was talking to a famous artist called Polygnotus, who really did paint a Fall of Troy on the Painted Stoa.

I have restyled the blog to match the book. I haven't done my actual web site yet, but this blog is where the action is and as soon as I had it remodelled I put it online. It'll be a small miracle if it works perfectly so please let me know if you have any problems.

You'll notice there is now a series name at the top of the blog. Welcome to The Hellene Mysteries. The jacket line on the cover however is A Mystery of Ancient Greece. You would not believe how much time went into considering those combined 8 words! A Mystery of Ancient Greece is instantly recognisable by anyone. That and the visual clues makes it instantly obvious to the casual browser what the book and the series is about. The Hellene Mysteries is something I can easily write in sentences and makes sense to you, the people who know history.

To add to my happiness, another milestone has also been reached as of last night. If you hop onto Amazon and search for my name or the title, you'll find The Pericles Commission is now up there. The Amazon page is missing a few things, such as a cover image and the blurb, but they'll come soon, and the book is there, and available for pre-order. Yay!

The book will appear on B&N, Borders, Books-a-Million, Book Depository.com and others from this point on as each store does its updates. I've therefore put a Buy the Book section at the top of the sidebar, and as stores come online with the book I'll add links to each of their pages.

The cover and the first bookstore page have made it all seem very much more real. It's like waking from a pleasant dream to discover that, actually, it's not a dream.

Yay!

60 comments:

Welshcake said...

Yay indeed! It must be a great moment, seeing your cover for the first time.

The cover artist has done a good job. There's real character in Nicolaos and Diotima's faces. They look sly and up to no good, but also as though they have a sense of humour.

Matthew Delman said...

I am pre-ordering as we speak.

Carrie said...

[gape]

It doesn't suck! It's...stupendous and worthy of your work! GLEE Gary. GLEE here!

Brandi G. said...

How wonderful! I love the cover, so bold and beautiful and yet appropriate to the time period. Congratulations!

Amalia T. said...

The blog looks beautiful and so does the book cover!! Congratulations! I love The Hellene Mysteries, too! Let the pre-ordering commence!

Yvonne said...

Your cover looks fascinating, Gary, and I would totally pick it up if I was browsing in a bookstore. And the blog looks great!

Congragulations. You're a fortunate man.

Gary Corby said...

Thank you everyone!

I'm bouncing about in happiness.

You're right, Welshcake, it's simply an amazing feeling to see the cover and know it's mine.

I was really pleased with the way Nico & Diotima came out.

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Matthew! :-)

I'm looking forward to ordering yours one day.

Gary Corby said...

Thank you Carrie!

I've been nervous about this bit, but it's turned out beautifully.

Gary Corby said...

Brandi, yes, weirdly, the basic color matters, because it appears on the spine and it's what shows to most casual browsers. Apparently there are rules about which colors work and which don't.

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Amalia. The blog soaked up a huge number of hours but I think it was worth it. Now for the main web site...

The Hellene Mysteries was my choice. A Mystery of Ancient Greece comes from Keith Kahla, and is somewhat reminiscent of the jacket line for Steven Saylor, which is A Mystery of Ancient Rome.

We went for Greece rather than Athens in my jacket line because some books are set outside Athens.

Gary Corby said...

Thank you Yvonne. Lucky doesn't begin to describe it!

Gary Corby said...

Apologies by the way for being slow to respond to the early comments. For some reason blogger decided to stop forwarding comments to my email when I changed the look & feel. I've no idea why (yet).

Sherri said...

I love it! And it makes a beautiful blog design, too. Congratulations, it's real!

scaryazeri said...

I think it is wonderful, and I also think it is wonderful how openly excited and happy you are. Well done! Look forward to getting a copy.

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Sherri. Interesting how, even though it's been real for a long time, the cover makes it really real.

Gary Corby said...

Hi Scary, thanks. I have a feeling you'll find out how it feels yourself one day.

Now you know why my brain has turned to mush in the last couple of weeks: I've been working out new design for the blog, sorting out a book tour, and trying to write the third book in between all that.

Sophie Littlefield said...

Gary it's terrific!! I'm so thrilled for you :) And that cerulean blue will look so nice with your eyes....

Gary Corby said...

Cerulean blue. Is that what it's called?

To match my eyes at the moment the cover would need to be...er...bloodshot. Okay, we'll skip that bit.

Thank you for the kind words, Sophie dear!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Oh my gosh! This is so exciting! I absolutely love the cover and the new blog look.

The inclusion of the Painted Stoa is totally awesome- I didn't even notice that it wasn't finished until I read your post. I think I was too excited to read about the cover. It kind of reminds me of Rick Riordan's covers for the Percy Jackson series- the covers always picked out a particular scene. When I started a new one I always wanted to get to that part.

I'm off to preorder! Congratulations, Gary!

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Stephanie! I'm wondering how many people will write to say the artist forgot to finish coloring in the cover. But then, I'm also wondering how many people will write to say I forgot to include the Parthenon. This will be interesting...

Taymalin said...

Congrats on a fantastic cover! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book.

Valerie Geary said...

I love the blue and I LOVE their facial expressions! So very very suspicious... :D So excited for you Gary!

Patricia said...

Good for you, Gary! Can't wait to read it! Tell me - how do you pronounce "Diotima"?

Loretta Ross said...

Totally awesome! Going to pre-order at once! Congratulations!

Merry Monteleone said...

Congratulations, Gary! It's gorgeous! And the blog looks great, too.

L. T. Host said...

Congrats, Gary! So exciting :)

It must be an amazing feeling. I'm pretty darn excited for you.

I can't wait to walk into a bookstore and pick it up!

David J. West said...

I like it, but where are the "Follow Me" footprints?

Aven said...

Blargh -- my comment here didn't work, either!

Just wanted to say -- looks really good, congratulations!

Kosmos said...

Awesome !

Steve Ulfelder said...

Great cover! Must be hard to think about anything else ...

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Steve, you have this to look forward to, real soon now!

For those unaware, Mr Ulfelder's first book has recently been bought by...St Martin's Press!

So Steve is both my agent-sibling and my publisher-sibling.

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Kosmos. I think I might have some news closer to your home, too. Stay tuned...

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Aven! I saw your comment on the loose women but haven't seen anything else. If you're stuck with something, email it to me and I'll post.

Gary Corby said...

David, that is a brilliant idea! Now I'm trying to work out how to get footsteps leading to the buy links...

Gary Corby said...

Thanks L.T.! It's getting closer. October doesn't seem so far away now.

Gary Corby said...

Merry, you've been with me all the way on this. I think you were one of the original blog readers when Janet was looking for me.

I'll bet it'll be a relief for you when the thing is finally out. :-)

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Loretta, I'm sure you can't be far behind me.

If nothing else you have a future in writing funny songs!

Gary Corby said...

Patricia, her name breaks up into...

DIO - God
TIMA - Honoured

Hence "Honoured by God." The Dio part is the Greek version of the Latin Deus, which you'll find in Christian prayers to this day.

I put a pronounciation guide in the character list. Diotima I have as deo-teema.

My guide is more geared to making it easy for English speakers than strict linguistic accuracy, but this one's close.

She was, by the way, a real person.

Thanks for the question. You've prompted me to write about the historical Diotima.

Gary Corby said...

Thank you Taymalin & Valerie!

Yes, I guess the blue should dominate the spine, which is probably a good thing. Makes it stand out!

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Gary,

I have! I still remember that first post Janet wrote looking for you! And then, of course, I found you blog from your comment there... and the rest is history.

I've found a lot of awesome writers from agent blogs, but I have to say, I keep coming back because I love your writing. And yes, it'll be a relief because I've honestly been dying to read it!!! It goes straight to the top of my to read pile the minute I get my hot little hands on it :-)

Congrats again, Gary.

Anthony said...

That cover is a bit of the ole awesomesauce!

I can't wait to read it!

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Anthony!

RWMG said...

Google ate my comment this morning and I didn't have time to re-type it. Congratulations, Gary, you must be so proud and excited. The cover and the blog re-design both look great.

Umm, at least on my machine, for the blog archive and categories in the righthand column you've got blue writing on a blue background. Although I can read them, I do know some people who might find that sort of combination difficult to read.

Judith Engracia said...

Beautiful cover! And I love your new blog background too :D

Lexi said...

That is a really lovely cover. Beautiful and witty. Congratulations to the artist and you :o)

Gary Corby said...

Thanks for letting me know, Robert. I've changed it so the link text has about the same colour as the Trojan Horse. You were right, it does seem clearer now.

Gary Corby said...

Thank you Judith and Lexi!

_*rachel*_ said...

Woohoo for you!

But what about "A Dead Man Fell From the Sky?" I liked that....

Gary Corby said...

I like it too, Rachel. A Dead Man Fell From The Sky is still the official blog title, because I couldn't bear to see it go. If you check the browser tab you should see it there.

I actually listed A Dead Man Fell From The Sky as one of the possibilities to appear on the jacket. That idea was the first on the list to die, when all the sane people dismissed it out of hand. Equally it would be hard to spend the next decade or two constantly referring to the series as the Dead Man Fell From The Sky Mysteries.

So much as I will always love it as the first line of my first book, the phrase can't keep pride of place as the series name.

I'm not letting go of it from the blog title though. I probably should put the explanation of what it means back on the blog somewhere, if I can work out where.

Narukami said...

Congratulations and best of luck to you.

DLR

Leslie Dow said...

Congratulations! I love the cover and cannot wait to get the book - although I will admit to preferring the kindle version. But I will still see the pretty cover in my Kindle Mac app!

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Leslie!

You're the first person on the blog to say they use an e-reader of any sort.

Barrie said...

Congratulations, Gary! She's beautiful!

Gary Corby said...

Thank you, Barrie! Of course, you've had lots of practise at brilliant book covers. Yours are terrific!

Other Lisa said...

Awesome cover! They definitely did right by you with this!

Gary Corby said...

Thank you Lisa! I was thrilled the moment I saw it.

In fact the first thing I did was print it off in colour and show it to everyone who stood still long enough to be harassed.

Charles David Eyer said...

Its quite a thrill to see your novel's cover. I just got my proof copy a few weeks ago and went around showing it to everyone. Its like being the proud papa of a newborn baby. Looking forward to reading your novel when it comes out.

Leonie Corby said...

The cover looks absolutely fantastic. It's full of character and will stand out in a bookshop. And I love how you've made the blog match it.

Gary Corby said...

Yes, we're very pleased with it, to put it mildly!

The Australian cover will be different, but I have no idea yet what it'll look like. More news on that as it comes to hand.