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.