how to design a front cover for your book – a follow up

I feel like I’m imitating Hollywood (blegh!) and just doing post sequels. What have I become?!

It’s been out for a few months now but let’s properly introduce it. Ah-hem. I’d like you to meet the new front cover of Our Intrepid Heroine:

It’s back! It has a new front cover! It’s been edited! It’s as short as ever! And I didn’t: a) do the editing or b) do the front cover design and yes, I call that an absolute win.

There was an old front cover. There was an old front cover making process. But that’s in the distant past now. I call this a glow up. A follow up post six years later.


I wasn’t sure what the heck this book needed but it needed an upgrade. It didn’t need to look like a unicorn genocide had taken place in a post-apocalyptic world. It needed to have colour. It needed to have panache! Style! I didn’t need to be languishing over AHHH THE UNICORN DOESN’T HAVE A HORN or DANG IT! I LEFT THE TELEGRAPH POLES IN THERE!

So I showed Monkey & Whale Designs all my favourite book covers. I drew a very bad sketch of what a new front cover might look like (‘stained glass’ I announced with considerable authority) … and voilĂ .

Things started happening. and friends, comrades, fellow air-breathers … we have come a long way from:

*incoherent laughter*

These are the facts: Our Intrepid Heroine has a unicorn following her about, she can’t pronounce ‘felicitations’, and she’s on her way to slay a dragon. A dragon that has killed an entire flock of her father’s sheep, three goats and one pig. And a frog.

Our Heroine has a sword named ‘Death’ and a spear called ‘Doom’. She is afflicted by the presence of pesky princesses, mysterious Hooded Persons, and noble knights.

Narrated by a Narrator who is fond of detours and digressions, this is a short novella with tongue-in-cheek humour and Very Important Tips in hunting dragons that will be sure to stir the curiosity of the eager amateur dragon-hunter.


*orchestral music plays*

Edited by: Deborah O’Carroll

Designed by: Monkey & Whale Designs

Written by: Me. In 2014. At the Beginning of Everything.

Available: Here


Let There Be Books!

Wohoo! We’ve made it! The sequel to Our Intrepid Heroine has come. Join me as we cut the metaphorical ribbon and present … dunn dunnnnnn … The Curse of Cackling Meadows!

OIH2kindlefrontcoverAll she really wanted was to return home. A curse, a carrot and a unicorn later and our Intrepid Heroine is on her way to finding out just why Cackling Meadows has been beset by so strange a curse.

Accompanied by a unicorn with sensitive nostrils and a Songster whose name isn’t Hector, she will discover that princes, curses and even dragons aren’t always quite what they seem.

goodreads // amazon

The majority of this tale was written on the Norfolk Broads, aboard a boat. Whilst beautiful scenery and windmills passed by, I was sitting at a table inside the main cabin, earphones plugged in and fingers tapping away. It is quite true to say that this book was fueled by tea and black coffee.

And now, months later, here it is – fully butchered, hopefully polished and possibly coherent.ianblinkedI’ve got a sheet of paper with some of the original ideas scribbled all over it. There were lyrics for somewhat-rhyming-songs and snatches of dialogue. dontspreaditIt’s fascinating to see how things turn out. Half the time I come to write with no idea what is really going to happen. Oh, I’ve got a few basic elements there, but never the full picture. Twists arrive that surprise me. Things that I wanted to include don’t always fit. A character marches onto the pages and demands attention.

Writing is a great, big adventure and I’m very fortunate that I can share mine with you.

wivesquoteAND THAT’S NOT ALL! As part of my ‘yay, the sequel is published’ celebrations, Our Accidental Adventure (a completely different book with completely different characters in a completely different setting) is exactly zero dollars/pounds/euros this weekend.

Saith whaaattt? Let me receive this present of such greatness!