So the thing is, when I originally wrote New World Fairy Tales, they were written as presents for friends and family, and for the sheer pleasure of writing them. Although I entered them into the Scott Prize, it was a big surprise to me when I made the shortlist. And until the moment when they announced me as one of the winners, I never expected the Fairy Tales to actually be published.
But of course, that didn’t stop me from picturing possible book covers in my head.
Despite never expecting publication, I had some very definite ideas about what I wanted my won’t-ever-actually-be-needed book cover to look like. It would have a slightly faded, muted colour-palette, in greens and golds and pinks and browns. There would be some sort of striking central image, although I was rather hazy on what that image might actually be; but it would be definitely something that was at once beautiful, retro and faintly disturbing. The title would be in a pretty, curlicued font, and the whole thing would have a vaguely antiquey feel. Best of all, it would have My Name at the top. In BIG letters.
At the risk of making this whole entry sound like a bad magic trick, I can confirm that until this moment, I have honestly never told anyone about this. My vision for the cover of New World Fairy Tales has never left the confines of my head.
And then, the draft cover – my draft cover – the draft cover for My Book, the book I never thought would actually be published, but loved and worked on anyway, just because it made me happy – arrived on my Facebook feed. And here it is:
I actually burst into tears when I saw it. It’s not often that life turns out exactly the way you dreamed about it, but this definitely one of those times. I can only conclude that somebody at Salt is psychic.