‘These Our Monsters’ is the only book for which I’ve been commissioned to make two covers in order to appeal to different markets. It was soft-launched in November with a cover bearing an image based on Graeme Macrae Burnet‘s Bram Stoker themed story set in Whitby, The Dark Thread, and now bears a cover with a hare from Paul Kingsnorth’s Goibert of the Moon. The two covers were a clever idea by Editor Katherine Davey that, with promotion and in circumstances other than we‘re currently in, would have been eye-catching. But with most English Heritage staff having been furloughed for the duration of the crisis, the change of cover has been slipped out unannounced, and I think the sleight-of-hand is now likely to go un-noticed.
The first cover was to catch the attention of a readership attracted to the horror genre. There was a lot of anticipation last year at the prospect of the new Mark Gatiss three-part adaptation of Dracula at the BBC, which I hoped our cover with the vampire count might benefit from by dint of zeitgeist. By contrast the second was a subtler mood-drenched image drawing on current interests in Folk Horror Revival that might attract those for whom the more overt grotesquerie of the Dracula cover was not so appealing. (Though look closely and those foliate elements are not as pretty or innocent as they at first appear, and the building on the back cover has been tweaked into the likeness of a skull.)
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A friend has just sent me this video, and I immediately thought of you:
I hope you both are ship shape, and taking the confinement as a chance to rest a little, and paint, and draw, and write, and enjoy each other’s company.
Love from Madrid
Hello Maria. Thank you for sending the video. What extraordinary ingenuity and grace. I love’d it. The singing birds hiding behind a wig made me recollect once reading that when the craze for elaborate and towering pompadours was at it’s height, fashionable ladies had their hairdressers incorporate cages of live birds into them!
I particularly loved the elegantly waving carved hands emerging from a metal plate.
These are both wonderful! Of course!
On a personal note, I hope you are doing well, staying safe and healthy and reasonably sane.
Thank you for asking, Thom. All is well, if a tad surreal. Sod’s law that of all the movie genres I love, we find ourselves not in a Rock and Doris comedy, or a Cocteau fairytale, or an Eastwood western or a Marilyn Monroe musical, but slap bang in the middle of my least favourite of all genres, the Zombie Apocapse Night of the Living Dead Nightmare Pandemic movie.
Still managing to stay sane. Hope the same is true for you. Love from west Wales. XXX
Thank you ever so much , Clive for these entries at the Artlog.
This blog of yours is a window to a world which now seems so far away !!!
Love from Madrid
My Dear Maria
Increasingly the Artlog feels, even for me, a window to a far-way world I once knew. When this crisis began it seemed that we just needed to knuckle down and build strategies as a ‘temporary’ bulwark against what was coming. But here in the UK we’re in an imposed ‘Lockdown’, with no sign that the government – with all the expertise it could call upon for advice – has a plan for an easement back out of it and into any life that we might recognise as being ‘normal’. We’re also hearing that because the UK government, under the arch-buffoon Boris Johnson, acted far too late to curb the pandemic, that we’re headed for the worst fatality figures in Europe. If it weren’t so tragic it would be funny that the UK voted (by a very small margin) to pull itself by the roots out of the Union fuelled by the xenophobic fear that migrants fleeing from war-torn regions of the world might arrive in large numbers, only to find that being an island was no defence at all against what arrived unseen from Wuhan!
I’ll keep going, Maria, for as long I can survive, work, observe and find things to write about that merit the effort. Peter and I send our love to you and Javier. May all this end one day so that we can come and visit you again. That would be a very fine thing. XXX