Judging a book by its cover

February 23, 2009

I crawl out of my foxhole like a soldier in a very battered tin hat, accessoried with khaki netting, my bayonet still raised to ward off any stray pink hearts which could still be circling, ready to attack. I feel my military metaphors are hopelessly tangled, but you get the idea. Thank God Valentine’s Day is over for another year. Things were so easy once upon a time. I just smiled prettily, and I got shedloads of chocs and hothouses of flowers. These days, with True Love, the donkey getting lost on the way to Mantua with Juliet’s letter explaining the whole potion/crypt thing to Romeo looks like an efficient and speedy means of communication, with a possibly less fraught conclusion to boot.

Never mind. My children are at school for a reason – to distract me from my life. Half term is so over. The alarm clock shrills and we are plunged back into ‘who stole my tights?’ and ‘you know I’ve always hated Cheerios!’. Ah, sweet music.

No sooner do I scramble back on to the school run, however, than more pink hearts appear on the horizon. This time, they are being sent by my adorable publisher, Ullstein, and are – gasp! – on the cover of my soon-to-be published novel, Hot Chocolate or, I should now say, Schokoherz, which all German-speakers will know sounds much better in German.

I do love all the warm, rich red tones, which go beautifully with my character, Bella, who is as toasty as a ….well, toastie, actually. She is, of course, the me I wish I was – constantly funny, kind and magnetic, whereas I, though I try to be a good girl, have unfortunate tendencies towards rattiness, depression, fecklessness …feel free to fill the rest in when you have a moment.

The whole book issue, though, brings me to a difficult matter. My name. I’m afraid I won’t be able to resist more mentions of the book, when it comes out, though revealing the whole, entire cover (the version here is doctored) will, inevitably, blow my own cover. The Dulwich Divorcee will be wandering through the village wearing only her skimpiest negligee. Just be grateful that I’m sparing you total nudity.

I’ve always thought of dear DD as a fictional creation, a warm-up for writing Novel Number 2 (going v slowly) and Not Me at all. But perhaps she is just a mask, or a negligee, which I cower behind while taking a pop at poor dear True Love when he is already down.

Whatever, I shall have to resolve this, and soon. It is, after all, nearly spring – could be time to prune!

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  • rosiero February 23, 2009 at 5:33 am

    Fame has its drawbacks. You’ll soon have the paparazzi rifling through your bins looking for discarded chocolate peanuts and any other incriminating evidence. Enjoy your cover while you can!!

    PS. We too were up at the crack of dawn this morning after the bliss of half-term lie-ins!

  • ALMOST MRS AVERAGE February 23, 2009 at 7:03 am

    That cover looks gorgeous and I love the idea of a negligee as cover. For me it’s been an unsexy black wheelie bin 😀 x

    Enjoy the excitement of the book. I look forward to you dropping it into conversation at every turn. It would be wrong not to x

  • DulwichDivorcee February 23, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Rosiero, you are adorable, I love the idea of being papped while hiding my chardonnay bottles under a fig leaf of choc peanut packets ….though fear that, realistically, I am more in danger of being lynched by my former nearest and dearest. Yes, the lie-ins were fab, weren’t they? x

  • DulwichDivorcee February 23, 2009 at 8:03 am

    AMA, you know, a nice sleek black plastic wheelie number would at least go with everything ….and I do so agree with you. Did I mention my book is being published?? xx

  • Lindsay February 23, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Pity I do not understand German! Very good luck with the book – the cover looks really enticing.

  • Potty Mummy February 24, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Don’t panic DD! Unless your book is suddenly set as a text in your daughters’ German lessons at school. Then, PANIC!!!!

  • DulwichDivorcee February 24, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Now, Lindsay, admit it, you’ve always wanted to learn German, haven’t you? I can’t think of an easier set text, I really can’t!

    Potty, eeeek! I hadn’t even thought of that. But somehow I feel utterly sure that both Treasures are going to choose Spanish …or else. On the plus side, Mr X doesn’t speak German, tee hee! x

  • rosiescribble February 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    It looks absolutely gorgeous Dulwich Divorcee, and how exciting! You’ll be selling photos of the publication party to the highest bidder I assume?!!

  • A Modern Mother February 25, 2009 at 5:14 am

    I like the cover, it is warming.

    I find the whole story that your first novel is coming out in German fascinating!

    English, please?! Where is your publisher, I’ll have a word with him. If it is anything like your blog, it will be a great read.

  • Jo Beaufoix March 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Oooohhh very excited about your book. The cover looks great, very warm and yummy.

    And what you could do is tell us all that you’re publishing under a pseudonym. Then we won’t know that it’s your real name?? It could work. You may have to doctor this post and send all commenters a memory altering drug or something, but I bet your publishers would sort that out for you. Just a thought. ;D

  • DulwichDivorcee March 2, 2009 at 4:22 am

    Rosiescribble, that’s uncanny, am busy auctioning off the party rights as we speak, think I will go with Hello as I want to be airbrushed within an inch of my life …

  • DulwichDivorcee March 2, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Hi, AMM, yes, please have a word with my publisher. You are so efficient, I’m sure you’ll sort it all out! Am hoping the second one will be published in English but v excited about the first one anyway x

  • DulwichDivorcee March 2, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Jo, you are just so clever! That is a brilliant idea, and, in fact, by spooky coincidence, is exactly what’s happening. I’m publishing the book under a pseudonym and would you just mind swallowing this big pink pill? It’ll be yummy, you’ll see!

  • Hadriana's Treasures March 3, 2009 at 3:14 am

    Well done DD! I have German friends and have always sworn blind I would learn German…so you never know!! Good luck with it all. Hx.