‘So what is a 21st century teenage girl doing on a 20th century World War One battlefield?’
Today I have a lovely guest post from writer Susan Gandar.
I read & reviewed Susan Gandar’s novel We’ve Come To Take You Home and in my review I mentioned the fact that the cover was very appealing and drew the reader’s attention. As it turned out Susan had written an unpublished piece about the cover and asked would I be interested in posting it. I jumped at the chance as I think it’s a lovely idea to see the thoughts of the author when approaching the cover design.
So without further ado….I’ll hand you over to Susan now..
‘When I was writing We’ve Come to Take You Home, my film production designer father said, time and time again,
“I don’t know how you’re going to achieve it, in terms of story, but I keep seeing a girl, a modern 21st century girl, standing in the middle of a World War One battlefield. And an active battlefield, where people are fighting and dying, rather than a 21st century one, more of a museum than a battlefield, which is perfectly possible for anyone of us to visit today.”
This image stayed with me, I knew it was vitally important, but, as a writer, I didn’t have a clue how to achieve it. But then, one day, the thought dropped into my head. It was obvious.
And from then on that image, that moment of story, became the core of We’ve Come to Take You Home.
And, when it came to the front cover of the novel, it also became the obvious choice.
But it was only after a copy of the book had been sent to me that I began to understand that the front cover wasn’t just about that narrative moment.
It’s also an image of another very strong theme running through the book.
That girl standing there in the trench could be Sam Foster, the present day protagonist in We’ve Come to Take You Home, but it could also be any one of us.
And the barbed wire could be the coils found on a World War One battlefield but they could also be the coils of our fears, our doubts, which everyone of us has tangled up inside our heads.
And it’s only by climbing out of that trench, by cutting our way through those coils, by overcoming our doubts and conquering our fears, that we will be able to find our way to the peace and tranquility of those fields, stretching away off into the distance, on that front cover.
I have never posted a feature like this before, and I have to say, that I really really liked it. The imagery Susan has created brings the cover alive and, for many of us, the analysis of it’s dual meaning will strike a chord of truth.
Thank you so much Susan!!
My review ~ We’ve Come to Take You Home
Purchase Link ~ We’ve Come To Take You Home
Why I wrote the book
My grandfather, on my father’s side, fought in France during the First World War. He was badly wounded and shipped back to England. It was on a hospital train, rattling its way through France, he met my grandmother, Bertha – it was she who nursed him. After the war ended, they married – theirs was a happy ending.
My mother’s father, my grandfather, also left home and went away to fight in the First World War. But he came back a shadow of himself. He was someone, and I have a very dim memory of him, who you weren’t allowed to touch or talk to – because if you did, he would explode, physically and verbally.
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