Tuesday, 27 March 2012

My new book cover

The Cover

As promised in my last post, here's a preview of the cover of my soon to be published book Strictly Murder.

Isn't it pretty? I absolutely love it. It was made for me by the lovely, and very talented, Katie W. Stewart, and you can see more of her super artwork here: http://www.katiewstewart.com/
As well as being an excellent artist, Katie is also a writer of fantasy for children and one of the authors featured on my website: http://kindle-for-kids.com

I hope that British readers will make the connection between picture and title instantly. For those who live elsewhere, let me explain that there is a programme on our TV's called Strictly Come Dancing - there's a similar show in Australia and in the USA. The latter is called 'Dance With The Stars' believe.

The Story

Here's a brief synopsis/blurb for Strictly Murder:
When Verity Long, PA and researcher to the famous author of detective stories, Kathleen Davenport, goes house hunting, she's shocked to discover a body in the otherwise empty property. Shocked but also intrigued — for the body is that of 3rd-rate local celebrity Jaynee Johnson, who shouldn't be lying dead in a tatty rental house.
Against the warnings of her employer and the Detective Inspector assigned to the case, Verity decides to investigate on her own, but soon finds that being involved in a real crime is nowhere near as easy as writing a fictional one - and the outcome far deadlier than a badly typed sentence.

I'd love to know what you think of my cover - please feel free to leave your comments below.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Celebrity Angst

Not theirs, mine.

Maybe I'm just growing old but I find myself increasingly annoyed by the "cult of modern celebrity".  Tabloid headlines scream of the latest doings — or, more often, misdoings — of people I've never heard of, every day. Their every little 'tragedy' — "I broke the strap on my Prada handbag beating off photographer" — is reported in lurid detail and eagerly lapped up by their army of fans. Whole magazines have sprung up catering to this cult, this craze, this need to discover that, in fact, the supposed celebrity is just an ordinary girl, or bloke, like the rest of us.

The substitution of hairstyle for personality does not a celebrity make. But it seems that that's what's needed these days, along with an enhanced cleavage and a set of perfect, white teeth. Celebrity, it would appear then, is obviously not an option for the orthodontically challenged but flashing your pearlies every  time a light goes off, is. Even if it is only at a speed camera. Talentless twerps appear daily on our screens, warbling, dancing, ice skating their way into our living rooms without so much as a by your leave or an ounce of natural ability.

Whatever happened to the stars of yesteryear?
I want my celebrities to have true glamour like the Hollywood film stars of old. Not only that, I want them to have true talent and the desire to guard their privacy. I like a certain mystique about my 'slebs'. I don't want to hear that they're just like me "reelly". A certain degree of articulation and the ability to construct a decent sentence before they open their pretty little mouths would also be welcome.
I don't recall hearing Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor or Marilyn Monroe ever saying, "Well, reelly, it's like brill, innit, the way I'm so poplar, like, wiv people an that." And I don't think any of the photos from Elizabeth Taylor's weddings were sold exclusively to a celebrity magazine either. Though they might have been - she had enough of them, for heaven's sake.

Famous for how long?

In 1968 Andy Warhol claimed, "In the future, everyone will be world–famous for fifteen minutes."
Sadly, he appears to have been right, and that future is now. What a shame that the period of time that some people's fame lasts far outstrips their 'talent'. Frankly, a mere fifteen minutes would have been a godsend.

* * *

I take a side-swipe at modern celebrity, newspaper headlines, and traffic systems - amongst other things - in my forthcoming comedy whodunit, Strictly Murder. Stay tuned for more details and, perhaps, a sneak preview.