I know, I know – I apologise to Bram Stoker for deliberately choosing May 26th for the Kindle release of Midnight Cocktail. It’s a tribute, okay, not plagiarism or the death of originality. Not that I’ve shied away from either of those too much, but you’re going to have to read the whole book to find out just how much.
I’ll start with the cover, because that’s always a good place to start and, according to popular opinion, that’s usually as far as most people get if the cover doesn’t catch their attention. The original Midnight Cocktail cover (the predominantly white one) was mostly done by me, with a lot of helpful suggestions from a couple of friends, plus an excellent New York skyline image by Michael Tompsett, for which I am still very grateful.
However, despite how much I like that cover, it didn’t suit the book. It’s just a bit too ambiguous – it could be a crime story, a thriller, murder mystery, but not really a Neo-Noir Vampire novel. I had a couple of honest, critical and decidedly unambiguous comments from people who have a lot more experience of this kind of thing than I do. To summarise – “It’s ok but a bit boring.” and “It looks more like a crime thriller or horror novel, and it’s likely going to confuse buyers”. I’m extremely thankful to them, because not only were they right, but they were generous enough to tell me the truth.
On a recommendation, I contacted Nikolai Ostertag, a freelance artist specialising in fantasy art. The cover that you now see, and that will hopefully be updated on Amazon very soon – it’s not an instantaneous process – is the work of Nikolai and I am very happy with it. I don’t describe Lana V (Midnight Cocktail protagonist) in the book [which may or may not be a spoiler, depending on your expectations] but Nikolai was able to capture pretty much exactly how I imagined she would look after we had exchanged a few emails. I’m obviously not going to tell you how I described Lana to Nikolai, because that would definitely spoil something!
Midnight Cocktail is not a huge book, coming in at just under 60,000 words, which is at the low end for a full novel. That has a lot to do with the fact that it has been edited with a hefty chainsaw and written to a strict and tight agenda: action, entertainment and zero flab.
If you like the “Look Inside” Kindle sample enough to want to read the whole book, that’s great. If you go on to read the whole book and enjoy it enough to want even more, here’s some good news: I’m writing the sequel right now, aiming for a late 2015 release. I’ll do a title reveal in a month or two, and a cover reveal probably somewhere around August.
If you write a book blog or you contribute to a review site, please contact me for a review copy of Midnight Cocktail. See the contact page for how to do that.