My Royal Connection

Allan has now contracted a graphic artist to come up with cover designs for the two Mirrored Sword Books. His name is Patrick Knowles, based in the U.K., and he is Allan’s only known connection with royalty.

How does this connection come about?” I hear you ask.

Patrick’s work “includes calligraphy for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and for the Christening of their son Prince George.” I got that quote from his business website here: http://www.patrickknowlesdesign.co.uk/about-2/ . Patrick must be a very modest man: he never mentioned his brush with royalty during our email exchanges, which took place at the Reedsy website for self-published authors. Now how does that song go?

I’ve danced with a man, who’s danced with a girl, who’s danced with the Prince of Wales.

Here is a YouTUbe rendition of the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXndvWwZuaA

Patrick’s portfolio, on view at Reedsy, and in the link above, indicates that he’s got the right qualities for Mirrored Sword. That of course includes a wealth of experience in creating book covers, but also a lightness of touch that is ideal for comedy, and a capacity for darker meanings, ideal for tragedy. He was very proactive in getting to know what kind of book Allan is intending to publish, after he was shortlisted with four others from the Reedsy galexy of artists. He seemed the obvious choice.

Strictly speaking, the contract is only for the first book Mirrored Sword: The Dance, but that was arranged with the understanding that he would also contract for the second book. Both books were discussed at Reedsy, because these are two parts of one story and there needs to be a thematic and artistic harmony between both the covers. Allan intends publishing the story as two ebooks and two PODS (Print on Demand). There could also be a single ebook for both parts – all 300 000 words! That’s a little back-breaking for an ordinary paperback. Anyway, these are decisions yet to be made.

If anyone out there has some experience in independent publishing, we’d love to hear from you! You could save us a lot of work, and maybe entertain us with your own insights. Meanwhile, because Allan likes to include a picture with every post, if possible, we’ll end with a painting by the great Flemish artist Jan van Eyck, a 15th century innovator in oils, working at a time when English artists were still concentrating on the archetypal medieval form of painting in tempera (basically using eggs as the foundation rather than oils). The heroine in Allan’s novel is not only a shrew but also a painter, with aspirations to paint in oils, so the topic is quite relevant to this blog. Note that the picture also includes a mirror typical of the time, a bit like the convex disks we use in carparks and on sharp bends, to help drivers see around corners. They hadn’t worked out how to produce flat glass mirrors in Van Eyck’s day, nor in the rambunctious days of Susanna Mandeville, the Shrew of Southwark.

A painting by van Eyck. It’s almost dwarfed by the guy’s hat. An overview of van Eyck’s career is here: https://www.theartstory.org/artist/van-eyck-jan/life-and-legacy/

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