As well as gathering together, tidying-up, and delicately arranging all the anthology stories, this week, I have been on an image mission.
I’ve read and mulled over all the comments about title, I’ve thrown a few words into image searches, and I’ve taken a few photos of objects to look at them on a screen and get an idea.
What’s been important to me throughout this whole process are TWO main things:
1. That people should want to pick up the anthology – almost instinctively, out of curiosity perhaps – in the first place.
2. That when they do pick it up and go on to open it, they will not be disappointed.
That instinctive, curious thing doesn’t always work so well, in my opinion, if we merely state what the book is. We can sneak that it’s a flash-fiction collection, written by writers from the west country, on the cover somehow without trying to knit it into the title. But this is fiction, not a manual and we need a bit of mystery and intrigue.
A few of the writers argued that to call the book after one of the stories would be preferencing one story over the others. I disagree. It was never my intention to “showcase” or “preference” any particular story. Instead I wanted an attention-grabbing title. The “& Other Stories” bit will be as clear and the “by Flash-Fiction South West” will be clear too. All the stories will be in the book on their own merit – nothing can take that away.
So I imagined the titles on books lying around me and I knew that Kissing Frankenstein and Other Stories would make me reach down and pick that one up.
More than that, though: I knew it would encourage other people to pick it up.
Especially if it had an interesting cover.
I thought about flash, flashing, Frankenstein, writing, collaborative writing, bolts (bolts as in Frankinstein’s neck and/or bolt as in flash), and all the pictures those words conjured up. I took photos of bolts, a bolt, nuts and bolts, I thought about not much else, while looking after a sick child for several days.
It was clear I didn’t want this to look like a DIY book or a grease monkey’s book. Neither did I want to go too far down the thunder bolt or Frankenstein image and make it look like a horror collection.
What did I want?
I wanted people to say, ‘Ooh, that looks different – what’s that?’ and pick it up and flick through it.
So I did a really long image search with the thoughts flash, flashing, book cover, interesting, bolts, not obvious, going though my head and I tried out a couple of images for free before I committed.
Yesterday evening I finally got all the stories laid-out neatly and the bios, readers info, introduction, etc, sorted and published them. I then committed to an image which you might like – you might not.
I hope you do.
I hope at least you agree with my reasons for my decisions.
The Flash-Fiction South West Anthology. AKA “Kissing Frankenstein & Other Stories” by Flash-Fiction South West:
(Page updated 2 May 2012)