Despite indications to the contrary, it is actually summer here in the UK. Spring saw summer heatwaves, then a quick trip into winter with absolutely torrential rain before reverting back to autumn with strong winds, sunshine and everything in between. What has this to do with books?
When my first book ‘Changes’ was released, I naively assumed authors could dictate the cover and I knew exactly how I wanted it to look. The idea was to contrast sunshine and glorious beaches with the depressing rain and cold of a dreary November in London. Fortunately or otherwise the designer accepted my ideas, and I sent him a photo I had taken of an actual building in Malta, which in my imagination was the hotel in the story. Looking at it now, I can see the bottom portion of the cover is too dark to be able to see the detail at first glance, the sea has been cut off, and there shouldn’t be any mountains behind the very English looking medieval castle. It seemed a good idea at the time!
I also didn’t appreciate how many other books would be released with the same title, even if my mother always referred to it as ‘Chances.’ She did buy several copies for her friends, and was delighted with my success, but still could not get the title right. Her preference was for opera rather than the more modern music of the time, and although he lived locally and I knew him quite well, I assumed she wouldn’t have heard of David Bowie. Nevertheless, I dug out
‘Ch-Ch-Changes’ and played it to her.
‘Changes,’ she said, ‘why didn’t you say so?’ and after that she never got it wrong again.
When the rights reverted back to me, I decided to self-publish with a new cover, a new blurb, a new title (sorry Mum) 😀 and even a new author name. Apart from a few minor tweaks, it’s basically the same book but I hadn’t realised the changes, (no pun intended) would cause me to lose all my hard-earned reviews. We live and learn.
I have been a regular visitor to Malta for many years and seen a lot of changes (there’s that word again,) not always for the better. From being a tiny island few people knew, (apart from its importance in the war years), it has become a major tourist area, particularly when it was on the green list after virus restrictions. Several of the events in the book were based on facts – the tablecloths, discovering the feast, the open air theatre and the villa to name but a few. If you read it you’ll discover exactly what I mean.
It’s the perfect summer beach read, or even for sitting in the garden or the park if you want to let your imagination take you on the journey. For various reasons I’ve neglected to give it much publicity, despite its complete make-over which included a revised blurb and a new name for the main character.
Original from ‘Changes.’
Jane’s safe, stable job comes to an end through redundancy. Her sister, who is her best friend and confidante, moves to the other side of the world.
A casual visit to the hairdresser’s is the start of a chain of events than change her humdrum life completely. Her dreary, suburban London home is swapped for a villa in the Mediterranean; she meets the man of her dreams, and her old life become a distant memory. Or has it?
His reticence and mysterious absences bring back her old insecure feelings, and a family emergency has her rushing back to her childhood roots. Her new life and home are lost. It’s as if the changes had never happened.
But fate has not finished with her yet. More changes lay in wait.
There was also a rather intriguing short video made at the time which you can watch here:
Revised from ‘Summer Changes Winter Tears.’
A series of unexpected events encourage Zoe to adopt a new persona and leave dull and rainy London for an extended holiday in the sun. Life on the Mediterranean island is idyllic, especially when Reno appears on the scene, and she determines to settle there permanently.
A family emergency has her rushing back to her childhood home, and having to decide where her heart truly lies.
Here’s where you come in.
Have you ever been to Malta?
Do you read in the romance genre?
Which cover would most likely lead you to believe it’s a romance?
Which blurb would make you want to read more?
Which author name appeals more?
A writer can become too close to a book so it’s intriguing to hear a reader’s reactions.
Thanks for your comments and see you next week.
© Val Portelli July 2021