Today I welcome Mel Sherratt, to the blog to answer some questions about the cover of her latest release, Follow The Leader.
Thanks, Rebecca. I had masses of input into the cover. As my books are very British, and as the first in the series, Taunting the Dead, was predominantly red, I thought a vague theme of red, white and blue covers might be a good way to brand them. I filled in a questionnaire about what I would like and I suggested hopscotch. From there, the team came up with several images of hopscotch on playgrounds, walkways, pavements etc.
Once we had narrowed it down to one image, the tweaking began – lots of different versions of the same cover, zooming the image in, zooming the image out, then we added the hopscotch, colours, fonts, tagline etc. It’s something I really enjoy –it’s very exciting seeing them come to life.
It’s a great strapline on the cover. I’m intrigued. What can you say about the book?
Follow the Leader is about a serial killer who is one step ahead of the police while he seeks payback for his past. From the get-go, you have his point of view. There are a series of flashbacks before every murder that try to help you understand why that particular victim was chosen. But he’s playing a game too, leaving clues in the form of magnetic letters. It’s up to the police to work out either who he is or who the next victim is before it’s too late.
The novel’s underlying theme is bullying and how as impressionable teenagers, we either change or don’t change once we leave the school gates, and peer pressure, behind.
Follow The Leader? Along with that strapline, it makes for a great title that makes your mind go places. At what point did the title come to you?
When I first started the book, I knew it was going to focus very much on bullying and the fact that he was playing a game with the police. So I Googled children’s playground games and Follow the Leader was on a long list. As titles tend to do for me, the more I worked with it, the more the story fitted around it. So the playground scene is quite poignant, I think because, as a person, it can be a happy or a terrible time to look back on.
When is the publication date?
It’s out on 10 February 2015.
And without giving anything away, if you could be one of the characters, who would you be and why?
Without a doubt, it would be my main character DS Allie Shenton – she’s emotional, kick-ass and gutsy. All the things I would love to be! Oh, wait – maybe I am… well maybe not the kick-ass… and maybe not the gutsy…
Thanks for talking to me Mel, it’s been great having you and can I just say, I loved Follow The Leader!