Today I welcome Jane Isaac to the blog to answer some questions about the cover of her upcoming novel Before It’s Too Late.
She ambled through life, fell upon a career in the civil service, made great friends, met her husband and holidayed frequently – all endless fun. But there was something missing. To fill the void she took up numerous courses including French, art, law, pottery, personnel management and even sign language.
The turning point came fifteen years ago when with her husband they took a year out to travel the world and a friend gave her a journal to keep as a present. This journal was to become her most treasured travel companion, apart from her husband of course! When reading the diary, years later, she could smell spices in Kuala Lumpur, hear the street music of Bangkok, feel the thick heat that pervades the wonderfully clean Singapore, see the red earth of Australia.
Realising the power of words, her love affair with writing began. she enrolled on a creative writing course and started writing articles for newspapers and magazines. She then discovered fiction and, in 2007, embarked on her first novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, which was picked up by an American publisher. And she’s never looked back.
I love the cover Jane. It’s very atmospheric. Moody. Were you able to have any input in the design and if not, are you happy with the results?
Hi Rebecca, Thanks, I really like it! I was asked at the beginning if I had any particular ideas, and of course I did! My preference was for a cover that conveyed a combination of the mood of the novel and the picturesque Warwickshire countryside where it is set. The artist seemed to really understand the ideas put forward and captured the notion so well that the end result was almost a scene from the book.
The cover has drawn me in with the heavy sky and bleak setting, I’m intrigued. What are you allowed to say about the book right now?
I’m glad it’s intrigued you. The novel opens as Chinese student, Min Li, is knocked out and abducted whilst walking the streets of Stratford-upon-Avon alone late at night after an argument with her boyfriend. Min later wakes up in a dark pit, trapped in total isolation. While Min is fighting her own demons, Detective Inspector Will Jackman heads the police investigation tasked with finding her and discovers a web of secrets and lies that force him to break down political and cultural barriers in pursuit of his aim.
It’s about how people aren’t always what they seem, and how sometimes inadvertent actions can come back to haunt you.
Before It’s Too Late? That’s foreboding. I’m rubbish with titles. At what point did the title come to you?
Not until the very end! I find titles incredibly difficult to come up with too. The novel had several working titles but none of them really fit and it wasn’t until I had completely finished it that the panic set in. I had a huge brainstorming session with my husband and this one cropped up. With Jackman set in a race against time, and the kidnapper lurking in the background trying to change the course of the investigation, it seemed to convey the sense of urgency.
When is the publication date?
1st June 2015.
And without giving anything away, if you could be one of the characters, who would you be and why?
It would have to be DS Davies, who assists Jackman with the police investigation. She’s sharp and engaging, but also bubbly and always manages to find the humour in any situation.
Thanks for talking to me Jane, it’s been great having you and I know Before It’s Too Late will be a great hit with readers!
Thank you for having me. I enjoyed answering your questions.