Lake of Dreams

And now to show off the cover of the second part in The Spinner’s Game series, Lake of Dreams, written by Crispina Kemp. Like the cover for the first book, The Spinner’s Child, this cover merges what’s real with what isn’t, subtly capturing so many elements from the tale. While the colours work in contrast with the previous book, it establishes the style that will continue through the series.

Picking the spider for The Spinner’s Child was not even a discussion; for some books there was a perfect fit. For others, like this one, we had options. Here we could have gone for the tiger or the fox (those who’ve read it will know the importance of the choice!). Foxes have always been a favourite of mine ever since I read Fantastic Mr Fox as a child, and they were all I drew at uni (check out my Fox Hunt book where the fox gets his own back). But for the Lake of Dreams the tiger stole my heart. It had to be him. There’s so much more I’d love to say about this design. If you ever read my book you’ll know I can’t help but lather on the foreshadowing and symbolism. But in the words of River Song, “Shhh! Spoilers!”

In Lake of Dreams(Book 2 of The Spinner’s Game) the all-encompassing, oracular Spinner, has charged Kerrid with the eradication of the demon-snake that has stalked her since she was a child. To do so, Kerrid believes she must discover the truth of the Asars.

Thus when “big brother” Olun summons Kerrid’s husband to a family meeting with that express purpose, Kerrid jumps at the chance despite Olun never has liked her. Though her task is to discover exactly whatare the Asars, she knows her success depends upon gaining the approval of Olun and his brothers. This would be easier without her husband’s repeated efforts to undermine her, in part motivated by his jealousy of the second-born brother, Jiar. 

Set in the between-time when Ice Age gave way to warmer days, when nomadic hunter-fisher turned to settled agriculture, when spirits and demons morphed to gods, The Spinner’s Gamecrosses continents and weaves through ages fraught with floods and droughts to become the prototype of our most ancient myths.

The Spinner’s Child

As I said in my previous blog, Crispina Kemp is my amazing Critique Partner. Though we’ve completed our critiques on each other’s manuscripts (10k exchanged every Sunday), we keep in touch, with updates on our writing journey and life in general. Crispina will be self-publishing her five part series, The Spinner’s Game, and so talk turned to book covers. This was at the point that I’d decided to transition from greetings cards (transition/the entire company was made redundant…) to book covers. But I had no portfolio, nothing other than my word. So with the understanding that if my covers looked awful, they could be disregarded with no hard feelings, I took on the task! And as proof that I’m a gal of my word, they don’t look half bad. Actually, I love them, and most importantly Crispina does too:

I can praise Lauren for so many things: she’s great as a beta reader and critique partner, and has become a good friend. But words escape me when it comes to her book covers. This first was by way of sample. And she nailed it in one. But I needed five covers, and they needed to show these five books were part of a series. Could she deliver? She did.

Crispina Kemp

There’s so much depth in Crispina’s series, The Spinner’s Child needed a cover that reflected that. I don’t want to say too much in case I give anything away, but read the book (seriously you won’t regret it), and there’ll be so much you can pick out. For my part, I particularly love the spider’s legs, they were great fun to draw and the end result… well, see for yourself!

Born of a fisher-hunter clan, fraudulent seer Kerrid holds two false beliefs. That in her supernatural abilities she is unique, and as Voice of the Lady she’s exempt from Plaited Woman’s fate. The arrival of nine boats from the east shatters both these beliefs. Forced to make an unwise judgement there follows a trail of death. Questions plague her: Why does she dream of babies burning? Why does a voice in her head—Suffer the loss, suffer the pain—taunt her of some dire deed? What has she done? And what is she that no matter how lethal the wound, she does not die?

In The Spinner’s Child(Book 1 of The Spinner’s Game) Kerrid explores and develops her supernatural powers, gains a glimmering of what she might be, discovers the source of the accusatory voice in her head, and sheds her fraudulent status to become a fully trained wise-woman, able to enter the all-encompassing otherworld Web. But this is only the first step on her journey.

Set in the between-time when Ice Age gave way to warmer days, when nomadic hunter-fisher turned to settled agriculture, when spirits and demons morphed to gods, The Spinner’s Gamecrosses continents and weaves through ages fraught with floods and droughts to become the prototype of our most ancient myths.