Saturday, 29 April 2017

Pride: Bridgeover-Sundown

Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

Pride: Bridgeover-Sundown (Post 119)

Pride: Bridgeover-Sundown (2007 / 2017), is one of my favourites. It's one of the most ambitious books I ever wrote (others being Candle Iron, The Peacock's Pearl, Translations in Celadon, Replay, Under the Waterfall, Shakedown and Trinity Street) and it allowed me to play with many of my favourite themes.

The cover you see here is the tenth anniversary cover. Initially, this novel was published in 2007. It's set in 2027, so this year, 2017, marks the half-way point. I've been wanting to re-release this one as I did with Replay, and have had my eye out for a good cover for a while. 

I found one that had a compass, a map and a highway. These elements are perfect for the story, but when I put in the title, the effect seemed both cluttered and lacking in impact. I haivered for a while, but generally if I don't love a cover I don't buy it. When books are published commercially, as most of mine are, the cover is provided by the publisher sometimes in consultation with me, but sometimes not. Publishers have much more experience than I have in what will sell, so I'm happy to leave it to their expertise. However, when I do a self-publishing venture, I have to make the decision myself. Lacking that professional eye and knack, all I can go on is that the cover is something I choose to use. I always want to be able to have a positive reason to choose it, and one I can articulate.

Having decided the first one (though it had those perfect elements) didn't do what I wanted for this particular book, I looked at another cover with a highway and compass. It was good, but the highway curved through a green scene. A feature of the highway in this book is that it's straight and heading through the outback, which soon segues into The Outback, a major player in events. 

I wasn't looking for a figure cover. Finding a cover with a very young ANZAC soldier or a teenaged boy from 2027, or a Bradman Pride car seemed implausible. I put "highway" in the search field, and got lots to choose from, but this is the one that caught my eye. 

The two protagonists are young men; Arthur Steele, born in 1898 and Glen Steele, born in 2010, but there's an important girl character in it as well. Clio is the young woman whom Glen's father once loved. She died before Glen was born, but her story and her image are part of his psyche as he struggles with being a dependent teenager at an age when his forebears were men. Clio has become his ideal, so her influence on him and on the story is strong. As soon as I spotted this cover, my mind said, "That's Clio!" The straight highway, the menacing clouds and the weird light just clinched the deal.

So, what's the story about? It has a new blurb to go with its new look. Here's what it has to say:

It's 1915 and Arthur Steele lies bleeding in the sand. Gallipoli is not where he wants to be. He's just a boy, but he's had to be a man.

It's 2027 and Glen Steele is trapped in a world that won't let him be a man.

Glen takes his sister's car and sets off on a trip that will take him right out of his life, and into the mysterious world of the Outback. It's all surreal, a place of ghosts, and in the blazing shadows the legends come to life.

Glen meets Arthur, caught between life and death. Arthur can't go home anymore. Maybe Glen still can... but does he want to?

This book would have been a logical post for ANZAC Day, but I hadn't got the cover on at that point, so here it is a few days late.

The anniversary edition of Pride is available as an ebook HERE and as a paperback HERE.

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, post a comment and I'll get back to you.

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