Have I mentioned how much I love Colin Davies? For those of you who are unfamiliar with the talented author, this is a link to Blood Ink. His work is entertaining and rich in imagination and delightfully unsettling.
However, this isn’t a blog post where I blow smoke up Colin’s arse for his writing. This is a blog post where I blow smoke up Colin’s arse for his cover design. I had previously published Old People Sex (and other highly offensive poems) using one of Amazon’s prêt-à-porter covers. The cover was OK but nothing special – and I think a cover should always try to be a little bit more special than merely OK.
Part of the problem was that it’s difficult to select a cover for a diverse collection of poetry.
Covers for horror stories are relatively simple. Get a shot of a spooky location. Make it either black and white, sepia tinted, or bloodstained, and you’re pretty much there. Erotic stories simply need an image of naked torsos touching and a shot of electric blue or neon pink, and you can soon sign off on the project.
But Old People Sex (and other highly offensive poems) was a lot more than difficult to sum up with a single image. The collection includes poems about politics. It includes poems about sex. It includes poems about blackmailing hackers. And so much more.
Actually, it contains approximately two hours of poetry (including introductions), and as some of the titles cover subjects as varied as ‘Veet’, ‘Cleveleys’ and ‘One Way Traffic?’ I think it’s fair to say that producing a single image that captures the mood of the text was something way beyond my abilities.
But it wasn’t beyond the abilities of Colin Davies. This is the new cover of Old People Sex (and other highly offensive poems) and I can’t remember the last time I was so delighted with an image. From the old-fashioned wallpaper to the Evening Primrose lube and abandoned false-teeth (as well as my photograph sitting on a bedside cabinet) it does everything I want in a cover.
Thank you, Colin. You’re a genuine genius.