Memorial Day Murder - Colin Cotterill

I hope that all of you had a very relaxing and fun Memorial Day weekend.

Whether you got away for the long weekend or not, it’s likely that sand, sun, and perhaps a good beach read were on your mind. ‘Tis the season—and it will be for the next few months.

Of course “normal” beach reads transport the reader to sun drenched settings like Sanibel Island, Natucket, or Capri, and are chock-full of romance, great food, or other niceties.

But if you’re in the mood for something a little different you can find it in the pages of Colin Cotterill’s Grandad, There’s a Head on the Beach (available Jun 19). I just love the words of that title! You’ll meet our feisty young heroine Jimm Juree, and get acquainted with her small village in Southern Thailand.

Sometimes a visual will be an immediate image, fully formed in my head right away, as was the case for this book. So during my preliminary cover conference meeting I drew my idea (below) for the publisher and editor right in the meeting. 

People in the meeting liked the approach. As the sketch reached the far end of the table Keith Kahla, the editor, looked at it. With enthusiasm and excitement in his voice, he joyfully proclaimed  “No, I don’t think so.” This sarcasm is Keith’s way—it’s actually very endearing.

I left the meeting uncertain of what to do—my notes just indicating that I should keep thinking and try something different.

When we published the first Jimm Juree novel Killed at the Whim of a Hat, the very talented artist Rob Wood had created images for me during early work on that book. Luckily, I still had those photographs, some of which are below.

Using Rob’s photos, I put together the crude rough below. Seeing this more-polished version of the original concept, Keith came around to the general idea, but still wanted to see me try a new idea as well.

So I needed an artist to do it for real. I contacted the amazing Hugh Syme, and a few weeks later Hugh gave me the beautiful art at left. Additionally, an extreme cropping of his image provided that elusive alternate idea that Keith had been seeking.

For the final we changed the color of the sky, added a border, and reworked the typography. I’m so pleased with how the visual turned out, and I hope that people enjoy the book.