Okay, gentle peeps – you know the drill. This blog is fortunate enough to be able to host a series of interviews with indy fantasy authors, covering various aspects of their work and the self-publishing process. Last week we talked to Richard M. Ankers, and today we will be chatting with the delightfully mischievous Alice Gristle, author of the alternative-history, dark fantasy work The Blood Cup of Clairmont!
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Latest Work: The Blood Cup of Clairmont
1. Tell us about your cover. What does it show? Why is this one your favorite?
This is the cover I whipped up for The Blood Cup of Clairmont, my first novella. It’s part of my dark fantasy series that pays homage to (you guessed it!) Castlevania, that pulpiest of all pulpy platformers, where you can bullwhip Dracula. To honour the tradition of cheapness in pulp fiction (or out of laziness?) I spent an entire half hour in creating this cover. However, although I lavished neither time nor resources on it, some thought actually went into conjuring this cover.
First, I love minimalism. Minimalism is beauty. So, I wanted my cover to do as little as possible – just the title, author name, and some stylised element to round off the visual trinity. Canva, the site I worked with, provided these like burger steaks off McD grill.
Second, what colours to use? Black and red were le mot juste. They go well together both visually and thematically. Though I skimped on everything else, I did spend some time choosing the exact shade of red and black. Despite my cheapness and laziness, I have a pretty well-developed aesthetic sense. If I disobey that sense too much, I get a terrible aesthetic hangover, which I have to cure by binge eating chocolate truffles and weeping inside a blanket…
Third, what about continuity? The Blood Cup of Clairmont will have two sister novellas, further detailing the adventures of the Clairmont clan, so the covers need to march in tune. The second novella (hopefully coming out this December) will have a predominantly white cover, while the last novella relies on a combination of blue and black. Like The Blood Cup, they all obey the same principle of minimalism (or laziness). Also, together they suggest the colours of the flag of France, although in reverse. Fitting, since the Clairmont clan originates from France!
I’m actually contradicted about this cover. I’m ashamed of it, because, well, it’s pretty cheap. But at the same time, I’m proud of being ashamed of it. I mean, if this were in print, it would be on poor-quality recycled paper that tears on the first day of reading, and later you’d find it, mangled and coffee-stained, at some BookCrossing shelf, rubbing shoulders with lovely Harlequin romances and the Windows 98 User Manual. Perfectly pulp!
Find out more about what Alice is up to over at: https://alicegristle.wordpress.com/
The Blood Cup of Clairmont can be purchased here