This is the cover of my novel, Hild (available for pre-order) which will be published in the US on 12 November 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (When I know UK and other publication dates I’ll post them.)
I love it. It’s not perfect.
First, what I love. As this is a JPEG, the colours are not entirely reliable. But the physical object will be stunning: uncoated, textured coverstock with the main title in gleaming gold. Drop-dead gorgeous. The artists, twin Italian sisters called Anna and Elena Balbusso, have done some award-winning covers for classics by writers such as Pushkin and Atwood.
I love the way Hild looks directly at her audience, utterly self-contained. I particularly admire the Botticelli-like face, and her hair, which is the exact shade of chestnut I’d imagined.
The artists have captured the face of a girl-woman with a thousand-yard stare, who has faced death and made terrible decisions since the age of eight, who looks out with the clarity of one who knows life is an undiscovered country full of joy and patterns to be understood. Hild is born in difficult circumstances and survives because she has an extraordinary mind and a will of adamant. She lives at the very edges of the constraints of her time—but is still constrained.
So, as I say, I love it. I do have two quibbles. The seax should hang horizontally, parallel to her belt. And I’m pretty sure there weren’t any chainmail coifs in early seventh-century Britain. (Even if there were, Hild would not have worn one. Constrained, remember?)