This is not the cover of Julien's Terror by the way.
As readers, we do judge a book by its cover, don't we?
What imagery comes to your mind with the words - French Revolution, mysterious woman, tormented couple, obsession, haunting and psychological thriller?
Where to start? How can a self-published author avoid cliches yet use appropriate book cover symbols to draw a desired audience? What is my desired audience? I think she is female, over 25 and obsessed with 18/19th century France. The macabre and gothic must appeal to her while she must also have a fascination for the human mind and for unveiling secrets.
Is that you? Then how can I best attract you with my book cover? Tell me.
The next six months will be intensely creative as I finalise the imagery to feature on the cover of my third novel, Julien's Terror, before preparing an art brief.
Despite the tenebrous aspects of this novel, I was overjoyed over the last months. I spent ample time researching fascinating real-life characters, all of which are featured or mentioned in the story. They include 18th century fortune-teller, Marie Anne Lenormand, writer Germaine Staël, the unflinching Minister of Police Fouché, the brave Breton counter-revolutionary François de Charette, the unique physician Franz Anton Mesmer, to name a few...
I am excited!
And I've saved it for last: Julien's Terror now has a blurb...
Eight years after France's bloody Reign of Terror, a young couple is happily married in Paris. Julien d'Aureville is an upcoming bourgeois raised in the poor and intensely revolutionary district of Saint-Antoine. His young wife, Marguerite Lafolye, is an orphan from Brittany who escaped the cruelty of Nantes' butcher, Jean-Baptiste Carrier. Fiercely royalist, she remains a mystery to her husband.
Marguerite becomes obsessed with Dauphin Louis-Charles, youngest child of the late Queen Marie-Antoinette and in Le Temple, the medieval prison where Louis-Charles was kept for almost three years before his death.
Meanwhile terrifying nightmares plague Julien from the beginning of their marriage. In desperation, he reaches out to Paris' celebrated fortune-teller, Marie Anne Lenormand. But when Marie Anne attempts to draw insights into Julien’s wife, she is startled to find that she cannot read her cards.
Who is Marguerite Lafoyle?
To Marguerite's horror, Napoleon wishes to demolish Le Temple. The couple make a final visit to the old Templar building where Marguerite mysteriously faints.
And then jealousy rears its head. A romantic visit to Napoleon's Venice sees one of the fortune-teller’s predictions come true. When Marguerite meets dashing Austrian, Maximilian Von Hauser, Julien's worst fears are realised.
And it's only getting more sinister... Marguerite begins to behave strangely.
Deep in Marguerite's past, where the tyranny of murderous Republicans meets with ancient Breton folklore, lies a terrifying secret. Is Marguerite a liar?
Who is she really? And is she truly possessed by the late Dauphin?
In this chilling psychological tale set in post-revolutionary France, a young couple confront their darkest fears. Looming above them, between healing and oblivion, lies the French Republic's most shocking secret.
EXPECTED RELEASE DATE: 28 JULY 2017