Check out this article over at Shock Till You Drop who managed to grab a quick word with Mark Johnson, one of the producers of the HATER movie.
Can’t tell you how excited I am about this…
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of HATER, keep an eye on this site in the coming weeks for news of more editions of the book and the first word on DOG BLOOD, the second book in the series due for release in 2010.
Strange title for a blog post I know, but I have a question and I’d appreciate some feedback.
My books typically deal with the end of the world in one way or another, but I’m generally more interested in how people deal with whatever’s happened to them than with the cause of ‘the event’ itself. If you were trying to survive through an apocalyptic scenario, let’s say (very topically) a pandemic, would it really make any difference to your struggle if the killer disease was man-made, a naturally occurring mutation or something of alien origin? This brief extract from AUTUMN summarises the point I’m trying to make:
‘So do you think it was a virus that did this to them?’ Carl asked. ‘Emma seems to think so. Or do you think it was…?’
‘Don’t know and I don’t care.’
‘What do you mean, you don’t care?’
‘What difference does it make? What’s happened has happened. It’s the old cliché, isn’t it? If you get knocked down by a car, does it matter what colour it is?’
‘It doesn’t matter what caused any of this. What’s done is done and I can’t see the point in wasting time coming up with bullshit theories and explanations when none of it will make the slightest bit of difference. The only thing that any of us have any influence and control over now is what we do tomorrow.’
My question to you, however, is this: as the reader of a post-apocalyptic story, how important is it for you to know what happened? Do you need to know what caused the virus in AUTUMN? Will it spoil your enjoyment of the HATER trilogy if you don’t find out why people are suddenly turning on each other?
Any feedback / comments / thoughts from anyone would be appreciated. Please use the comments function and the related forum discussion to let me know.
The cover of ‘Hater’ has always been a strong selling point. When I designed the original ‘Infected Books’ edition back in 2006, I knew that I wanted something that was visually striking, relevant to the novel and, perhaps most importantly, something that didn’t look like the cover of any other book already on the shelves.
The idea for deep red on a clear white background came quickly. I’m by no means an artist so taking this approach seemed to kill two birds with one stone – if it worked it would be fairly easy to produce and the simplicity would inevitably make it an eye-catching design. After briefly toying with a few concepts (such as the bloody handprint on the back cover of the original edition and the imprint of a blood-drenched face looking as if some poor soul had been smashed up against a window!), I settled on simply writing the word ‘Hater’ in blood.
To produce the original artwork, I went back to basics. It was early summer and my youngest daughter was painting. Struck by sudden inspiration, I selfishly grabbed some of her paints off her (she didn’t have any red, so I mixed brown and orange and yellow and whatever else I could find), made up a batch of ‘blood’, then stood out on the patio surrounded by sheets of paper making bloodspots and the like. She watched me with an uneasy mixture of fear and bemusement. I felt like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters, building a mountain out of mashed potato at the dinner table.
I dipped my finger in the paint and scrawled ‘HATER’ on a clean sheet. I liked it so I did it again. Then again. Then again. Half a ream of bloody Haters later and I decided that the very first one was the best. I dried it, scanned it, Photoshopped the colours to a more typically bloody red-brown, then created a composite using various other drips, dribbles and splashes of blood from my experiments on the patio.
The original paperback cover suffered from a poor choice of font for my name and too much white space. When the book was sold to Thomas Dunne Books, their art department worked for some time to come up with an alternative illustration, before settling on a touched-up version of my original design. They increased the proportions of the image to better fill the cover, and added my name and the words ‘a novel’ in a suitably bloody scrawl.
The book has since been sold to numerous other countries and it’s been interesting to see how each country has approached the design of the cover. Some, like Poland and the UK, have gone for variations on a theme.
The Spanish, German and French publishers have taken a completely different, but no less eye-catching, tack. The French edition in particular, with its use of an ‘interesting’ picture of yours truly, has become something of a talking point! With other countries including Brazil, Russia, Japan and Korea yet to unveil their editions of the book, I’m looking forward to seeing what their designers come up with!
The fact that the cover of ‘Hater’ has generated such a positive response is something I’m very proud of. Since the release of the book in February I’ve had many emails which have started along the lines of ‘I was in the bookstore today just browsing, when I saw the cover of your book on the shelf and had to pick it up…’. I’m also thrilled by the very positive comments posted in today’s article by the professional designers over at www.fwis.com. Perhaps my favourite feedback though, was from a post I found on a forum a while back. Someone admitted to having brought the book so they could carry it with them on the tube each day. They weren’t interested in reading it themselves, they just wanted to see the looks on other passengers’ faces when they saw the cover!
On a similar note, loads more reviews and other odds and ends have also been added to the site. There’s a page of Hater-specific reviews here and more press cuttings here. If you look at the sidebar to the right (if you’re reading this on www.djmoody.co.uk), you’ll also see three RSS feeds you can subscribe to to be automatically updated whenever new reviews, interviews and articles are posted.
Congratulations to Zombob (aka Robert Banning of Carpentersville, USA) who was the winner of the exclusive My Favourite BooksHATERgiveaway. Robert – your copy of the original Infected Books edition of HATER will be on its way to you shortly.
The French edition of HATER, RAGE, will be published by Milady on 5th June. They’ve put a great piece up about the book on their blog here.
And check out the cover! It’s more frightening than the book! At least I’ll have no problems proving I wrote it if ever I’m in France! Thanks to the team at SFX Magazine for giving their permission for the image to be used. You can order RAGE from Amazon.fr now.
I’ve been clearing out (more news on what else I’ve found later) and I’ve come across a few little gems hidden away. One of these ‘treasures’ is a mint condition copy of the original Infected Books paperback edition of HATER. For those who don’t know, the movie deal and the deal with Thomas Dunne Books came shortly after I originally released the book and very few copies of the Infected Books version were produced (no more than 1500, I think).
I’m giving the book away in conjunction with my friends over at the My Favourite Books blog. To enter, all you need to do is visit the site (click here) and send them an email before 31st May. Good luck!