Cover Story: CARIBBEE


FIRE Book Review

I’m know I’m privileged to be consulted at every stage of the conceiving of and production of a Kydd Series book cover; this isn’t the case for all authors. Thank you, Hodder & Stoughton!


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While some might argue that it’s the inside that counts, the cover is the billboard for the book. As any one title is competing with many thousands of others it’s very important to draw a potential reader to your book with an eye-catching jacket.

So, how did the splendid cover of CARIBBEE come to be?

Once my editor Oliver Johnson had read the manuscript he emailed to invite any thoughts I had – and of course spoke with his colleagues in the Marketing, Sales and Publicity Departments.



An 1804 pattern cutlass

In CARIBBEE, while there’s plenty of action and engagement with the enemy, it’s somewhat lighter in tone than BETRAYAL so I suggested a cover that was a change from its darker hues. And as the location is the Caribbean, exotic sunny colours, please!



Boarding pistol

Oliver decided to go with a layout similar to the previous two books with eighteenth-century naval weapons against an appropriate flag at the top, frigates in combat at the bottom of the page and a hint of the locale in some form.



Detail of the Batavian flag

Various images were sourced – a boarding pistol, a sea service cutlass and a flag of the Batavian Republic (Curacao reference).

These were then sent, along with a design brief, to Larry Rostant, who’s an incredible digital artist. (He’s done cover art for Stephen King, George RR Martin etc.)

While I knew in a broad sense what the cover would look like by this time seeing Larry’s fabulous creation was a real buzz. Some books have a ‘shout line’ – perhaps a quote or some reference to the story but as one Hodder employee remarked – ‘The cover is gorgeous, it says it all!’ I must say I had to agree.

– Do you have a favourite Kydd Series cover? I’d love to hear your thoughts –


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