Cover Love . . . With Chrissie Manby

Posted on 3rd September, 2021

This week it is a huge pleasure to welcome my friend Chris Manby to my blog. We've known one another for some years and I can't quite believe that this is her first visit here - but what better reason could there be for her to drop by than to celebrate the utterly wonderful Saying Goodbye to Tuesday, which you may recall I reviewed here three weeks ago. (If you'd like to see my review, it's here.)


So let's here from Chris why Saying Goodbye to Tuesday has the perfect cover. . .


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If there’s one subject guaranteed to get any group of writers seriously animated, it’s covers. Yes, yes, we all know that you’re not supposed to judge a book etc… but every debut author learns pretty quickly that covers really matter.


Since I published my first book, Flatmates, almost twenty-five years ago, I’ve been lucky enough to publish almost forty further novels. Arranged side by side, they provide an interesting tableau of “fiction cover fashions through the ages”. My early novels had the sort of brightly coloured photographic covers that were all the rage in the nineties. These were replaced by cartoonish illustrated covers in the early noughties (always featuring a “rat-faced girl”, as I once complained to my editor). Five books later, the cartoons were dropped for photographs again. More recently, illustrative covers are back in vogue. I’d like to say that the only thing that hasn’t changed is my name, but that’s been tinkered with too. I started my writing career as Chris Manby, but was persuaded to change it to Chrissie when it became clear that many people thought I was a bloke, despite my author photo.


I’ve had covers I’ve liked and covers I could hardly bear to look at. Sometimes, foreign editions have landed on my doorstep with such strange covers I’ve wondered whether I’ve in fact been sent the wrong book. The cover of the Russian version of Spa Wars, my comic novel about two warring beauty salon owners, featured a dwarf dressed in a lab coat pressing a stethoscope against a buxom model’s cleavage. Mind you, the UK version was not much better, featuring a hard-looking model in a white mini-dress wielding a hairdryer in a way that was much more “lad’s mag” than gentle chick lit. That novel bombed.


With such a variety of covers to choose from, I thought it would be hard to pick a favourite, but a clear winner emerged just as Susanna asked me to write for Cover Love. It just happens to be my new book. It’s called Saying Goodbye To Tuesday and it’s quite a departure for me. It’s still romantic comedy but the narrator of the novel is Stupendo, a Labrador/ Staffie cross, deceased.



The cover for Tuesday, as I’ve come to call it, was designed by Jo Myler of Hodder and Stoughton’s in-house team. From the very first sketches, I knew she was going to nail the brief. Of course it had to feature a dog. Stupendo the cover star went through a few iterations. An early version, with more Staffie than Labrador in his lineage, was deemed too challenging for readers who might not be as dog-crazy as I am. It was hard also to get Stupendo’s pose right. How can you draw a dog sitting facing the reader without, a-hem, showing his best doggy bits?


To solve the problem, Jo brought artist Fiona Purves on board. Fiona specialises in pet portraits. Her Instagram feed (@fiona_purves) is a feast for the animal lover’s eyes. With her paintbrush she has captured the spirit of all manner of creatures great and small, from tiny birds to the majestic blue whale. I was sure she would be able to bring my fictional dog to life (or afterlife, as it happens), and she has.


Saying Goodbye To Tuesday is out in e-book from the 9th September but I can’t wait to see the paperback on the shelves this November. Thanks to Jo and Fiona, my new book has a cover that I can truly claim to love.


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To love and protect. The code of the good dog is clear.


When single mother Tuesday took on mongrel pup Stupendo, she made a friend for life. Through the best and the worst of times, Stupendo has been there for her. Ever faithful, ever loyal, ever true. Nothing could break their bond. Until last week.
Stupendo doesn't know why Tuesday is suddenly ignoring him or why his doggy antics no longer seem to soothe Baby William. It takes his worst enemy - the cat next door - to break the news that Stupendo has become a ghost.
Somehow left behind on Earth, Stupendo knows he has unfinished business. Enlisting the help of the community of animals in the neighbourhood, Stupendo must get to the bottom of the very human sadness that hangs over his old home and keeps him from saying goodbye to Tuesday.


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Chris's links:

Chrissie's author page on Amazon   


Chrissie on Twitter  


Chrissie's author page on Facebook 


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