Saturday, September 8, 2007

Return of the Black Bat

There's one exciting event of publication day I didn't mention. By coincidence, publication day brought a ringing of the doorbell and two boxes of well-wrapped, ultracushioned copies of Shock and Awe from Goldsboro Books. David Headley has been kind enough to send them to me to be signed and sent back. (Don't hesitate to drop through, even if you don't want a signed copy. He'll sell you unsigned copies, too.)

It was gratifying, seeing the books carefully packed, as though they were Faberge eggs, or bottles of nitroglycerin. Between those, and my authors copies, and another dozen I ordered from Macmillan, I'm up to my snoot in Shock and Awe.

(Yes, that is a baby tyrannosaur keeping watch over the flock of books. A cement tyrannosaur, though decoratively painted. Pamela collects unusual eggs, and that one certainly qualifies as unusual. It also weighs an effing ton.)

So, I've been having my own private signing. And, in the course of this I noticed something odd. The Macmillan New Writing logo is an open book viewed from an oblique angle, with the viewer at the lower left-hand corner. In the early days--from Brian Martin's North to Jonathan Drapes' Never Admit to Beige--the book was black. Although a sensible person would have seen it to be a book, my initial reaction was that it was a bat. On closer inspection, though, it seemed to be a male boat-tailed grackle facing right, in threat posture, and with his tail spread wide.

Then suddenly, with Matt Curran's Secret War, the logo turned white, with little outlines to make certain you could tell it was a book. And so it stayed through eight more novels, until Shock and Awe, when suddenly the Black Bat logo returned.

And what does this portend? Is it a message of some sort? Did the Grackle lobby pull strings? Was it unintentional?

You puzzle it out. I'm going back to the living room to join the dinosaur in gloating over the books.

12 comments:

Roger Morris said...

Hi David, maybe I should order one of your signed copies from Goldsboro, rather than buying an unsigned? I will be popping in there tomorrow. Still at home poring over proofs today.

Sam Taylor said...

Hey David, congratulations :) That's got to be a good feeling. :)

David Isaak said...

Hi Roger--

Signed ones are still sitting in my living room, though they're due to leave soon.

Reading proofs is one of the oddest parts of this process, isn't it? it all looks so different than it did in manuscript form...

David Isaak said...

Hi Sam--

A good feeling indeed. Though I'm still enough of a novice that it makes me feel odd to sign my name in a book--feels like I'm defacing it and that someone's likely to shout at me.

David Thayer said...

Under the steady gaze of the concrete dinosaur Dr. Isaak develops his evil plot...

David Isaak said...

Ah, David, you've gone neo-pulp on me! (And I mean that in a good way...)

Matt Curran said...

Hi David

Well I've already bought a copy of the book, and I need to get it signed at some point...

...I wonder if I can persuade Sarah that a quick jaunt to the States is in order?

David Isaak said...

Thanks Matt--

A trip to California to get a book signed sounds like excellent value for the money to me. But some might suggest my perspective on the subject is a little biased.

Jake Jesson said...

I don't suppose the logo is different between dark and light covers? Not having seen the logos myself, I don't know whether or not that makes sense.

David Isaak said...

An excellent guess, Jakester, based on limited information. But, no--the spines, on which the logo appears, are all black for all the MNW books.

I'm afraid it is nothing so logical--and probably something more sinister.

Jamie Ford said...

Congrats! The cover is gorgeous.

David Isaak said...

Hey, Jamie--

Thanks! And, as it turns out, we're Glimmer Train subscribers (though somewhat behind in our reading) so I'll nose around and see if I can track you down.

Congrats on your forthcoming novel. I'll be awaiting it.