Sunday, 9 July 2017

Last Seen by Lucy Clarke 

Release Date: 19th May 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genres: Crime / Mystery / Thriller

Seven years ago, two boys went missing at sea – and only one was brought to shore. The Sandbank, a remote stretch of coast dotted with beach huts, was scarred forever.

Sarah’s son survived, but on the anniversary of the accident, he disappears without trace. As new secrets begin to surface, The Sandbank hums with tension and unanswered questions. Sarah’s search grows more desperate and she starts to mistrust everyone she knows – and she’s right to.

Someone saw everything on that fateful day seven years ago. And they’ll do anything to keep the truth buried.

Twisty, pacy, and superbly plotted, Last Seen is the perfect psychological page-turner for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Sabine Durrant.



Fancy coming behind-the-scenes with me to discover how the book jacket for LAST SEEN was created? My publisher, HarperCollins, have an incredibly talented team of designers, who work tirelessly on creating eye-catching book covers. I was lucky enough to be involved in the design process from the get go.

Step 1: Choosing a title
We wanted a title that was not only appealing, but also helped position the novel clearly as a psychological thriller. After several weeks of batting ideas back and forth, my editor suggested LAST SEEN. I loved it immediately and we approved it that day. Here are some of the more sea-themed title ideas that I originally brainstormed: 

·         The Waves At Our Door
·         Undercurrent
·         Saltwater
·         Her Secret
·         The Darkest Summer
·         A Mother’s Truth
·         The Drowning
·         Strange Light
·         The Sandbank
·         The Whispering Huts
·         The Whispering Tide
·         Wild Light
·         Night Wave
·         Backwash
·         Not this Tide
·         Tides will break
·         Dark Summer
·         The Silver Sea
·         Wild Swimming
·         Lost in the light
·         Through the dark
·         Towards the sun
·         When the sea stands still
·         A blink of the sky
·         Oceans between us
Step 2: Image selection

Once we had a title in place, I took a trip to London to discuss the cover direction with my editor. She presented me with a series of images selected by the design team. After looking closely at each of them, we decided that we loved two options: a water-based image, or an image peering through a gap in two beach huts, setting the reader as voyeur.
Here are some of the original images:

Step 3: Cover concepts
Once we had some key images selected, it was over to the design team to do their magic and come up with a range of concepts. These were the top 6 options that my editor presented me with. Although all the options were strong, it was a unanimous decision to go with the top left concept. We felt that the red and blue colours were striking, and that the positioning of the boys helped draw the readers’ gaze into the story.

Step 4: Final tweaks
The design team set about making their final tweaks, like ensuring that the colours ‘popped’. We also decided on a tag line to capture the suspenseful tone of the novel: Two missing boys . . .  Is anybody watching?
Meanwhile, proof copies were sent to carefully selected authors with the aim of finding a cover quote. I was hugely excited by the wonderful feedback, and decided to opt for a succinct quote from internationally bestselling author, Clare Mackintosh. ‘Impossible to put down.’

I absolutely loved being involved in each step of the cover design for LAST SEEN. It’s fantastic to have a book on the shelves that I can be truly proud of, inside and out. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, so I guess you’d better read it for yourself 😉
Lucy x 

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