The Confederate flag and the cover of my novel | Street Jazz

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Confederate flag and the cover of my novel

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2015 at 12:10 PM

At the outset, I should just make it clear that I think that everybody in the known universe should buy at least three copies of my novel - regardless of what is on the cover. It’s a writer thing, I suppose.

On the other hand, over the years I have wished that I had not trusted so much the art department of the publishing house which produced my self-published science fiction novel (Freedom Run) about an alternative earth in which the North and South separated after the Civil War. I have never thought it was particularly imaginative, with the modern U.S. in the background and two flags over the map - one Confederate flag, and one U.S. flag, with 50 stars.


The cover of my book about Fayetteville (Ozark Mosaic) was designed by my wife, and I am much happier with that.

Whatever misgivings I have had about the cover of my novel, to be honest, have been largely aesthetic; it is boring, and who the hell wants a boring cover on their book?

The first inkling I had that some may have had a problem with the Confederate flag on the cover came at a science fiction convention in Tulsa, when a woman said, “I’ll buy your book because it sounds interesting, but I have to tell you that the flag on the cover is offensive to me.”

Thinking it over, it is offensive to me, too, but mainly on the grounds that, in the 21st Century, the Confederacy (at least as I have written it) is a far cry from the South of the 1860s. In fact, I imagined a vast Fayetteville when I wrote the book.

You know - liberal.

Silly me, though, I never thought to address the flag in the novel. So for the past few years I have been looking for an artist to come up with a new cover for me.

And, in truth, recent events have been on my mind. Not only the church shootings themselves, but the sheer incoherent rage on the part of those who wave the Confederate flag and rave about their “Southern heritage.”

Now that I am revising the book - adding a few new scenes, and taking out a few - I am actively seeking a new artist.

Oh, it’ll still have sex and violence, but maybe it will have a more honest and appealing cover this time.


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