Cover Story

Mark 1 cover
 The advance copies of my new book Inflight Science have arrived - expect one or two references to it as we build up to it going out to the world on 7 April. Despite this being book number 36, I confess that the excitement of holding a new book in your hands doesn't go away, and I've got big hopes for this one.

It certainly has one of the best covers I've had, which has undergone an interesting tweak. The original version of the cover was all drawn, while the new version incorporates photographic material as well. When I heard this was being done I was a bit dubious, but in fact I hope you'll agree that it somehow makes it crisper and more attention grabbing - it certainly looks great on the finished book, with the red lettering embossed on the surface.

Final cover
I had the rare opportunity to yesterday to get some unbiassed and pontentially highly critical opinion on it. I was doing a talk at the Piggott School in Wargrave. (One of two talks yesterday, both brilliant if very different audiences. The school was over 150 year 9s (13 to 14-year-olds. The evening talk was a more select and somewhat more mature audience at the the rather lovely shiny new Pewsey Library. Both audiences were very attentive and produced a great range of questions at the end.)

Back at the covers, I had laid out a range of my books on a table at the school before the students came in. When they did, I was sitting some distance from the table, not obviously connected to it, but close enough to hear what was being said. A group descended on it and immediately homed in on Inflight Science saying how great it looked. One of them picked it up, and was so impressed by the factoids on the back that she began to regale the others with them. All in all, I think a good field trial for what I hope will be a successful book.


  1. Oh dear, I've just noticed "...your airplane window..."

    Shirley some mistake? ;-)

  2. The publisher's feeling is a) aeroplane looks old fashioned and b) airplane is acceptable on both sides of the Atlantic, but aeroplane isn't.

    And don't call me Shirley.

  3. If you say "aeroplane" in the States, people think you're from the past. Which you totally are, of course, but they call you a nerd when you start explaining that...


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