An artist friend of mine, David Brackston, has put together some cartoons I drew and coloured them in to create the above design for my forthcoming novel, Pets Aplenty.
This reflects the content of the book, with the rabbit suffering tooth ache and the pony bent on biting the young vet, Paul, whenever the opportunity arose. Hopefully it will encourage browsers to dip into the book.
They say that the opening lines also need to grab a reader’s attention. I thought long and hard on this and rewrote the opening page many times until I felt it had sufficient pull to encourage a reader to continue.
And here it is:
JUST WHERE DOES THE BUCK STOP?
I’d just hopped across the shopping precinct, perspiration trickling down my spine, and was crouched outside Westcott’s Pet Emporium, when two men staggered out from the Crown and Anchor, a local watering hole adjacent to the Pound Shop, and swayed to a halt. One grasped the sleeve of the other.
‘Christ, Sean, do you see what I see?’ slurred the sleeve holder, pointing at me while bringing his free hand up to rub first his right eye and then his left, shaking his head once he’d done so.
‘It’s a rabbit, Mick,’ declared his mate, attempting to focus his bleary eyes on me, but failing miserably.
‘Jesus, I know it’s a rabbit, but just look at the bloody size of it.’
‘Tis big to be sure.’
‘To think they sell rabbits that big,’ said the sleeve holder, looking up at the pet shop sign.
‘Tis enough to scare the shit out yer,’ said Mick’s mate, still in his clutches, both rocking from side to side.
‘Hi guys,’ I called out from where I was crouched in front of the shop, my voice muffled by the rabbit costume I was wearing.
‘Bloody hell, Sean,’ spluttered the sleeve holder. ‘It can talk too.’
‘What did it say, Mick?’
‘Don’t care what it bloody well said, Sean, I can’t be having with a rabbit that talks. Especially one that size.’
‘I need another drink,’ exclaimed Mick’s mate.
Both men reeled back inside the pub from which they’d just emerged.
Does it work? Well, let’s hope so.
Pets Aplenty is due to be published summer of 2014.