Tennis, sisters and splits

So, I have a completed manuscript and a title but am still working on the cover…with a little help from my friends.

Initially, the kind of cover I envisaged was something abstract like this:

Callahan Split 3

But then a few people commented that it was too obscure and that the tennis reference wasn’t strong enough…Did they want something like this?

tennis 11
I think not.
And then a wacky friend came up with this one –

Tennis 10
The image is lifted from an original photo titled Tennis Girl, taken by Martin Elliott in 1976, of his then 18-year-old girlfriend, Fiona Butler.

I can’t use it, but I did laugh…sisters, tennis and a bit of raunch. …And I will definitely be using the byline ‘no one knows you better than your sister‘. Thanks Nicholas!

I also like the reference to Wimbledon…which brings me to my next point! Am off to London on Thursday! Yippee.

Yes, I’ll visit Princess Charlotte, have High Tea at The Ritz and attend the Chelsea Flower Show, But hopefully, I will also be inspired to create the perfect cover…or at least be able to tell someone far cleverer than me the kind of cover I’d like for The Callahan Split!

So, we’ve established that the title is The Callahan Split...

A story about two sisters…

Now here’s a bit more information…

In tennis, as in life, nothing ever goes truly to plan.

Samantha and Annie Callahan are successful doubles champions — the toast of the Olympics, Wimbledon, and Flushing Meadow. But their winning partnership spirals out of control when Annie’s new boyfriend announces their engagement at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Bear, the sisters’ coach, guides Annie as much as she’ll allow. But when she insists on dropping Samantha in favour of a singles career, her game and rankings plummet.
Samantha is left floundering. Disillusioned, her only sweet spot is the growing passion between her and Bear. Amidst rising anger and betrayal, Samantha completely changes both their destinies when she does the unthinkable after a devastating Wimbledon loss.
The sisters are driven to create new lives by confronting the past and taking control of the present. But can Samantha and Annie both win?


Look what the lovely (and perhaps slightly strange) Robin Riedstra has come up with!



Love it!

A coffee or a really, really good book?

Hello and thank you to all the wonderful people who have bought It Started with a Kiss – either print or e-book version.

Zac and book

If you haven’t, well, I still like you anyway, but here’s your opportunity to buy the Kindle version for a whopping 90% off the list price.

For a very short time, It Started with a Kiss is NOW available at Amazon for only $2.61.

Did I just say $2.61?

Why, yes! Yes, I did. In less than a minute, you could be reading It Started with a Kiss!

Click here to get the book for $2.61

If parting with that kind of cash doesn’t tickle your fancy, and you’re thinking ‘but what if I hand over my hard-earned money and hate it?’, fear not, because you can actually download the first chapter for FREE and then make your decision.

Click here to download the first chapter for free

Amazon hasn’t told me how long the promotion will run, but they are usually short, so, don’t delay.

Leave a comment and two lucky readers will receive a mug and notebook.



You heard correctly! An It Started with a Kiss mug AND a notebook!  (Aren’t they both adorable?) I haven’t even given my mother a mug and notebook, but Mother’s Day looms and she may get lucky.

Lisa xx


Judging a book by its cover – do you?

quote2When readers tell me it’s all about ‘the cover and the blurb’ when buying a book, a little piece of me dies. (Not literally, but kind of.)

Within seconds of a glancing at a cover, readers, consciously or unknowingly, decide whether they’ll pick up the book and read the back cover blurb or keep on walking (scrolling through Amazon, iTunes etc) until they stop at a book that’s shouting ‘look at me’ the loudest and are compelled to pick it up.

Most people do that.

I used to, too. Probably still do on occasion. But…

What some people don’t realise is, that as an author, (we’re talking traditional print publishers, here) you have very little control over your book’s cover – okay, most of the time, zero control – unless you’re James Patterson, Nora Roberts or God.
Except if you go down the self-publishing road, in which case the author has 100% control…YIPPEE! More about this later.
But back to print publishers and book covers.
When I first got a publishing contract with Allen & Unwin, way back when, for Lucy Springer Gets Even, I assumed I’d have major input into her cover. Naturally, Lucy would have a kick-ass cover, sell a trillion copies and I’d feel very pleased with myself.

A good cover tells you what the book is about without giving away the whole story. An exceptional cover compels you to pick the book up and begin reading…immediately.
I didn’t have a problem with the pink background but who the hell was the woman in the ill-fitting purple velour jacket?

Lucy Springer Gets Even fiction book
This wasn’t my Lucy. My Lucy was feisty, fun and pretty (not that she was aware of it, though). And my Lucy was a red head. I didn’t want people having preconceived ideas about her, especially about the Lucy on this proposed cover. But by using a photo, that’s exactly what we are doing – encouraging potential readers to form ideas about my heroine in the blink of an eye.
In my mind, the cover for Lucy Springer was going to be a boppy illustration, along the lines of Sophie Kinsella’s Twenties Girl. (It WAS 2009.)
But this one? I knew people would glance at the cover and make a snap decision. ‘I love her’, ‘I hate her’ ‘what the hell’s the story with her gruesome jacket and why is she looking so smug?’ etc and potential customers would be lost in seconds.
When Lucy appeared in bookshops, I’ll admit you couldn’t miss her – the pink was rather eye-catching, and besides, I was finally published. Yay!
With my next book, What Kate did Next, I was anxious when A & U told me they’d found the perfect designer and she’d created ‘the perfect cover for Kate.’ AND, when I saw the cover, I danced a very happy jig. I agreed with the decision one hundred percent. Others might hate Kate’s cover, but I was thrilled.
With my third, Claudia’s Big Break, A & U nailed it. I couldn’t have been happier. I think the cover captures the mood of the story perfectly. It’s light and fun and screams Santorini! The cover and the back cover blurb didn’t lie. They presented Claudia’s story perfectly.

Claudia's Big Break fiction book Santorini  holiday
Interestingly, that same year, 2011, Lucy Springer Gets Even won herself a new title, Lucy Bounces Back and a new cover. I loved it, but still the Lucy on the cover didn’t have red hair. Que será será.

Lucy Bounces Back fiction  book
These days, I look at book covers in a whole new light. For the record, covers I’m loving at the moment include Dr Seuss, The Cat In The Hat; Rainbow Rowell, Elenor & Park; H.G Wells, The Invisible Man; Max Lucado, Fearless; Pat Flynn, Let Go; and of course, Claudia’s Big Break!
This all brings me back to self-publishing, which is what I’m about to venture into.

To rise to the top of the To Be Read pile, I need to find a kick-ass cover, one that screams ‘I NEED TO BE READ RIGHT NOW!’ So for the foreseeable future – a week at least – I will be scouring the Globe for potential cover designs. It’s a pity I am a Libran and can’t make up my mind whether to write with a blue pen or a black one, let alone handle the daunting task of choosing a book cover and title.
I realise it’s all subjective but I’ll do the best I can to make sure my sixth book gets a look in by potential readers.
So, over to you. What are your favourite covers? How about turn offs?