By Samborombón Bay, Sales and marketing, Spy novels

Do you judge a book by its cover?

As a writer, book covers are very important to me. The original cover for Out of Mecklenburg: The Unwilling Spy was going to be two dancers, but it looked too casual and modern. Matador listened to my feedback and came up with a design that used my preferred colours whilst beautifully intertwining the two threads of the story, in Berlin and Buenos Aires, and was instantly clear on its WWII theme.

For the sequel, By Samborombón Bay: The Hunt for Carl von Menen, I’ve chosen to self-publish on Amazon KDP. This meant finding a cover designer. I turned to Spiffing Covers upon my editor’s recommendation, and I’m pretty pleased with the results!

The year is 1985, and the man on the front cover is Richard Blandy, tasked with discovering the truth behind Carl’s disappearance some forty years later. It is set in multiple locations and it was important to me to keep the blend between Germany and Argentina, which I think they have beautifully achieved.

But the big question is: in this day and age, do you still choose a book by its cover? And what do you think of this one? Let me know in the comments!

Front cover design for the sequel.

Character profile, Out of Mecklenburg, Spy novels

Eva Schilling

In the final character profile for Out of Mecklenburg, I’d like to introduce the “dazzling” Eva Schilling, who becomes Manfred von Leiber‘s wife during the course of the novel.

Eva is a world-famous soprano, very beautiful and sixteen years younger than Manfred. Together, however, they make a good couple and their differences seem to complement each other. Eva enjoys the limelight of the stage but craves discretion in her private life.

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Character profile, Out of Mecklenburg, Spy novels

Hans Steiger

“One metre ninety and with a face like the north side of the Matterhorn, Hans Otto Steiger, the highest-decorated warrant officer in the entire German army, stood with his hand on the open door of a black Mercedes, waiting for a man he had served under for twenty-eight years.”

Hans Steiger saved General Klaus von Menen‘s life during the First World War, and the trust between the two men is absolute. They have risen through the ranks together and, although Steiger shows deference when they are on official business, outside of the army they have a firm kinship.

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Character profile, Out of Mecklenburg, Spy novels

Carl von Menen

Carl von Menen is the protagonist of Out of Mecklenburg: The Unwilling Spy. He is only 28 at the start of the novel, a talented young diplomat who works at the German Foreign Office and keeps his loathing of Hitler well hidden.

Man with a briefcase on a train station

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Out of Mecklenburg, Spy novels

Berlin, 1941

Carl von Menen is 28 years old, suave, wealthy and a rising star at the German Foreign office, yet he lives a duplicitous and dangerous life: he abhors the Nazis and wants Hitler dead, but his expectations of seeing a Nazi-free Germany shrink to despair, when he is unexpectedly assigned to Buenos Aires to keep a watchful eye on the emerging United Officers Group (GOU), a pro-Nazi/Fascist faction of military officers, led by the aspiring Colonel Juan Domingo Peron.

In Buenos Aires, von Menen is sucked into a cauldron of treachery, deceit, military revolutions and murder, heightened by the agony of his secret ideology, the long-reaching tentacles of the Gestapo and his clandestine dealings with Colonel Filipe Vidal, a man with a devious and sinister agenda.

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