Website redesign: reader input wanted!


It is time for me to update my website, for the July release of my new novel, For the King. For the content I will include, as I had done for Mistress of the Revolution, an excerpt, a bibliography, a Q&A session and a book club section. That’s the easy part. Now, about the design?


I love the deep red background wallpaper I had chosen for Mistress, which you can also see on this blog, but it clashes with the cover of For the King, which its shimmering turquoise gown. Also, as much as I like the visuals of this cover, it doesn’t scream “historical thriller.” So why not use the wallpaper of the redesigned website to convey an urban noir feel?

Easier said (or written) than done. So I went to the sites of authors of historical thrillers I enjoy. I visited the site of Louis Bayard, author of The Black Tower, also set in Paris, very close in time to my own For the King. Plain black background. You can’t get more noir than that, can you? It is simple and striking, but Louis has a lot of red in the rest of the page design to liven it up. And again red won’t go with my cover. I don’t think this kind of background would work for me.

So I moved on to the site of David Liss, author of Conspiracy of Paper and other acclaimed novels in the Benjamin Weaver series. Historical thrillers/mysteries all right, and though his 17th century London is not my 1800 Paris, it is close enough to give me ideas. It turns out that the colors of Mr. Liss’s background (brown and old gold) fit the cover of For the King AND convey the somber mood I would like to impart. Do you agree?

Now, dear readers, I need your help. Should I, like David Liss, use brown without any pattern (except for the goldish squiggly on top, which I like) or should I go for a figurative background? A few suggestions: an 18th century printed or handwritten document? an image of the Rue Nicaise attack, the starting point of the novel? an image of Paris at the time, like this view of the Conciergerie?

Any other ideas? I am listening…


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