Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cover Me (Covers for REQUIEM FOR A VAGABOND)

REQUIEM FOR A VAGABOND, my memoir about my five years in the Middle East and the Girlfriend Experience, will be available soon. (The original idea was to include a middle part about my backpacking and early years, prior to my first English teaching job, but that sort of didn't fit, so it will be my next, separate book.)

Any of these covers particularly appeal? (The elements may not be aligned and placed exactly, just looking at some general designs.)

#1 - Barbedwire

#2 - Skyline

#3 - Dark skyline

#4 - Negative barbedwire

# 5 - Yellow skyline

# 6 - Beach


Jug Jugette said...

Oh, number 4 without a doubt; it combines the existential futility of English teaching (the plastic bag snagged on barbed wire) with the frigid isolation (despite the searing heat) and entrapment that the alcoholic miscreant feels in the Middle East.
A veritable tour-de-force of a cover!

Mike said...

So, you felt trapped I take it? That's understandable.

I think that 4 is too busy. There's just too much going on and the signal is lost in the noise.

For the imprisoned covers, I like 1 the best. I dislike the covers with the guard tower because they seem to imply that you were literally in prison. I stated why I dislike 4, which leaves 1. 1 is a fine cover.

6 is nice enough as well, should you choose to drop the imprisoned theme. I don't fee strongly about it over 1 but, on the other hand, it sort of implies a place like Thailand. If we're getting nit-picky, you may want to steer clear of 6 so as not to imply a better place than where you are.

Piotr said...

Sure about the subtitle? Might put off new readers who aren't middle aged.

When will the book be out? Looking forward to reading it. (And the next one.)

Dion said...

I like #1 and #2. Looking forward to it.

englishteacherx said...

Its not a guard tower its the minaret of a mosque.

Anonymous said...

#4 BRO

steve austin said...

i like no. 2 cos it's the only one i would be able to immediately identify as middle east. particularly the guard tower on the mosque ;)

but tell me more about the books approach. i don't imagine it will be a collection of tales like russia or thailand, because nothing actually happens in the mid east, noteworthy. i hope you're not telling us about grammar lessons. therefore,are you taking a philosophical approach and structuring it around life musings?

Anonymous said...


Ken said...

#4 I liked #1 but the big empty white space is uninteresting.

#6 Could be misconstrued as a nice beach in South East Asia. If it were a less pleasant beach say 80s Hong Kong with litter everywhere dead animals floating in the water. Or the horrific beaches you find in Azerbaijan/Caspian sea, it might look harsher.

englishteacherx said...

The blurb about the book will be something like this:

"At age 40 English Teacher x leaves behind a life of darkness, debauchery, drunkenness, and devoshki in Russia, taking a job in the strictest Islamic Kingdom in the Middle East.

His life now full of sunshine, sobriety, and an adult-type salary, he also unexpectedly finds himself in a long-distance relationship with a sweet and loyal yet oh-so-stubborn and provincial Russian girl. Finally it seems that a normal life is within his grasp...

But things rarely run smoothly in the world according to ETX, and he soon finds himself adrift in a very troubled, and sick America, with a new career as an independent author of "erotica" and an untoward yet timely interest in survivalism. Haunted at the image of being the oldest guy in the club or one of the younger guys at the whorehouse, X nonetheless visits a few exotic destinations and struggles to find a place for himself.

But a new high-paying job in the Middle East looms, which might be the best thing that ever happened to him ... or the worst ..."

Some guy in Vietnam said...

#5 is my personal favorite. I has that classic trippy ETX coloring scheme and the contrast highlights the harshness of the place more than anything.

Recently gave in, bought and finished Vodkaberg. Really interesting as I begin my 7th year of TEFLing abroad. My experience has been in East Asia and SE Asia but it's interesting how any place can provide its share of debauched experiences and burnout.

Anonymous said...

#5 almost matches the color of my Corona beer - Yurine Yellow.

Yurine Yellow is a sure indication of good health. All those other colors just make me feel like I did the last (and almost fatal) time I took too many blue ones.

Arnhem Scabbs

*Shit man. Is that Captcha some kinda psy-op mass torture experiment? I gots to lie down. It just gets harder and harder every time.

Mike said...

Granted. But you may have to admit, the minaret looks like it has a 'bird's nest' that guard tower's have. People without a better cultural reference will likely take it to be a guard tower. Or not. Whatever. It's just one man's opinion!

Looking forward to the memoir.

Mike said...

I like the blurb.

brian said...


Love the 2nd cover, as the people will confuse the minaret with a guard house, which I did myself. It's a perfect backdrop to working in an Islamic state. Beyond the minaret, tere's a slight air of decay in the trailer met with the nice palms in the mid-ground. Also, love the blurb.