Are you ready to be one of the first to get an exclusive look at Mimi Matthews’ next novel? John Eyre combines two classic gothic novels into a retelling that’s sure to captivate. We Are Bookish has an exclusive reveal of the cover, but first, read our mini-interview with the author.
Tell us about your book cover! What was the cover design process like for you?
The cover for John Eyre was designed by the brilliant James Egan. He’s designed the covers for all of my novels thus far, but this one was different. It’s not a historical romance. Instead, it has a strong gothic vibe, and elements of horror and the supernatural. I sent James the manuscript, but otherwise didn’t offer very much guidance.
Luckily, James is a genius and was able to transform my vague imaginings into a gorgeous cover that evokes the supernatural gothic feeling of the story. I love the colors, the fog, and the sense of darkness and shadow. I also really love how the typography manages to look both elegant and trembling.
What inspired you to write John Eyre?
John Eyre is a dual timeline, partially epistolary, partially gender-flipped retelling of two classic novels: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It was inspired by many long, rambling conversations about how Mr. Rochester was more predator than hero, and how, if Jonathan Harker was a woman, he’d have dispatched Dracula much earlier in the story.
The idea to combine the two novels in a retelling arose from several lines in Jane Eyre where one could easily imagine that a character was talking about an actual monster as opposed to a human being.
In three words, what can readers expect from John Eyre?
Morphine. Box-beds. Journaling.
Do you judge books by their covers? What’s one of your favorite covers of all-time?
What books do you recommend we pick up while we wait for John Eyre to hit shelves on August 31?
To get in the supernatural mood, I recommend the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Or you could go even farther back in time and read Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. I grew up on Anne Rice’s beautiful writing, and still think she’s the absolute best there is.
Now, let’s get our first peek at John Eyre!
Here’s the official summary for John Eyre:
From USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews comes a supernatural Victorian gothic retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s timeless classic.
Cairo, 1842. Newly out of mourning for her parents, heiress Bertha Mason embarks on the journey of a lifetime. Romance isn’t on her itinerary, but when she meets the charismatic Edward Rochester, she’s powerless to resist his charms. In letters and journal entries, she records the story of their whirlwind courtship and marriage, and of her gradual realization that Mr. Rochester isn’t quite the man he appears to be. In fact, he may not be a man at all.
Yorkshire, 1843. When disgraced former schoolmaster John Eyre arrives at Thornfield Hall to take up a position as tutor to two peculiar young boys, he enters a world unlike any he’s ever known. Darkness abounds, punctuated by odd bumps in the night, strange creatures on the moor, and a sinister silver mist that never seems to dissipate. And at the center of it all, John’s mysterious employer—a widow who, some say, has been irrevocably altered by her time abroad.
From a cliff-top fortress on the Black Sea coast to an isolated estate in rural England, John and Bertha contend with secrets, danger, and the eternal struggle between light and darkness. Can they help each other vanquish the demons of the past? Or are some evils simply too powerful to conquer?
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper historical romances, including Fair as a Star, a Library Journal Best Romance of 2020; Gentleman Jim, a Kirkus Best Indie Romance of 2020; and The Work of Art, winner of the 2020 HOLT Medallion. Mimi’s novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.