Now here's a knotty issue for those of you who take an interest in book covers. Should a cover be an accurate reflection of details in the story? Does it irritate you if a prominent feature of a cover is simply wrong?
The reason I ask - and I suppose I'm looking for confirmation that I did the right thing - is that I've now seen a mock-up of a potential cover for The Sea Garden and loved it at first sight. (And that doesn't always happen, let me tell you.) But there was just one thing, very minor but nevertheless a potential source of puzzlement for readers: the image showed a mysterious tunnel of wisteria, and the garden tunnel in the novel was formed of bougainvillea.
I wish I could post the cover here, but I can't as it's still under wraps. Wisteria really is very beautiful, as well as bringing a feeling of gnarled history, perhaps for the simple reason that it takes so long to grow and is often associated with old houses.
Bougainvillea, on the other hand, is even more rampant and lends an undeniably exotic splash of colour that is absolutely appropriate for my Mediterranean setting.
What to do? The manuscript was right there in front of me, still open to changes in the copy editing process. In the end I did a bit of horticultural research and replanted my imaginary garden in the South of France with wisteria. But did it really matter one way or the other? What would you have done?