John Arthur Nichol

Sascha Martin’s Christmas Eve. The Cover. The Video.

At last! The video that unblurs and finally reveals the cover of Sascha Martin's Christmas Eve!

But this video is not for everyone.

Why, you ask. Why is it not for everyone?

A good question!

Whom is the video for?

Another good question.

There's a lot to be said for anticipation. Some say that anticipating something wonderful is better than something wonderful's arrival. It's total nonsense in this case, because Manuela's cover for Sascha Martin's Christmas Eve does not disappoint. It brings no let-down at all, and in that sense alone provides an almost-echo of the story.

The book is worth waiting for, too.

Anticipation is kin to excitement, and anyone with a product to sell will try to foster both in those who might be disposed to buy that product.

An author has a product to sell - their book.

If enough people buy the book, the author can pay the rent and put food on the table, and so live to write another book. And with these practical benefits come the intangibles. Happiness. Pleasure in work. Inspiration. All born of the knowledge that people are excited enough about the author's work to pay a price to read it.

If nobody buys the book ... Well, you see the dilemma.

An author, who is generally the person least suited to selling anything, must sell books in order to live, and in order to continue writing.

But what, you ask, has this to do with the video not being for everyone?

My goodness, you’re on fire today!

A reader excited about a book coming out, and anticipating its arrival, may well buy the book when it does arrive. The purchase conveys all those tangible and intangible benefits to the author, and secures for the reader the joy of reading and, in the case of Sascha Martin’s Christmas Eve, of laughing out loud.

Laughter is a valuable thing.

Klaus, for instance, has had a few bumps along the way, and no doubt there are those who would find amusement in his misfortunes. I hope you will. But the laughter Klaus has shared with Klaus has been restorative. Klaus hasn’t bought the book, of course. He’s just in it. But the right sort of reader will allow my point, I think, and here we begin to draw together the threads you've followed with patience and, I hope, with a smile tugging at the corners of your mouth.

The right sort of reader.

Readers read what they like, and they like … what they like.

You've stayed with your question, all the way through this post, anticipating the answer and excited to discover it. And smiling to yourself because you have a sense of fun. You know when someone’s playing with you.

You love language and derive pleasure from its form and shape as well as its sense. From its rhythm and rhyme, its nuances, its hidden meanings and layered understandings. Its subtle digs at the sacred. You have a certain larrikin quality, too. You welcome a bit of irreverence at the end of a long, serious day.

So, to answer your question of 17 paragraphs ago - is this video meant for you?

You’ve almost nailed it. Yes, you're the reader for whom I write the Sascha Martin books. And you're the reader who, I hope, will buy them. You're the reader who’ll love Sascha and Luca and the impossible Mary-Alice. And Klaus, of course. But then, everyone loves Klaus.

The cover of Sascha Martin's Christmas Eve is beautiful. Take my word for it.