Just in from Sophie (my literary agent) a finished cover for Ruler of the Realm. Looks lush and lavish, far more striking than it appears in the Bloomsbury catalogue which I received some weeks ago. Interestingly, my German publisher, DTV, has run into problems with the title. Apparently a direct translation is impossible without giving away more about the book than anyone would want so I gave my blessing to 'Das Elfenpakt' (The Faerie Pact). Their editorial and sales people both like this title, not least because it harks back to 'Das Elfenportal' which was what Faerie Wars was titled in Germany, a country that now apparently follows the Basil Fawlty maxim: Don't mention the war. I rather like Elfenpakt. One of my earlier ideas was to call the book The Pact. I abandoned this in favour of 'Blue' because it's very much Blue's book, but Bloomsbury argued that 'Blue' meant either a colour or a mood to anybody who hadn't read the first two books, and suggested Ruler of the Realm, which I liked very much.
I also discovered yesterday that Codebreaker's Handbook, a title I did for Faber, is now on sale. (At least on Amazon.uk. I haven't been out to check the bookshops yet.) I took time off from writing Ruler of the Realm to work on Codebreaker, deeply resented the intrusion at the time, but in the event absolutely loved it. I was always mucking around with secret messages when I was a kid and it seems I haven't grown up at all. I spent many happy hours working out the coding examples, thoroughly enjoyed the historical research and when the manuscript finally reached my editor, the lovely Paula Borton, she commented that the book was compulsive, so the fun I had obviously showed up in the writing.