Jane Rusbridge Author of The Devils Music and Rook

Diary of a Rook Obsession, in pictures

‘The creative habit is like a drug. The particular obsession changes, but the excitement, the thrill of your creation lasts’  Henry Moore

Now that I have just finished checking the page proofs for Rook, to be published in August, will my 4 year obsession with rooks begin to dwindle? An obsession shared by my daughter Natalie, a photographer.

Autumn, 2007:  Noticed rooks’ nests in the trees either side of the lanes on my drive home. Wanted to learn more.

Read Mark Cocker’s Crow Country .

Fell in love with rooks.







December, 2007: Went to Norfolk seeking rooks. Watched thousands and thousands of them fly in to roost, near Buckenham Carr. One of the most uplifting, cathartic experiences of my life. Three nights in a row.



Spring, Summer, Winter 2008: Read and talked, a lot, about rooks. Collected stories about pet rooks.

January, 2009: Returned to Norfolk, with my daughter,  Natalie Miller and her camera. Nat fell in love with rooks too.



Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, 2009: Nat and I continued to be distracted by sightings of rooks, rookeries and roosts. Nat took more photographs, near where we live in Sussex:




January, 2010: Nat went to back to Norfolk, with a friend who loves birds, and took more photos.



Summer, 2011: Talked to Nat about Nora, the main character in Rook. Told a little of her story. Which gave Nat some ideas:


Autumn, 2011: Sent some of Nat’s rook pictures to Bloomsbury.

December, 2011: Senior designer  Greg Heinimann created the first version of the cover, using one of Nat’s photographs of rooks in Norfolk:











I had one or two ideas. Discussed them with my editor, who passed them on to Greg. Version 2 of the cover design:








Loved the Bayeux Tapestry in the sky on the back cover. Suggested a scene more relevant to the themes of the novel.

3rd, and final, version:

All photographs of rooks in this post taken by Natalie Miller . Prints available for sale via website contact form.

Rook by Jane Rusbridge available to preorder from Amazon  here ,  and from Bloomsbury here

Posted in General, Places, Preoccupations | Written By July 30, 2012