Haslemere author Colin Short and artist Kirsty Rouse have come together to combine and showcase their talents.

Kirsty designed the artwork for the cover of Colin's novel In the Shadow of the Church.

Colin had just been signed by TAUK Publishing and was looking for a cover design for his book which is set during and after the Rwanda genocide in 1994.

Having seen Kirsty’s work in the Gallery 13 in West Street, he approached her to see if she would be able to design and paint a book cover.

Colin says: “Kirsty told me that she had also been to Rwanda and that it had made a big impression on her.

“I wanted a picture that would capture something of Rwanda and my story and it really helped that Kirsty knew the country and the history.”

Colin studied writing at the Faber Academy in London and chose Rwanda for the story due to his past experiences in the country.

He adds: “The failure of Western governments to stop the genocide before it started by hampering the efforts of the United Nations peacekeepers is one key theme of the book.

“As is the role of the church in the genocide and I hope that I have knitted all these issues into a good story.” 

Kirsty read the final draft before designing and painting the book cover.

She said: “I’ve always wanted to design a book cover so I was really excited to have the opportunity to work on it. 

“It's a beautifully written story and an important part of history and the fact I had been to the Genocide Museum in Kigali and knew a little of the history of Rwanda was certainly helpful.”

The book is available on various platforms, go to https://tinyurl.com/In-the-Shadow-of-the-Church