, , , , , , , , , , ,

what? two posts in a row? how’s this happening?

I suppose the shameless plugging of my mum’s new work of fiction has me figuring out every possible angle of getting the word out. Yes, she’s my mum, but it’s also a work that’s  a good read. She’s a story-teller by nature. I am not, so I know a good story when I hear it and I’ve been hearing them all my growing up and all of my own girl’s growing up.

This particular tale, this story started even before I was thought of as being in existence. The germ of a story, which is now the seed for the last book of the trilogy. The first two books came out of as my mum shared the story with her granddaughter who had questions, lots of questions and wanted to hear more and so the story grew, as good stories do. Think Tolkein, or C.S. Lewis. Stories that weren’t quite finished with one telling of a particular tale.

It’s been a fun process to watch and be part of as a bystander and somewhat reluctant participant. I got roped into taking the photo for the cover. Since the story takes place along the Santa Fe trail heading to California with a wagon train we wanted to get as near the landscape as possible. We have family in Kansas and Missouri so off we went for Thanksgiving to get our trail shots. We thought it would be a photograph with title, etc. on it, but it morphed into something quite wonderful instead – if I’m allowed to toot my own horn, which I will.

Here’s what happened…



author staging the cover’s look


trying to get an uncooperative dog to sit still. what’s the saying in show business,                    “never work with animals or children”?


first photograph chosen for first cover ideas


I used the Waterlogue App I had on my smartphone. It’s a pretty nifty app that allows you to do what the title says, turn a photo into a watercolor. Mum didn’t want the characters recognizable as actual people so that no one would have a specific idea of what the characters should look like. It’s important for each reader to picture the characters as their imaginations will. However, this ended up bleeding too much and didn’t feel like an image that would convince anyone to pick it up and read the contents.


this photo was settled on next as the cover layout was continuing to take shape (the photo below)


cover trial 1

I flipped the image from above for the first full version of the book cover with title, author’s name, and back information… still not quite right.

cover4 2watercolor coverish

the photo finally settled upon was the one used above, but the author didn’t want the characters to be clearly seen. She wanted them to be blurred enough so anyone reading the book could imagine them as he/she pleased rather than having a specific image in mind already. I used an App by Alien Skin called Snap Art and the Colorful Oil Paint preset was settled upon. 

mock up 2

the painting setting for this one was Vignette Oil Paint by Alien Skin which we used for the back cover images as well. I used an App called Art Text to create the title image. The cover still wasn’t quite right but it was getting there!

pbk copy

The copy editor sent his own idea which shifted our ideas about what the cover could look like. So, working with the author, aka Mum, we finally settled on what became the final cover. The font for the title is called Professor Minty which the publisher’s copy editor used in his creation. 

It was a journey to get it right, but I think it looks pretty good. Now we know what we’ll be aiming for when the second and third books of the trilogy come out. Mum’s working on editing the next book at the moment even as she plans her launch for later next month.

Mum’s own story of things can be found here