Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Pictures, words, and covers

According to a saying popularized by newspapers, a picture is worth a thousand words. It can say things that even a hundred words cannot. It sends messages, creates impressions, and sets tones.

But when I set out to find a cover image for my eighth novel, I did not need one that was worth a thousand words. I needed one that was worth only two: Candice Bell. She is the wholesome but flirtatious 25-year-old society editor who is at the heart of a time-travel story set in Evansville, Indiana, in 1925.

I found the right picture last month on a stock image site. Thanks to illustrator Laura Wright LaRoche, the photo is now the centerpiece of a cover that does justice to a lively character and her times.

In the past, I have shied away from using photographs on covers or have used only ones that show people in shadows or silhouette. The reason is simple. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find images that even loosely resemble the characters described in a book.

I made an exception this time because the woman in this photo matches my heroine to a T. The faded sepia image also resembles a photo mentioned in the opening chapter, a portrait that draws Cameron Coelho, my time-traveling protagonist, to 1925.

Indiana Belle, the third novel of the American Journey series, is now in the hands of editors and beta readers. It is set for a May release.

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