Monday, June 27, 2016

I'm a Cover Girl!

Yes, the truth comes out... I am the person who takes the photos for my book covers.

What did you think I meant? Is that why you're laughing hysterically??

I've received a lot of compliments on my book covers which I take as high honors because I'm not really a photographer. I don't have an expensive camera, I've never taken a course in photography, and I delete many more photos than I save (there are just so many shots of the inside of my tote bag that I'm willing to keep.) I do, however, love to take photos and since my Black Horse Campground series is set in the region where I live, it only made sense to me to use photos of the area for the covers of my books.

This photo for my first book was taken on the road near my home. While the term "end of the road" may have some negative connotations, for me, this scene is what signals to me that I'm almost home. I like to think that the Black Horse Campground feels like home to a lot of my readers.

The photo for "No Lifeguard on Duty" illustrates how important it is for authors to have connections. At the time "No Lifeguard" was written, my husband worked in pool maintenance. He had to be there one morning (before sunrise) to get the pool ready for an early event. I went along to keep him company and take advantage of the eerie atmosphere of a deserted pool that would be the backdrop for the murder in the book. This is one of my favorite covers. 
When I wrote "No Vacancy", I had a really original concept for the cover: a "no vacancy" sign. In my quest to get a good photo for the cover, I discovered that the majority of "no vacancy" signs that I found were neon signs... something that the Black Horse Campground didn't have (I'm sure I could have changed that, but the Black Horse just isn't the place you'd find a neon sign. Trust me.) So I came up with the idea of taking a scene from the book and using that for the cover. The KOA in Alamogordo, NM is run by Kelly and Sandy Rodwick and they graciously allowed me to use one of their cabins for this picture.

This book cover is the one for which I took many shots that were eventually discarded. My husband, sister-in-law, and I went on a quest, visiting little towns and their church cemeteries one Sunday to try to find the perfect wooden cross hidden in the weeds and tall grass. We had a great time but when I looked at the pictures, nothing seemed just right. A few days later, I was coming home and decided to stop and check our local parish's cemetery (about a mile from our home.) After taking a few pictures in the cemetery itself, I decided to walk back to my car through the ditch that ran behind the cemetery. It was starting to rain and I slipped and almost twisted an ankle. Then I looked up and saw one of the crosses I had photographed earlier through the trees and thought, "That's it!"

Right now, I'm working on the edits for the fifth book in the series. So far, I don't have the title, but I have an idea for the cover and I'm looking forward to whatever adventure comes my way in finding the perfect photo for it!