Here at last is the cover for MacCullough’s Women. Tina Foss Hickman has taken the place I created using words and given it a true face. It was a thrill to see it and I couldn’t be happier. My editor, Lisa Jackson, suggested Tina for the cover when we met to go over the edits. We all knew each other in another life. Tina and I had even talked about doing a children’s book together about my dog, Halsey. We both got busy with other things and it never happened. When I contacted Tina she remembered me and told me she was interested in doing the cover but first she wanted to know something about the book. And then she asked what for me was the critical question: Can I read the book?
There is nothing more annoying to me than when the cover turns out to have no relation to the content of the book or, worse, reflects things that are not true. An example of this would be: the dog in the story is a chocolate Lab and the dog on the cover is black. I read a lot of books across genres and I see it often. Tina read the book and liked it. We exchanged several ideas, the first of which was a cover with all of the women (Brid, Franny, Lorie and Sofia) on it. We both decided that was too many faces on one cover. Choosing only one woman seemed to me to be misleading. You will have to read the book yourself to see if I am right. Our next thought was to put Drew MacCullough on the cover but, wait. The book is about the women, isn’t it?
I took a step back and analyzed the covers of the last fifteen books that I have read. I was surprised to see that most of them did not have people on the cover. Instead, there were pictures of places or objects connected with the story. This turned my thoughts toward a cover with a picture of the bar on it. Tina did the rest. I consider myself very blessed to have Tina agree to draw the cover for my book. Most books today use photographs rather than actual art. Check out Tina’s portfolio. Isn’t she great!
Ceol agus Craic, the Irish bar and restaurant, owned by Desmond Sheerin, on the corner Main and Dock Streets in Lynton, New Hampshire is the scene of much of the action that takes place in this story. This is not a Christmas book. We decided to depict the bar as it would look in winter because the story begins and ends in December a year apart.
I look at this illustration and I want to open the door and find out what is going on in the bar. I hope you do, too.