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  • Writer's pictureCheryl R. Lane

Book Covers Inspiration

Sunset at Cape Charles, Virginia

Being a self-published author, I do my own book covers. I usually take my own pictures, with the exception of the one for A Wellington Christmas, which was taken by my author friend, S. W. Frontz. I enjoy creating book covers and experimenting with all the different templates. I do this through Amazon's CreateSpace service. Sometimes I write a good portion of a book and then choose a photo that goes along with it; other times, I see a photo that I know I want to be on a book cover and I write around that cover, including what's in the picture to be a part of the story. For example, for my book Wellington Belle, I had two choices. I had taken a picture of a gazebo surrounded by brightly colored azaleas in the spring of 2016 and knew I wanted to use that on a book cover at some point in the future. Yet Wellington Belle was a story that took place in a new place for my Wellington books: a boarding house. So I decided I really wanted to find a nice 19th century inn or B&B to take a picture of and use that on the book cover. I was privileged enough to stay at 200 South Street Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia, where I took a good picture of the inn from a side angle, showing off it's wraparound porch and a tall blooming dogwood that stood right in the middle of that corner. I knew it would be perfect for Belle's cover, but I had to ask permission first. The inn gave me permission and even offered to show off the book for me if I gave them a copy. Of course, I did. (You can read more about this on my blog, Inn For Cover.) Here's how that turned out:

Wellington Belle Cover, Front and Back

I saved that picture of the gazebo with the azaleas for my next book that I decided to write, which was Wellington Beaus. This time, I wrote the gazebo and azaleas into the story and added it to be the backdrop of a wedding. Here's how that looks:

Wellington Beaus Book Cover, Front and Back

Now I'm proofreading my latest book in the Wellington Cross Series, Wellington Letters. This book was a little tricky. It's about two different generations who experience two different wars in two different places. I have Dr. William Brown, who was involved in the Civil War (or War Between the States as they liked to call it), and in this book, he tells a story about his cousin Judy (who was in Wellington Grove as well as A Wellington Christmas), during this war, in Virginia. I also wanted to add in a story about William's son, Liam. The year is 1898, just three years after Belle and Beaus, and Liam travels to Cuba to join Theodore Roosevelt's (pre-presidency) Rough Riders, to fight against the Spanish in the Spanish-American War. So I needed a photo that would look like both Cuba and Virginia. I looked back through pictures I had taken and found one from Cape Charles, Virginia. My husband and I had gone there to attend a festival with music and food while watching the sunset on the water by these beautiful knock-out roses. I thought this picture would best capture both Cuba and Virginia because it has the water feature and also the bright-colored flowers. I didn't want it to be too tropical like Cuba because I don't think palm trees are indigenous to Virginia.

After putting the photo into the CreateSpace template that I had been using for all the other Wellington Cross books, I didn't like how it looked. I found another template that had old papers across the front of it, and when I put in my picture of the water and roses, it just popped! I loved it instantly! I struggled over this because I wanted all of my books in the series to be similar and recognizable, and yet I really loved this cover more. I had also struggled over the book title and had a long list to choose from, but when I saw this book cover with the old papers, I knew I had the book title: Wellington Letters. I posted both pictures on my Facebook page as well as Instagram and the vast majority said that they, too, liked the cover with the old papers. And so that's how this book cover was born!

Wellington Letters Front Cover

Wellington Letters is set for a paperback release of late October and a Kindle release date of November 2017. You can view it now on Goodreads and mark it for your to-be-read list.

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