The cover for my seventh novel was generously done for me by my daughters, Anna and Brina. The handsomely beautiful Miss Fontana Houston’s ‘portrait’ was sketched/colored by Brina, and the lovely roses on the stone wall backdrop was sketched/colored by Anna. The background behind the stone wall was a combined effort of both Brina and Anna, and the rest of the layout for the cover was finished up by Brina.
The inspiration for the overall look of Fontana Houston was based on my mind’s eye image of a late Victorian ‘Gibson Girl’ look with an essence of raven-haired Elizabeth Taylor (including violet eyes and wearing purple) and some Scarlet O’Hara sass thrown in. I saw Miss Houston as a strong young woman, feminine though all the more feisty, just a little proud and with a hint of southern woman. Her mother originates from the south.
Since one themed thread in this story tapestry was the adoring frontier father in the background, my own personal ideal idea of a ‘Texas Daddy’ who spoils his daughter, brought about the yellow roses (of Texas) climbing the strong stone wall. I also thought that roses growing on a stone wall out in the rugged western wilds would, in a way, symbolize the wealth that the Houston family is blessed with. The flower on stone motif tends to suggest femininity and strength at once, as well.
I can’t say how fortunate and thankful I am to have such talented daughters who help me out with their tremendous cover art for my novels. If not for them, I’d have to sketch and paint them myself, and likely opt for something simpler and surely lesser in the end.