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A picture speaks a thousand words...

It's cover reveal day for my novel, Given Lives! I'm so excited to be able to share the cover for this book. It makes it feel more real somehow. I do hope you like it as much as I do!

Of course, a book cover has to be more than a pretty picture. It needs to provide a window into the contents of the story it encases; it should be an invitation that a new reader cannot refuse. And yes, that one picture needs to say a thousand words.

So what of the cover for Given Lives? One of the temptations all authors face, when designing their own cover, is to show all of the story all at once! We don't always find it easy to separate the wood from the trees. We don't want to miss anything out that, during the writing process, has become so dear to us. We want to introduce you to every aspect of our tale, all in one go, instead of leading you on a journey of discovery as you read.

I fell into this trap myself when I first sat down to create a cover for Given Lives. I wanted atmosphere and landmarks, I wanted reality and mystery all rolled into one. Thankfully I have some great guides and truthful mentors around me. I scrapped that idea and set down to work on something else.

Taking a quick look at other historical fiction books listed on Amazon, a new idea began to take shape. I wouldn't make it quite so dark and mysterious, but I would include some of the local landmarks of the village of Eyam. I would fiddle and find fonts that suited the 17th century setting. And I would add a few flowers to give some life and depth to the background images.

After several false starts and hours of fiddling, I eventually arrived at a finished design. I checked it with other author friends and I sent it to my design mentor, Chantel. Her comment made my day. 'You are very good at keeping your design minimal.' Yay, mission accomplished then!

Chantel gave the fonts a tweak and a dash of extra colour, and we were ready to roll...

The Elements

The Church: The ancient parish church of St Lawrence's has been at the centre of Christian worship in the village of Eyam since the mid-1200's. The role its rector played in the events of 1665-6 is central to the Given Lives story.

The Celtic Cross: In the churchyard stands an eighth-century Celtic cross - one of the oldest and best -preserved in the whole of England. Probably a wayside preaching cross, this stone monument has stood sentry over the joys and trials of centuries, a reminder that Jesus is the source of our hope and our future.

The Blue Valerian flowers: These are the county flower of Derbyshire in England, where Eyam is located. Locally known as Jacob's Ladder, they were collected for their medicinal qualities. Used as a mild sedative, they are included in Nicholas Culpeper's 'The Complete Herbal' which was published in 1653. It is highly likely that their calming qualities would have been used in Eyam.

Releasing Soon!

The manuscript has been edited and proofread. It has been uploaded to Amazon and sent to the printers here in Durban. A Kindle version is waiting in the wings...

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Until next time, when I'll be sharing a specially-created book trailer with you.

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