Saturday, June 4, 2022

Choosing the Right Cover is Hard!


Some writers call the book they've created their baby as the words are so close to his or her heart. When the very first book is written and sent to an editor it can be hard to accept any suggested corrections or plot changes. Yes, I hesitated about making changes. Didn't my words come from somewhere deep in my soul and they should never be deleted? Yes, that was a long time ago, I was like that after my first manuscript was complete, not realizing then that if an editor suggested changes that meant she or he was very interested in the book - if you can make the changes, that is. I'm so far past that now. I can make a change at the drop of a hat and not think anything of it. So, I've moved on to worrying about my book covers.

Snake River Rendezvous was my fourth book contracted with a publishing house and I had this book with the company for almost seven years. I had no problems with the publisher, but I wanted to be able to get my rights back and put the book out myself and get more book royalties.

Professionals who can reformat the book and do the cover are not hard to find. Still, I have to decide what kind of cover I want. I can look at lots of cover ideas, but I can get confused and frustrated, then finally pick one and hope that I will love it forever. Or more important, that my readers will like it enough to pick it up. 

The cover below, right, is the cover that my publisher put on the book. I liked that at a signing I could point at it and tell people about the Snake River, tell them the general area in NE Oregon, and a little bit about the story. Many times, if they knew the area, they'd buy it. But since I got my rights back, the rule is that I have to put a new cover on the book.

The cover on the bottom left is the next cover I had chosen, but when I got the print version in my hand, I somehow wanted something more. I looked through some more pictures and came up with the cover above and the cover artist did the rest. I like the look of this one and hope you will too.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Cheers to Women of the 19th Century

 My first serious introduction to women’s rights came from my American history college class. I was to read and review Abigail Scott Duniway’s book, Edna and John: A Romance of Idaho Flat. Just as the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin exposed the unfairness of slavery, Duniway exposed the injustice of women’s rights in the late 1800s. She knew full well a woman’s limitations; a disabled husband put her in the position of bread winner and caregiver for him and her children. She had no choice but to work at jobs that didn’t pay the bills.

Cover image of an Idaho town in the 19th century for book: Edna and John, A Romance of Idaho Flat by Abigail Scott DuniwayOf course, living in an era that has given women more rights, I cannot fully understand the challenges Edna faced. If my husband dies, our house will not go to the closest living male relative, but to me. Still, I see some allure in the era that takes place around 1870, just after the Civil War. Enough to inspire me to write historical fiction anyway.

As I write about my characters, and to be in tune with women’s history, it’s not too hard to figure out how my heroine will make a living as there are only so many acceptable jobs. So, in reading our historical novels, we’ve come across the same professions many times. Otherwise, she may have what is either considered an immoral job, live in a rich family, or be married. So, to be different, and to please the reader, the heroine must be engaging in other ways.

Cover for Wanting Moore by Mary Vine

My heroine in Wanting Moore was the only girl among six children, which made her clever, competitive, and tough enough to get a task done. She thinks about being a teacher and sets off to mark her own trail until she’s injured and meets a post-civil war doctor on her journey.

When I wondered about the Civil War as related to women’s contributions, I searched for information about the few women nurses that have gone down in history. I set out to learn what medical changes came about because of the civil war hospital, or shortly after. Again, I had to think outside the box for the possibilities to include in my story.

Cover for A Nugget of Time, time travel romance by Mary VineIn my time travel series, Nugget of Time (book one), I take a successful news reporter from our time, back to an 1870s mining town where only men have jobs at the local newspaper. She has but few choices to make a living in a town where few women reside. I must consider what can she do. Will she be accepted in this wild west town? How can she be safe? What will she do to be safe and make a living?

I’ve thought about this scenario a lot because I’ve had a summer cabin along a creek in a Northeast Oregon mining ghost town, where I have considered the history and enjoyed the forest for several years. Taking it all in, I find that it is a great setting, and has been for many of my books.

But then, I have it easy. I say, cheers to the women of the 19th century who plotted the way before me!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


I'm blogging over at Windtree Press today. I did an article called, "Cheers to the Women of the 19th Century." Also check out the many authors at Windtree Press and the many different genres of books.

Blog - Windtree Press

Saturday, January 22, 2022

 Here's a post on writing tips I did with Fresh Fiction twelve years ago, but it still makes sense today.

I'm blogging at Fresh Fiction today. Stop by and say hello.