My Cover Story
For the cover of my novella, THE ENLISTMENT, I wanted a sketch or a photo of an encampment. Covers are always so challenging, because I seldom can find what I’m envisioning (which is why I asked my artist sister to draw the cover for SEEING THE ELEPHANT).
Unfortunately, I could only find one sketch of Camp Fair Oaks (see image at the top of the blog). I found it in Joseph G. Bilby’s wonderful book THREE ROUSING CHEERS: A HISTORY OF THE FIFTEENTH NEW JERSEY FROM FLEMINGTON TO APPOMATOX (Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1993). It didn’t quite tell the story for me, although it did impress me with the image of lines of white canvas tents. To share it, I took a photo the image in Bilby’s book because I couldn’t find it anywhere else. I want to make sure that I give him proper credit, although I’m not sure that he did the artwork.
Wanting another image, I searched some of the sites in which I find my cover art and came upon a photo of a young woman of the 1860s staring at an encampment. Bingo! It matched the scene where, after dropping Patrick and Edgar off, Frankie gives the camp one last look before leaving with her family. (See the image below)
What happened next tickled me. Some of my hardcore Maggie fans, who also serve as beta readers or got the first copies and who know the characters through and through, noticed that the young woman was wearing earrings. And they made sure they told me that earrings were something Maggie would NOT allow Frankie to wear.
(In the end, I decided to keep the image, because the girl looking at the encampment told part of the story so well.)
But I love my Maggie fans! I love that they are invested in the series and the characters. And I chuckle because I totally get why they did it. Don’t Star Trek fans or Doctor Who fans get crazy over some bit of minutia which only a dedicated fan would notice? (Self-disclosure: I am a Whovian. And I do get a bit crazy, especially when I think a companion doesn’t fit well with a Doctor.)
By telling this humorous little tale I’m just trying to say THANK YOU, Maggie fans!
Thank you for loving the characters so much. It means a great deal to me.
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Janet Stafford, Squeaking Pips Founder