When I was close to finishing The Dragonfly Grove, the sequel to The Healer’s Secret, my son and I started thinking about the cover. My son has created all my book covers so far, and he wanted to do something different this time. Instead of using public domain images, as he usually does, he wanted to take his own photos and use them.
First of all, I needed a book that looked exactly the same as I imagined the healers’ recipe book! We searched Amazon, and finally found what I was looking for.
Then we turned our attention to the background. The Innocenti Saga (as the two books are now known) is set in Tuscany. We went there last year on holiday, but couldn’t make it this year. So we decided to take a few day trips a bit closer to home and see what we could find. My son took many, many photos, which we then had to go through and decide which ones we liked best.
We also have a river not far from our house, and one morning we went for a walk and took a few more photos. The book came along with us, too!
The last element, the dragonfly, was a bit more difficult. The river is home to hundreds of damselflies, but not a single dragonfly. They are slightly different in shape, and I didn’t want people commenting that the dragonfly on the cover was, in fact, a damselfly! Then I remembered a pretty necklace with a silver and blue dragonfly pendant that I have. And that became the purple dragonfly on the front!
Here are the photos my son used to create the cover. They are low-quality screenshots, and have a watermark, to avoid copyright problems.
As you can see, the colours are much brighter on the cover. This photograph was taken in the mountains of Brescia, and the book came along for the day too!
This is the river near our house. It was early in the morning, towards the end of August, and it was perfect for the stream that runs through the Dragonfly Grove.
This is original photograph of the book, with my dragonfly pendant added. We thought it wasn’t strong enough for the final version. Again, this photograph was taken at the river near our house, where we found a moss-covered stone in a shady spot. We also got bitten to death by mosquitoes!
This is my dragonfly pendant – it looks a bit different here! My son changed the hue, and added the sparkly pink jewels. I chose purple, to tie in with the dress of the woman on the cover of The Healer’s Secret.
These are the basic layers of the cover, one placed over the other, to create the final version. My son added the mystical glow underneath the dragonfly, and various shading and other touches that aren’t apparent, but add to the overall effect.
It was incredible watching my son turn these photos into the stunning cover of The Dragonfly Grove, and I’m very pleased with the result!