I love stories. I even like stories about stories so I’m going to subject you to mine.
I’ve written Tattered Heart probably a dozen times. Officially, there have been 10 drafts, but that doesn’t count the two or three false starts where I couldn’t figure out how to get from the beginning to the end or what to do in the middle. It was a wallpaper ladyithildiel made (and posted at luthiens-dreams) that finally crystallized Aribella in my mind and I just started writing and everything worked.
I had a couple of other wallpapers by ladyithildiel on my computer that helped with different parts of the story, most notably the ending. But there was one that just seemed to capture the feel and the tone of the the story – Aribella’s restless heart and the forests that she found solace in. I kept that up on my computer for ages because, along with my playlist, it helped me write.
When I dreamed of being published I hoped they would come up with a cover that captured the essence of the story as perfectly as that wallpaper. And when I decided to self-publish I knew I wanted that girl on my cover more than almost anything. I reached out to the photographer (Kadri Umbleja) and I was ecstatic when she very graciously gave me permission to use it.
Then I went to work designing. I could have gone to ladyithildiel and asked for permission to use the wallpaper but I wanted to do something that was my own and I wanted something a little more twilight than sunrise.
And now, after three weekends of finding the right forest background (I took the picture myself) and color shifts and black font and white font (and finding fonts free for commercial use) and star patterns I have my cover. And it’s beautiful. And magical. And I couldn’t be more happy or more grateful to the people who helped me with it – from Kadri and ladyithildiel for their artistry and inspiration to my sister and Cathleen Cash (my editor) and one of my best friends for their feedback and suggestions. I’ve been praying over this book and this story for years and when everything comes together so perfectly I can see the hand of God upon it. This is the perfect cover for this story and I’m thrilled to finally get to share it with everyone.