When I look back to February, 2015, I am amazed. First off that I even hit send to submit Dragon’s Future to a publishing company, and second that I’m still publishing books four years later. This is the eleventh book. Wow! That doesn’t seem possible. I’m so excited to hold this one in my hands. I’ve had the cover as my phone wallpaper since I received it and haven’t tired of it yet. It’s beautiful!
Behind the Scenes on the cover
One advantage to having a professional photographer for a husband is that I get discounted rates. So, the week of the 4th of July, we got together with two different groups of students. The first one was a group of three high school boys on the beach. From those images, Amalia Chitulescu created the cover for An Unexpected Adventure. I’m always amazed at how she can create fantasy from reality.
The next photo session took place at the local park. We met up with two girls, three horses, and a mom. The girls held the horses while the mom posed with the third horse as a possible unicorn. Since I didn’t have a really good idea of what I wanted, my husband took photos with the horses in the corral.
Then almost as an afterthought, we took the horses to a trail and took a couple more photos, and finally, several of just the girls so I could give my illustrator something to work with. When we were finished, I sent the images to Amalia and she began her work. What resulted was beyond my wildest dreams.
After a conversation with a mom of an avid reader, I decided to add illustrations to this series. Last summer, I searched for an illustrator and have been beyond blessed with Anita Thubakabra. I love how she communicataes with me and is so easy to work with. Book three will be a challenge for her because there are many more mythical creatures.
Every illustration brought the story to life, but there were several that brought tears to my eyes. I love how Anita captured the relationship between Will and Ana, as well as the scene of the boating accident.
All day, Ana stewed over the problem. How could they keep Kajri safe, and who could they trust? After a quick snack and a note to her mom, she had come down to the dock and was standing on her dad’s boat, leaning on the Harrier’s flybridge railing. Gulls cried above her, and the gentle sucking and slapping of water between the dock and the boat accompanied the rocking that she loved so much. Ana inhaled the scent of fish, brine, and salt water. It was her favorite place to think.
I thought I’d share with you an excerpt based on our current weather. We’re not having the wind, but they did actually send us home from school early yesterday due to high water from rain.
Monday blew in with the typical winds preceding the first rain of the season. Daisy tried to not knock her head on the window as the bus took a particularly violent gust. Many students were muttering discontentedly that school should have been canceled. Daisy shook her head. She, too, wished for a day off, but not because of the wind. She’d wanted to spend the day making sure the unicorn was safe. Root and Ginger knew where to shelter in a storm, but she didn’t know if the same was true for the unicorn. Where had it come from?
The whistling of the wind through the electrical wires made speaking impossible as they unloaded the bus. Daisy hurried into the building, deposited her backpack in her locker, and rushed to the cafeteria. Ana waited for her at their seat, along with Karlie.
The large windows that filled the south wall rattled, and Karlie glanced outside. Her sleeved hand came up to her mouth, her wide eyes betraying her fear. “Is this normal?”
“Oh, yeah.” Ana swallowed a bite of cereal. “You should see it when it really storms.”
“Don’t they close school?” Karlie shifted her gaze from Ana to the windows.
Ana spoke with a full mouth. “Only if the electricity goes out.”
“Or if the winds are too strong.” Daisy shifted on the bench. “It-it has something to do with safety for the buses.”
Karlie’s eyebrows disappeared into her blue bangs. “Would the wind actually blow the buses over?”
Ana shrugged. “Depends on how strong it gets. There’s a story that a rock from the beach flew up and knocked out the light on the airport beacon at White Cape State Airport.”
“Th-that’s about t-two hundred fifty feet off the beach!” Daisy snagged a cheerio from Ana’s bowl and popped it into her mouth.
More excerpts and interviews
Be sure to catch all the posts to celebrate the release of An Unexpected Escapade, and if you’re on the Southern Oregon Coast feel free to come out to the Langlois Library on Saturday, April 27 at 1 pm for a reading and drawing for autographed copies of both books.
Release Day Posts
Tabitha Caplinger will host a guest post about the book that’s different content then here.
Janelle Schmidt’s InterFiction Gazette has an interview with Daisy. You won’t want to miss this one.
Laurie Lucking will host another author interview that is different than any of the others.