Behind the Scenes: The Story Behind the Cover

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I’m sorry it has been a while since I last posted! It has been a couple of months since What Little Remains hit Amazon! I am so happy with the response and ask that you let me know if you enjoyed the book! I love to hear my readers’ thoughts about the book!

It was a very long journey to get to March 18 for the publication of my book. Part of that journey was designing the cover. I received such a positive response to the cover that I thought I would share the story behind it.

I am very lucky to have people in my life who know how to do graphic design and were willing to help me through the journey. Before a graphic designer would be needed, I had to have a photo.

The Photo:

Over a year ago (before I even had the current title), I loved the idea of using roses on the cover. For a long time, flowers have had meanings. Now, the meaning behind flowers isn’t known to most people, but I love symbolism. Plus, roses were easy to photograph. My first “photo shoot” for the cover, I used three colors: white, red, and yellow. I had several of each. It was fall, so I collected all of the beautiful dead leaves I could. I also used fake blood in some of my photos.

I took over 200 photos and used none of them.

The next time I did a photo shoot, I decided against using the leaves. For one thing, it was the dead middle of winter. The other reason was that they really didn’t work in the photograph. I took the second set of photographs over my Christmas break (early January 2015). I shot the first day outside for two hours in twenty-degree weather.


(As you can see, I look super cute. I am sporting thermals, sweatpants, a sweatshirt, my dad’s flannel jacket, a hat, and the lovely scarf I stole from my mom.)

Once I decided on the title, I thought that it would only be fitting to use ashes. So I spent about thirty minutes the night before burning paper (my old math notes).



After about two hours in the cold weather, 400 pictures, and choking on the ash I was using, I got the picture that would eventually be edited into my cover.



This cover is the background on most of my social media postings and is the photo used for the cover. To get this photo, I had my ashes, and I burnt the tip of my rose. (Yes, I played with matches again.)

The Cover:

Once I had decided on a photo, it was time to give it to my graphic designer. During this process, I was very fortunate that my publishing and marketing director knew a graphic designer who was willing to help us out.

For the first round of cover options, he sent us a very wide variety. Ultimately, the way the cover was designed in this photo was almost exactly what I was looking for.

what little remains8

And after a few tweaks, we decided on this final cover.


I am extremely lucky that throughout this process, I was able to work with such a talented graphic designer.

I will say that it is really important for you as the author to stick to your vision. It’s your book, so please don’t be afraid to stick with your ideas. However, if you do ask a graphic designer for assistance, please trust their guidance. Unless you have experience for graphic design yourself, you probably don’t have the same artistic eye that they have. Have a general idea of what direction you would like to take, then speak with your graphic designer.

You will be hearing from me soon!


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