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June 30, 2008
The Wedding Ceremony
We don't have any pictures from the reception yet, but here's a few of my favorites from the wedding ceremony:
Here is our son and his groomsmen. (My husband says this is the first wedding he's been to where the groomsmen had longer hair & more jewelry than the bridesmaids. LOL!) :
The vows. (The preacher is a long time family friend. I was the flowergirl in his wedding 40 years ago!) :
The groom tries to spirit his bride away:
Our 21 yo daughter:
Our 18 yo daughter:
Our 17 yo son. He played the pre-wedding music (4 classical pieces he wrote). He played the wedding march (Bach while the bridesmaids walked in and the traditional Wedding March when the bride walked down the aisle):
Our 21 yo daughter is in Mexico for a Study Abroad program. (She's taking Spanish II). We received an email from her this week. Here's an excerpt:
"It's very different from home. i went to walmart yesterday and it was quite an experience. first off, they sell liquor everywhere... gas stations, etc... and at walmart they work off comission, so when we were in the liquor aisle the employees really wanted you to buy their liquor so they would give you shots... haha... crazy! don't worry... i didn't take any... gross!
so on the second night we were here a lot of ppl in our group went to this place called Bali Bar (the bars stay open till 5 in the morning...crazy!) but we left at 2, and when we got home we were locked out of our house.
so me and claudia climbed over the gate but the front door was bolted from the inside so we couldn't get in... haha... we had no idea what to do. we tried the back door, banged really loud on the front door, and threw rocks at the window of the other students in our house (they are two mid-twenties teachers from georgia). but our efforts were to no avail.
we kept noticing the police drive by like four times and then they finally pulled up to where we were and were like what's going on? luckily claudia is fluent in spanish and was able to tell them that we were exchange students and were locked out of our house. so we showed them our school i.d.'s and driver's licenses and the cops called our señora and told them he had us with him outside... so she comes rushing down thinking we had gotten in trouble. haha... it was a little embarassing, but no harm done. i wanted to take a picture with the cops but claudia said that it was inappropriate and wouldn't ask. :[ hahahaha"
LOL. The joys of being young. Can't wait to hear about all the rest of her adventures once she is safely back home. :)
(When I wrote her back, I told her that when I said not to drink the water, I didn't mean to drink the alcohol! Ha!)
A couple of months ago we interviewed the model on the cover of Deep in the Heart of Trouble. Well, this week we are going to interview the graphic design artist who actually designed the cover.
Her name is Jennifer Parker and she works for Bethany House. If you turn to the Copyright Page (the page that has the Library of Congress info on it), you will see "Cover Design by Jennifer Parker" right below my name.
Some of you might not realize this, but authors (contract-wise) have absolutely no control or say in what the title of the book is or what is on the cover. We are simply in charge of writing the inside. Someone else is in charge of what the outside looks like.
Bethany House is unusual in that they ALWAYS ask the author for cover ideas. And I have always, of course, had ideas. (Except for THE MEASURE OF A LADY. I had no clue as to what would be good for that cover.) In the past, I would give my ideas to the Art Director, Paul Higdon (top of the food chain in the Art Department--this is him on his birthday).
The great thing about Paul is that he isn't just being polite when he asks for our opinion. He genuinely wants to know our ideas. And, so far, every time I've offered them, he's incorporated them in some form or fashion.
What was different about DEEP is that this time he took it a step further. He set up a conference call between him, me, the project editor and the designer (Jennifer). This was the first time I had the chance to speak to the person who was actually doing the work.
We had a great session. I had several ideas and threw them out there. Then Jennifer & Paul would make suggestions and modifications so that by the time the session was over, Jennifer had a real feel for what direction to go. (For example, it was my idea to have Essie on a bicycle--or even a bicycle built for two. It was their idea to put her in a wedding dress.)
It was a very fun and exciting meeting for me and I really, really appreciated being included in the process.
So, without further ado, here's what Jennifer had to say about designing DEEP:
So, Jenny, do you have to read the manuscript before you make the cover?
No, not always. Sometimes an editor just fills me in on the story. But it really is extremely helpful when I do get to read it because it helps me get a feeling for the mood (humor, mystery, drama, hope).
Walk us through the making of Deep in the Heart of Trouble’s cover. What is the first step and the next, etc.?
First, the art director and project editor filled me in on the story and characters to give me a direction. Next the art director, project editor, and I had a conference call with Dee brainstorming ideas. That’s when the idea emerged of showing our heroine in a wedding gown on a bicycle. We wanted something light-hearted and fun to portray the fun story and character Dee had created. Normally, we don’t meet with the author but the editor will present either the author’s ideas or scenes from the book as possibilities and we brainstorm from there.
For the historical books such as Dee’s, I then do a ton of research into the time period or place to determine the kind of dress (and in this case, the kind of bicycle) that would have been worn. Dee was so good to send a bunch of her own research, which really helped me move much more quickly.
Then I presented sketches to a Creative Team who approved the final poses to be shot considering what was most appropriate for the story and the book’s audience.
Then we picked a model (Carissa), a dress, and bicycle all subject to approval. From there, I hired a professional photographer to shoot it.
Finally I mocked up 3-5 of the best shots and presented them to the Creative Team who chose the final look. From there I just put the finishing touches on.
How do you find/decide on a dress?
This time it was quite easy because I called up our costume source that rents out high quality costumes from several professional theaters in town. I told them I needed an 1890s wedding gown. They knew right away which one would work and put it aside for me.
Usually I have to make an appointment to look through the racks myself. It can take quite a while to look through the hundreds of costumes they have but it’s worth it because we usually can find something that works very well.
Where did you find the old fashioned bicycle? How did you make it look like “Essie” was in motion?
That was a huge problem – where do you find an old-fashioned bike locally? I called museums, looked at the internet, called up different bicycle clubs and shops. Finally, I talked to our photographer, and he had one of his assistants follow some leads and we got the perfect bike from a collector of antique bicycles. (It was a decoration in his dining room!)
We made it look like it was in motion by using fish wire to hold up the veil off camera, someone was holding the back of the dress, and then we put a big fan on Carissa, the model, to blow her hair. By the way, Carissa did a great job of acting like she was riding the bike instead of just sitting on it while another person held it up off camera.
What challenges faced you with the cover of DEEP?
I guess there were three main challenges. First, I had to make the cover look overall like it belonged with the prequel, Courting Trouble. Second, I had to try to make the different models used on the two covers look like they could be the same person. And third, the model had to look like she was really riding that bike!
How many covers do you work on at once?
In a season (Spring, Summer, and Fall) I usually have between three and six covers but the seasons overlap so I could be working on the mockups of one season and the final covers of another one at the same time making a grand total of between 6 and 12 covers I could be working on at once.
What are some of the other covers you’ve designed?
Courting Trouble, Freefall, Secrets, Letter Perfect, Lady of Milkweed Manor to name just a few.
Do you go to the photo shoots? If yes, how involved with them are you?
Yes, I’m very involved because I need to make sure I get what I need to design the cover. I hire the photographer and show him sketches or sample photographs of the kind of mood I’m looking for. I help to choose the model, clothes, props, background, and lighting. I bring the stylist photos of period hairstyles. And then I oversee the photo shoot and make sure we’re getting the shots and the facial expressions we want (and staying on schedule). I always like to include the editor and the photographer (and art director when he can make it) in on the decision-making process during the shoot. Always trust the experts!
How many different poses did you try with DEEP?
Just a couple with many variations because of limited time. Here’s one of the others we did.
How do you make/decide on a background?
The photographer had a nice backdrop painting of an outdoor scene. I just brought the photo into a design program called Photoshop and added some photos of real foliage to the background painting.
That's so cool! Thanks, Jenny, for taking time out of your schedule to answer all these questions!
Pretty neat, eh? Jennifer is super busy, but she said she would try and stop by. So if you have further questions for her, throw them out there and if she has time, perhaps she'll answer them.
We got our son and his fiancee successfully married and off on their honeymoon this weekend. The rehearsal dinner was a great time of fellowship. The wedding was beautiful. And the reception was a blast. Here's a slideshow I put together and played at the rehearsal dinner. (It is 2 songs in length.)
Next week we will interview the person who designed the cover of Deep in the Heart of Trouble!