Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Friday, October 09, 2020

OctPoWriMo 9: Deidre -- and a New Cover

 I do like writing gritty historical fiction, jumping back in time to learn that times were tough back then, mostly for the working class. One of my step-fathers was a steel worker, so I know that world.

Deidre is the heroine of my book, Years of Stone, set in 1840's Australia during the convict era. She gave up her home to travel by ship to Tasmania, hoping to be reunited with the man she loved. Mac, a man with a temper, was transported because he fought against evictions on their island home. Deidre never backed down from the challenges facing her. She took risks to help Mac and to establish a new life in Van Diemen's Land.

I had a great cover when Years of Stone was first published, modeled after covers by well-established writers of historical fiction . . . but the cover looks so cold and doesn't speak at all to Deidre's character, her tenacity and her love for Mac.

Deidre, where did you find the courage
to follow the man you loved
all the way across the ocean in a sailing ship,
crowded in cabins too small? 
Shipwrecked and lost,
you landed in Van Diemen's Land
with no job and no prospects,
Mac in prison. 

Yet you leaned into each new day
scheming, working, hoping to find some way
to fit into this scrabble-hard colony with little hope,
knowing somehow 
that you and Mac one day,
mayhap seven years hence, seven years of stone,
would be reunited. Not every woman 
who wears a long dress
can be discounted.

Here's the new cover. What do you think?

Cover design by Angie Zambrano


  1. I think it is a beautiful cover, but the woman in the picture looks wealthy and Deidre certainly wasn't wealthy. Can your artist put the same woman in poorer garb? It is just a thought. I love the determination in her face.

  2. Thank you for visiting and commenting. You know, the real challenge in having a cover is in getting just the right illustration. Actually in the story, because Deidre arrived in Van Diemen's Land and survived a shipwreck, some very wealthy women gave her clothing. But I still admire her hard-working, blue-collar ideals! At least the cover takes us closer to Deidre's personality, or at least I hope so.

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Nice one, Beth! It speaks “historical fiction” to me more than the initial cover and has the right amount of personality and emotion mixed in. I can imagine it must be hard to find the right image and expression to do your book justice in a stock image. For that reason, I’m glad I provided my own photos for my memoir cover.