Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Morning Musings

Today I begin by musing about my book covers, especially as I am going to add that fourth book to the Standing Stones series later this year.

Here are the current covers for my historical fiction series set in Scotland, Australia, and Canada: 

And the working cover for Island Wife, out sometime this year.

Do the covers really match my audience? 

I write gritty historical fiction and try to wind up with a happy ending, rather happy for now, for my characters always seem to come up out of the working class. Faced with tough circumstances, how do these characters survive? Make a better life? Do they give in to internal demons or do they fight on? I believe they deserve that happy ending -- even if only for now.

Given the experiences we've all faced over the last year and a half, isolation, loss, grief, and a feeling of helplessness, I feel less certain about my stories. My personal reading has become more escapist. I want that happy ending, the hero or heroine who rushes to the rescue. Maybe because I feel worn down, I want to write stories that focus more on light and hope. 

When I first began thinking about book covers, I wanted to be inspired by those greatest historical fiction writers, those who wrote serious stories. Writers like Hilary Montel, Ken Follett, or Edward Rutherfurd. Their more traditional covers promise a particular setting or time and rarely feature faces of the characters. 

So, my original covers, do they seem flat to you -- or do these covers that focus on setting invite you into the story? More than what I'm currently using? Which cover would you tend to pick up -- if you were browsing for a new read in your favorite bookstore or online?

As summer heats up, each day brings new challenges and, I hope for you, the beauty of the season. With temperatures pushing into the 100's already, those fragile blooms of spring seem far away. But, they will return.


6 comments:

  1. I prefer the covers with the women, by leaps and bounds. They feel more personal to me than the settings.

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    1. Thank you so much, Liesbet, for letting me know your reaction to the covers. This is infinitely more helpful than me double-guessing what might connect with readers.

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  2. I too love seeing the real women. They are so much more inviting. They show hope, fear, uncertainty, but real determination to succeed! Please keep the women on the cover. I truly like the cover choice for your 4th book in the series. I see hopefulness and determination to make her story successful. We all need hope right now!

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    1. Thank you, Sandy, for commenting. Your reactions are VERY helpful. Don't worry. Those strong women are staying!!!! They are at the heart of my stories! And, yes, I agree. We all need hope right now.

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  3. I think I would be more drawn to the current covers. Like Liesbet said, they feel more personal to me. I always read to connect with the characters. These covers make me think I'll be able to do that.

    I hope you get some relief from the heat soon!

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    1. Thank you, M.J. I appreciate your feedback -- and hope the heat (today only 99F) is not too bad where you are. And, this month is Camp Nano, surely a distraction from the heat. Are you in?

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