Creating Linny

Created by an artist on Elance for $20

Created by an artist named Emilio on Elance for $20

When I first started the process of putting a book together I did all kinds of research. Most of my research was focused on the time period and building the main character. Once I got closer to finishing the book, I started to focus on completing the cover.

At first I chose artist who other writer friends used. The artists often told me the description I was giving seemed complicated and as a result they felt they wouldn’t be able to make what I was looking for to my satisfaction. Then when I’d find someone who would accept the challenge of making the cover I couldn’t afford them.

I tried Elance and got several bids. The bids were lower than what I’d been previously quoted, but by then I was concerned I might not like the work and I’d be stuck with it.  Until one artist made this painting and just asked me to pay him for it.

Maybe because it was the first time I’d seen Linny materialized, but I loved this painting. I showed it to all of my writer friends.  We had secret chats about who Linny was to them and me now that we could see her.  Because I think even in self publishing it is important to have other advisers I asked readers who of course hadn’t read the book what they thought of the cover.  Many of them asked if I was writing a ghost story.  Since the cover is the most important, I set out to find another artist to create another version of Linny.  I was grateful for this picture because I knew I wanted something similar.

Young Madam CJ WalkerI wanted the cover of my book to reflect what options were available for capturing images in 1914. After research I learned there were black and white photos or oil paintings if someone had the financial means and wanted to be captured in color.

1900oil1I decided I wanted a color cover and I wanted it to be a painting like those of the early 1900’s oil paintings.


The process for finding an artist who wasn’t overwhelmed by my vision and fit in my budget took months. I found two artist. The first one was an artist named Emilio who accepted my project on a website called Elance. The first Linny was so beautiful I would sometimes just stare at her before writing. I also think I was amazed at seeing the rendering of a character I created.

I was so excited, I showed the first Linny to all my close friends. A few of them asked if it was a ghost story. Knowing that it’s important in publishing to create a cover that matches your genre, I was immediately aware I would have to do a different cover. So I started again looking for an artist hoping for something more relative to the time.

I provided these four photos to Lam as I had Emilio along with the physical description from the novel.

bookcoverhair1 Hairstyle from time period.

Haircolor BookcoverPose of main character.

Face I liked these facial features. I also think this is a tall woman, and Linny is tall.

Eventually I found Lam Lu, who did an awesome rendering of Linny. His work is so detailed and beautiful. Final Linny

Although I love the final book cover, it’s unfortunate that a lot of the intricate touches Lam achieved aren’t seen in the final cover. changeshead1 (2)So I thought I would post something showing the process.

The final cover:

My First Novel

My First Novel


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