I have been anticipating this post with tremendous excitement all week long and now that the cover of “Darcy’s Deliverance” has been revealed, I hope that you find it as breathtaking as I have each and every time I have set my eyes upon it!
Whether or not it’s “right,” I do tend to initially judge a book by its cover. I love when an author carefully selects an image for his/her story that is both beautiful to admire and that conveys to his/her readers just the right amount of clues about the overall tone and essence of the story. Since our brains are wired to process images faster than words, book covers have tremendous potential to make us feel powerful emotional connections to a book.
Book covers can help sell books. They can either cause us to delve into the story or they can pull us away from pursuing a story. Ultimately, I hope a great piece of writing will eventually be recognized for its worth despite its book cover; however, a book cover that captures our interest and tugs at our curiosity, making us eagerly seek out the pages in between its covers, is warranted a reward for a job well done.
So without further ado, I’d like to share with you an interview with Carolyn Whyte, where she reveals her process for designing this cover, as well as the mystery surrounding this intriguing piece of art.
The minute I laid my eyes upon this striking cover, I was completely taken with the way the characters feel so up close and personal to the reader. It’s as though we are close enough to be a witness to a very intimate moment between these two people, although this moment may be unfolding in a very different way for each of them. Carolyn, can you tell us how this cover communicates your vision of this story?
The story revolves around Elizabeth’s relationships with two men: her husband, Richard Fitzwilliam, and his cousin, Fitzwilliam Darcy. I wanted the cover to convey a sense of tension between Elizabeth and the gentlemen – unfortunately, portraits of a woman and a man together are uncommon enough, let alone a woman with two men.
After finding “Portrait de famille” by Merry-Joseph Blondel, I filed it under “possible” – but I eventually came back to it as I liked the image of the woman looking to the side while the man looked straight on. Their different aspects seemed to reflect that tension I was looking for – each is focused on something different: not necessarily opposed, but not (yet, at least) on the same wavelength. My problem then was with the man’s image, which in the full picture is strangely lopsided. The eyebrows are at different heights, the eyes look in slightly different directions and one-half of the face seems much narrower than the other. He almost seems like two men – but I’m not enough of an artist to manage to do something clever with that, and time was running short. After cropping out half the man’s face, however, I had my “that’s it” moment: the man’s eye now seemed to focus on the woman, and having only half the man’s face added a bit of mystery – is it Richard, or is it Darcy?
I personally love to witness how various works of period paintings can be incorporated into book covers. What led you to make this decision to use a period painting for your book cover?
I love seeing period paintings used for novel covers. Although they have some stylisation for what was fashionable at the time, the portraits give a sense of how differently people looked, or wished to look, in certain respects, compared with now: for instance, the regency beauties don’t have the thin, angular faces and frames of today’s elegant models. Perhaps this is what also gives the portraits a realistic feeling – although no doubt artistic liberties were taken then, as now, to ensure a happy customer. “I want to look plumper – you’ve made me too thin!”
Can you tell us more about who the people are in this painting?
I couldn’t find out who the subjects in the painting actually were. Is it Blondel’s own family, perhaps with the man being a self-portrait? Ingres drew a portrait of Blondel in 1809, but the features don’t particularly resemble the man in the painting. But perhaps the perspective in the painting comes from it being an 1813 “selfie”? If anyone knows something about this painting, I’d love to know.
Thanks for sharing your process with us and allowing us to discover this stunning work of art. If any of my readers know more about this painting, I hope they share this information with us in the comments section below.
It is with great excitement, or should I say pride, that I reveal the book cover for “Darcy’s Deliverance.”
About the cover:
Painting: Portrait de famille, by Merry-Joseph Blondel, (1813) – oil on canvas
About the author:
Carolyn Whyte was born and raised near Seattle in the United States, and discovered Pride and Prejudice in her first year at the University of Washington. After marrying a New Zealander she moved to Auckland, and she now lives in Australia’s Northern Territory with her husband and two cats. By day, she is a statistician and usually writes about matters far removed from the world of Jane Austen. Darcy’s Deliverance is her third novel.
Where the book will be sold:
Amazon Kindle e-books from 30 January 2016:
“Darcy’s Deliverance” is the conclusion of “Darcy’s Denial.” The description below contains some spoilers that those who have not read “Darcy’s Denial” may wish to avoid.
Following Elizabeth Bennet’s marriage to Richard Fitzwilliam, Mr Darcy embarks for the New World in order to forget the only woman he has ever loved. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Richard initially experience a life of post-nuptial happiness; eventually, however, they are faced with a series of trials that put their new marriage to the test. Mr Darcy’s return offers Elizabeth hope that all may yet be well, but when disaster strikes, guilt and remorse threaten to keep Darcy and Elizabeth apart. With the passage of time, their growing friendship begins to bridge the gulf between them, but their relationship is suddenly threatened by a seemingly chance discovery. Can Darcy truly forgive his one-time adversary, or is his good opinion, once lost, lost forever — along with all his hopes of happiness?
I’d love for Just Jane 1813 readers to tell us their thoughts about this stunning cover. As a treat to one of our lucky readers, I am offering a giveaway of the first book in this series, “Darcy’s Denial,” to help he/she get started on this amazing journey. Please leave these comments below this post by January 23 to enter this giveaway. The winner of this giveaway will be announced on January 24, 2016, on this blog.
I will be posting a review of the sequel, “Darcy’s Deliverance,” the weekend of its release, January 30, 2016. Carolyn will also be offering giveaways of this new book to Just Jane 1813 readers with my review post.
I can’t wait to see how the tide turns for our beloved characters, as I eagerly anticipate reading this book and sharing my review of “Darcy’s Deliverance” with my Just Jane 1813 readers.