Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cover Reveal for that First Novel I Wrote as a Teen!



Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. The Lost Heiress is Roseanna’s tenth published book. Her novels range from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at www.RoseannaMWhite.com

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Back in May of 2014, I had the joy of sharing a post with you all about the first novel I ever wrote, starting at age 12 and finishing at age 13...and how, after 19 long years and a gazillion rewrites, I finally sold it to the first publishing house I queried with it when I was 14. Read the full post here

I've now gone through two rounds of edits with my editors at Bethany House, we've written back cover copy, catalog copy, and I'm chatting this week with the marketing team. But for me, nothing makes a book feel real like a cover--and I get to share mine today!

Now, before you read further, you have to solemnly swear that you will not laugh at what I'm about to show you. I know some of you are awesome artists, but seriously--laugh at my attempts, and I'll know, man. I'll know, and I'll hunt you down. ;-)

See, I've always liked to have a visual to go along with my story. And while these days I design said visuals in Photoshop, back in the day, it was colored pencil and paper all the way. Back when The Lost Heiress was called Golden Sunset, Silver Tear, I drew the following. At age 12.
Then I realized that most books in my genre had covers that (at the time) looked more like this.
(This may or may not be the book I was totally ripping off with my first version of then-Golden. Ahem.) Well, I was always one to learn from others, so I got serious with my cover art and came up with this.
Yes, I went so far as to try to copy the font. Because I'm telling you, I learn, man. I learn. Not how to center my name, apparently, but you know. I solved that problem by just not bothering to put it on my next version.
I apparently did not learn the beauty of a simple, un-cluttered cover yet, LOL. Nor how to draw men all that well, but never mind that. And let's also ignore the fact that I had no clue what my Brook's clothes would have looked like (cut me some slack--my only research tools were a 30-year-old set of World Book Encyclopedias [for those of you young'uns scratching your head, that's like Wikipedia, but in book form]).

Then came college, marriage, kids. Golden got shelved. I wrote 25 other manuscripts. I published 9 of them with WhiteFire, Summerside Press/Guidepost, and Harvest House. And so, when my agent said, "Hey, do you have anything that's Edwardian? Or could be?"...when I pulled out that first manuscript again...

I can't adequately express how much I love how this version turned out...and how it would have impossible to get all the nuance of the characters without all that experience under my belt. All the other books. All the breaks from it. Obviously we can't spend almost two decades on every book, and almost all of my other sales came on books that I turned into the editor within a week of finishing. But I think in a lot of ways, those first books are hardest to get right. Because they're the hardest for us to change. The hardest for us to let go of enough to do what needs done, and to attack with skill learned in later lessons. But I can say with complete certainty that were it not for these...


I wouldn't have the joy of presenting this--the cover of The Lost Heiress!





Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she’s British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook’s friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close—but their loyalty may come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother.

As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that what began as friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

And then, for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession—and this time only the servants of Whitby can save her.



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60 comments:

  1. Those drawn covers are much better than anything I could attempt (even at age 21) with pencils, hihi. Thank you for sharing the process and the absolutely stunning cover. I added it to Goodreads, as it sounds like a book I would much enjoy!

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    1. Thanks, Arlette! I remember spending HOURS in my room as a teen, working on those drawings. Always fun. =)

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  2. Wow. That is so neat! Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Rosanna!

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    1. It's been quite a journey, LOL. Always happy to share with you guys. =)

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  3. I love hearing the history of unpublished to published books!

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    1. It's always fun, isn't it? Some books have very quick journeys, and others like this one... well worth the wait though. =)

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  4. Oh my goodness. The Hawk and the Jewel is one of my favorite books ever. If you riffed off that book to write your first book when you were thirteen, it's bound to be good... ;)

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    1. Oh yes, I have excellent taste in what I rip off, LOL. ;-) At this point it bears no resemblance beyond having a duke and a girl brought home to England, thankfully. =)

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  5. Congratulations, Mrs. White! It must be so exciting to have your very first novel finally being published. The cover is beautiful. :)

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  6. That is really encouraging to see that stuff you wrote when you were a kid actually turned out into something that could be published. Congratulations and thanks for the encouragment and all you do! :)

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    1. It makes for a fun story to tell, that's for sure!

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  7. So excited for you, friend! So proud of how you've persevered with this story.

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    1. And so glad you don't have to critique yet another version of it? LOL ;-)

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    1. Bethany House does such a fabulous job with their covers, don't they? =)

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  9. I'm so excited for you! The journey other people share of going from unpublished to published is always exciting to read about. Gives me hope :)

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    1. And we should always have hope!! Always move on, but never give up. =)

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  10. Wow, beautiful cover! I'm so excited for you and loved reading your post about how your first book was published. Can't wait to read it!

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    1. Thanks, Anna! Sometimes it still seems surreal. =)

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  11. I'm horrible at art as well! *high five* I literally was trying to draw a dashboard for a car for the cover of my book and someone thought it was a diaper. This definitely is encouraging!

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  12. I always love the names you choose. This one is especially beautiful. <3 Although you forgot the 'e' and now they can't call her Brookie. ;) This will be the first book I read with the main character having my name. I'm so glad it's written by you! :)

    Love the cover and I can't wait to read it!

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    1. LOL. I very nearly added it on, but went with what was more historically accurate for that time. =)

      But yes, I was very determined to keep my heroine named Brook, even when people tried to tell me it wasn't an appropriate name for my setting. I researched until I could prove them wrong!

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  13. Ha, your art skills are actually pretty decent! xD *grabby hands at pretty cover*

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  14. Thanks for posting this! I love book covers, and have looked at them in a different way since you posted the process of making one here ;-)

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    1. It does definitely change the way you see things! I can't look at one now without going, "Hey, they used this font" or "I wonder how they got the color saturation so rich without making it look weird." ;-)

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  15. I love this! Congrats. That must be so exciting, getting your first manuscript published after all these years.

    Btw, love The Hawk and the Jewel.

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    1. I owe Lori Wick a huge thanks for starting me on the historical romance path. =)

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  16. OH MY GOSH I LOVE THIS. I absolutely adored your first post about The Lost Heiress and totally wanted to buy it. What age range it is for?

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    1. Thank you! I would say it's definitely fine for 14 and up. Possibly a bit younger depending on what else you usually read.

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  17. Congratulations on getting the Lost Heiress published! I love to think that my first protagonist might see her name in print someday. (Well, in spirit, anyway... I'm changing her name, but she's still a princess as of this rewrite, LOL).

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    1. Brook (who retained only her first name through all the years) is sorta kinda still a princess too. =)

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  18. When I saw that cover on Rachelle Rea's website, I pretty much flipped out. BEST COVER EVER--I love its simplicity!

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    1. Yay, thanks!! Always a good reaction, LOL.

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  19. I think it's amazing that a book you wrote when you were so young is now being published. I think time away from a book can really help you see how to change it, and it shows the importance of saving everything you write. I know another author, Sara Raasch, also wrote her debut novel when she was a teen. It gives me hope. :)

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    1. Exactly! Because chances are, if you loved an idea enough to see it to fruition, there's merit in it. Even if it needs totally overhauled...several times, LOL...that doesn't mean it can't be revived. But it does often require that time away!

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  20. Congratulations, Mrs. White! Your journey is so amazing with this book, and the cover is just beautiful! :D I can just imagine all the feelings with this . . . That it's your first book and after all the hard work, to see all this coming to be -- wow. :) And I think your drawing's great! Thank you for sharing this with us, Mrs. White. Very inspiring, and I always love and look forward to your posts! :D

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    1. Aw, thank you, Patience! I always look forward to visiting GTW too. =)

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  21. It's quite inspiring to read about authors getting published! Your original book cover is cute, but your book now is much better, LOL. Thanks for sharing with us!

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  22. I'm not laughing because I don't think I could draw anything even as good as your very first cover, LOL. But it is a teensy bit funny how little you ripped off a book cover. I don't think I ever did that, but my first "books" ripped off the Magic Tree House series...whoops! I still have them, actually, and I pull them out ever now and then for a good laugh.

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    1. Well you know...evidence that I knew even then to study the trends? LOL

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  23. This is so great! And I still have my old copy of The Hawk and the Jewel, too. :)

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    1. I have the complete Lori Wick collection, LOL, even though I eventually got to the point where I liked a story with a bit less sweet to it. ;-)

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  24. I added this to my good reads shelf :) Once again, thank you for sharing the cover process :D

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  25. BEAUTIFUL cover, Roseanna! I enjoyed reading about the journey your first book traveled to publication. Your drawing skills as a tween were actually very good:) Your first cover reminds me a little of the cover of my first book (written in third grade). The Lost Heiress definitely sounds like a book I'd want to read!

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    1. They weren't awful...but I'm certainly glad they didn't follow my old template for the real one. ;-)

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  27. It's so touching how diligent you were with the covers, even copying the font. The sign of a true writer. I liked all your covers, by the way :)

    (I hope I'm not double-posting. Tech issues.)

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    1. Soooo many hours spent on those back in the day! I'm just glad I saved them. =)

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  28. The last cover turned out fantastic! Inspires me in my feeble attempts. :) The synopsis of 'The Lost Heiress' really made me want to read it!

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    1. Yes, the team did a fabulous job!! And yay--exactly what we want the synopsis to do (obviously, LOL)! Always good to know it's hitting the right note. =)

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  29. OMG! You made me feel not the only one trying to create their own covers when I was little!
    Exactly the same process: First create as I wanted, then I start trying to copy covers similar kind (and not to mention the very similar stories).
    But that's okay! Always professionals treat the subject better than us :)

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  30. Loved this post!!! I tried drawing an inspirational cover when I was thirteen...oh my no. It's terrible. Loved seeing your cover progress from beginning to end. This fascinated me!!!

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    1. LOL. Yep, I know what you mean. But it does make for a fun progression to compare your own early attempts to what the digital ends up!

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