In 2011, I received the cover image for my new release, Moon Spun. After studying the girl on the cover, I thought, Hmm, she looks familiar and immediately filed it away in the dusty part of my brain labeled, “Things to think about when I have more time.” Now you know why it’s dusty.
Shortly after, we had a visit from our daughter-in-law and two granddaughters, Madelyn and Arianna. Since Maddie and Ari make their debut as hedgerow pixies in Moon Spun, they were anxious to see the cover. I led them to the computer and opened the file. My daughter-in- law exclaimed, “I don’t believe it! She looks like Madelyn!” The aforementioned thought woke up and shook off the dust. Bingo! We had our very own cover girl.
I’m sure you can guess what happened next. We simply had no choice. We had to re-create the Moon Spun cover with eight-year-old Madelyn as our model. I grabbed my digital camera, which I despise. Its teensy, weensy buttons have caused me moments of utter frustration, immediately followed by colorful cursing. I silently promised to control myself. After all, I was in the presence of children.
We chose an outdoor setting next to our flowering plum tree. Daughter-in-law, Trini, arranged Madelyn’s hair and positioned her in the correct pose. It was then we discovered it was practically impossible for the child to not smile. She’s a naturally happy little girl and comes from a long line of beautiful, photogenic Latino women with sparkling smiles, shiny dark hair and expressive brown eyes. Madelyn was born to smile. It’s in her DNA. Little sister? Not so much. She may have inherited a recessive gene from Grandma Marilee. The one that goes, “Give me three good reasons I should do what you say.”
The photo shoot was complicated by Arianna demanding we take a picture of her hanging from a tree limb and Mauli, our Labrador retriever, who kept wandering into the scene. Finally, Trini snapped, “Madelyn, close your mouth and look sad,” and we got the shot we wanted. I fumbled around trying to press the right button to review the pictures and the display went black. Trini said, “Oops, I think Grandma deleted the picture.” Well, damn! Who has fingers that tiny?
More fumbling ensued as my evil camera chuckled to itself, thwarting every effort to locate the picture I just knew had to be perfect. Muttering to myself, I persevered and finally found it lurking in a dark alley along with a dozen other photos I’d given up hope of ever recovering. Yes! Grandma didn’t delete the picture after all.
I have the book cover and the picture of Madelyn pinned up on the wall next to my computer where I can see them every day. They bring me great joy. Do you believe in magic? I do. How else can one explain the serendipity of the girl on my book cover and granddaughter looking so much alike? As for that danged camera . . . its days are numbered!