We’re so happy with how the cover for Snow White, Rose Red and Other Tales of Kind Young Women turned out, that we thought you might like to hear a little about the process behind it.
The illustration we used is from the tale Strawberries in the Snow. It finishes the story, and is a moment of contentment and peace. Marushka stands in the doorway of her house, cat at her feet, framed by painted flowers and fruit. The designs reflect the three key objects in the tale: strawberries, apples and violets, and are inspired by the painted houses of Eastern Europe, where the tale originates from.
I’ve long wanted to interpret one of these houses into illustration form, and when I read Strawberries in the Snow I knew I had the perfect opportunity: I could weave the three symbolic elements of the tale into an image that summed up the peace the Marushka found at the end of the story.
Marushka scrubbed clean the cottage, planted flowers in the garden, and led her cow into the meadows to eat the sweet fresh grass. She worked hard all day with a willing heart, and in the evenings, she sewed and sang and read stories.Kate Forsyth, Strawberries in the Snow
Incredibly, I found a single flowering violet growing in our garden in late winter, which felt like something of a miracle. Reading the story you’ll know why. I have to find and photograph every element in my illustrations, so I had little hope that I would, like Marushka, would find any growing. The rest of the flowers and leaves also came from my garden, apart from the oak leaves that come from a tree up the road, and the yellow broom which grows as a weed in our nearby bushland. The apple and strawberries came from the fruit bowl. And the ice blue wall is made of frost from the roof of our car. I guess not everything has a miraculous or glamorous back story!
We went through a few image options for the cover, but wanted to make sure it complemented the other two books, and finished the trilogy on an uplifting note. It had to be striking enough to capture attention, and be suitable for adaption to a cover image. Happily all I had to do was remove the decoration above the doorway, and increase the size of the step to make room for our names.
We love the way the cover came together, and feel it perfectly sums up the mood of the book. We hope you do too.
You can order your copy now from Serenity Press.