From Delays to Dawn

The Journey of Crafting My Book Cover 

Introduction: A Year of Waiting for Dawn

The path to creating the perfect book cover isn’t always a straight line. Sometimes, it’s a winding road with unexpected detours. I have always designed my own book covers, and enjoyed the process. But my journey to create the cover for Who is the Real Amanda? began with too many characters, a year-long delay, and a heart-wrenching loss.

  1. The Overwhelming Cast

My novel is a tapestry of intricate lives—a married couple in the ministry with their own dreams, secrets, and strong designs. Woven around the main challenges, are three rambunctious children used to getting their own way.

I faced a dilemma. How could I capture the essence of all these lives in a single image for a cover? My husband and I brainstormed possibilities, but nothing worked.

  1. The Unexpected Pause

At the beginning of 2023, life intervened. My husband fell ill, and our days blurred into hospital corridors, whispered prayers, and sleepless nights. Writing took a backseat. The completed manuscript lay dormant in my computer, and the cover remained a distant dream.

  1. The Discovery of Dawn

Following my husband’s death at the end of the year, I knew I had to get on with the cover. After all, what is a novel without a cover?

Amidst my grief, a glimmer of hope emerged. My critique partner, Dianne Marie Andre, introduced me to Dawn LeGross—a graphic artist and book designer and her blog, Sharing is Caring. Her portfolio sparkled with creativity. I hesitated, wondering if she could untangle my character-filled conundrum.

  1. The Briefing

I poured my heart out to Dawn. The story’s essence, its twists, and the five main characters—each with their quirks and scars. She read everything I wrote, then asked, “What do you want readers to feel when they see this cover?”

  1. The First Five Samples from Dawn

Within 24 hours, Dawn sent me five covers. One featured all the characters—a kaleidoscope of faces and emotions. The other four focused solely only on  either the protagonist alone or together with the antagonist. I studied each, my heart racing.

Points I Liked and Didn’t Like:

  • The Ensemble Cover: Screamed complexity and three headstrong young people ignoring their parents. It seemed cluttered with too many people vying for attention.
  • The Duo Covers: Showed simplicity and tension between the two. But did it say too little?
  1. The Second Batch from Dawn

I responded to Dawn, telling her what I liked or didn’t like about each cover. Another 24 hours, and five more covers arrived. This time, she wove the elements I had selected into fresh designs.

Brainstorming Pros and Cons with Dawn:

  • Over the next few days, Dawn and I brainstormed the likes and not-so-likes of each cover.  I wanted Amanda, the main character, to be prominent.
  • Somehow Owen, her husband, needed to be in the picture, but not too obvious.
  • I also saw the need for the church which was one of the main rivals between them.
  1. The Revelation

Morning dawned, and so did clarity. I held my breath as Dawn sent the final version. I loved it. The two characters and the background came together, revealing three different parts of the story. Magic.

Conclusion: A Year Well Spent

My husband’s absence still echoes, but his spirit dances in that cover. Dawn leGross weaved magic from grief and dreams. And now, as I prepare to launch my book, I know this:

Sometimes delays lead to unexpected beauty. Share on X

P.S. If you’d like to see the cover, stay tuned for the big reveal!

Friday 19th and Saturday 20th, our Africa Book Safari group on Facebook is holding a party co-hosted by six authors of Africa. At the party, all six of us will be revealing our new book covers. It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this and it should be great fun as well as exciting. Please come along and encourage us! We’ll have games, recipes, puzzles, free samples, not to mention snippets about our six books.

So make sure you sign up as a member of this group so you can attend the party. You don’t have to be there all the time. Just pop in when you have time and watch as the covers are revealed. Look out for Who is the Real Amanda?  (And tell me if you love the cover as much as I do!


Who is the Real Amanda? is currently on pre-order at the lowest possible price. This will go up once the pre-order ends so don’t waste time ordering! You snooze, you lose!

Just a reminder. If you’re interested in being part of the launch team, read more here.