Olivia Newport The Pursuit of Lucy BanningBelieve me, I was ecstatic when I first saw the cover of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Even before that, when the art director at my publisher sent me a photo of the dress they proposed to to put on Lucy. Gorgeous.

I cannot tell you how many remarks I’ve heard about that dress! Everybody wants to wear it.

Then came time for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, and suddenly we had a wardrobe crisis. Here’s the thing. Although she is the title character of the second book in the Avenue of Dreams series, Charlotte is a lowly domestic in the Banning household.

She doesn’t get paid much, and she doesn’t get out much. She has a simple uniform for kitchen work, and a spiffier apron for serving meals in the dining room.

Nothing too exciting for a book cover.

The only other outfit she owns is a gray suit that Lucy Banning gave her. Lucy bought it off the rack (gasp!) because she hoped it would not draw attention to her as she secretly attended university classes.

A gray suit. I can imagine the art director’s response, though she was kind enough not to say to me, “Really? You couldn’t give her one pretty dress to wear that would make a great cover?”

I fretted. Chewed my fingernails. Paced. I wanted Charlotte’s clothing to be true to the story, but I bemoaned the fact that it had not struck me that Charlotte would need something presentable to wear on her cover. A gray suit. What was I thinking?

Olivia Newport The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow coverWhen I saw what the publisher’s team did with Charlotte, I could hardly breathe for a few seconds. They found a gray suit! A nice gray suit that Lucy Banning herself would have worn.

I love both of these covers. In the end, I think the contrast between the dresses communicates the contrast between the social classes. Charlotte’s cover, in my opinion, is every bit as stunning as Lucy’s.

I can’t wait to see cover of book 3, The Invention of Sarah Cummings. Last week I got a sneak peek at the dress they picked out for the cover. Lemme tell ya, you are gonna love it.


P.S. I’m serializing a manuscript that has been tucked away in my closet for a few years. Sign up for my newsletter to get weekly installments. If you’re starting late, no worry. Previous installments will be available here on the blog with a slight delay to give newsletter readers a head start.