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Book Cover Junkie

Book Cover Junkie


The prologue of my book, Joe Peas, introduces the main character and explains how he got his name. It occurs during the Battle of Monte Cassino in World War II. An orphan child was found on the battlefield. The homesick G.I.s virtually adopted the child and kept him as long as possible. He had no name or was too shell shocked to remember it. He eventually called himself Joe (every soldier was G. I. Joe). When the G.I.s had to move on, they were forced to turn the young boy over to authorities. They were OK with the first name of Joe, but needed a last name for the record. Joe could not remember his last name but he did see a can of Peas on the table. Since his recovery, the peas had been his favorite food. So he became Joe Peas.

Joe Peas is the central figure in the book. In the present an itinerant Italian house painter, Joe Peas, inserts himself into the fabric of a small rural North Carolina town and interacts with the local doctor and eventually becomes his patient in long-term care.

The cover idea was fully mine. The rather simple cover had no stock images available, so I did a simple ink drawing and sent it into Lulu Publishing. They had an illustration team formalize the picture and color it. One interesting flaw was that the first illustration proof has the Italian flag red white and green, rather than green white and red. Other than that, changing the tint of the cover and adding a short text on the bottom the front cover was finished.

On the back cover, I wanted to have a muted impression of a grandfather clock visible behind the text. The team at Lulu took a couple tries to get the positioning of the clock correct. The construction of a special heritage clock plays an important part in the story so I wanted to emphasize the significance of the clock on the back cover.

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