Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Story Behind the Cover of Believing in a Grand Thing

The cover of Believing in a Grand Thing

My original idea for the cover of this book was a cowboy or western scene on the front—maybe a kneeling cowboy with a cross in the background.  But we see of lot of those in yards all around. We tried a few great photos that were in public domain, but the lights just did not come on for me.

Something about the way the cowboys (or models) sat their horses; or the way they put their boots in the stirrups; or the way they held the reins; or the way they wore their hats always bothered me. Something just wasn’t right and I couldn’t express what.

Again, Jan came through. She asked, “Do you still have that shot of Marion on his horse at his daddy’s grave?” 

My light came on quickly this time. I knew I still had that photo. It was taken on the next to last day of our wagon and horseback trip across Texas that I chronicled in Biscuits Across the Brazos. We were almost home, coming to the end of our fourteen day, 325 mile journey when it was taken. 

I saw Marion lope ahead as we neared Shiloh Cemetery and knew where he was going. When he stopped at his father’s grave, I pulled a throwaway camera I had bought on the trail out of my saddlebags and took the shot. I knew it was a special moment, but never imagined it would one day be on the cover of a book. Of course, it is also inside Biscuits Across the Brazos

If you look closely, you will see a slight hazy glow around Marion and his horse’s back legs. Unintended, but I like that a lot. I am certain Marion would, too.

Marion’s mom now lies beside his father and Marion is laid to rest a few feet away. 

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