Twelve years ago, I embarked on a journey that changed my writing life. Triggered by something my grandmother Lois Thomas Wright Brown said, I ended up writing a historical novel called Hattie Big Sky. That book reaped some lovely, amazing readers and awards. I was (and am) very proud of it. For my first published novel, I don't think I did too badly.
Imagine my surprise (and, honestly, irritation) when, after that book came out, readers began emailing and writing and asking "What's next for Hattie?" In my mind, I'd finished her story. Done. Completed. However, several thousand of you disagreed.
So, a few summers back, I re-read Hattie Big Sky. Remembered how much I loved that stubborn, mistake-prone orphan. And decided I wouldn't mind spending more time with her. It's been another long journey, but the sequel is now complete.
Vikki Sheatsley is the amazing art director at Delacorte who helped design the HBS cover; she's hit another home run with this one, as well. She went back to Jonathan Barkat, Philadelphia photographer/artist who did his research on the post-WWI time period and sent us some possible costumes for his model to wear.
|Loved this hat but thought it a bit too shi-shi for Hattie|
|Great details -- the skirt pleats and jacket ruffles. I worked these into the text.|
|I knew this was the hat Hattie would pick. Straight-forward and practical!|
And then he thought about the story's setting and plot and came up with this cover:
As much as I loved looking over Hattie's shoulder into the future on that first cover, I love this perspective, too. (Just between us, here is the face I envision when I "see" Hattie):
|Lois Thomas Wright Brown, age 14|
The book is set to be out in February 2013. I hope Hattie's friends and fans like "what happened next."