At one point I’d been optimistic and hoped I could have the next installment in the Constant Love series published before my next trip to Great Britain. As I’ll be on a plane when many of you are reading this, though, that obviously hasn’t happened!
My itinerary for this year is based around Heritage Open Days and London’s Open House, where buildings across England and in London, respectively, are opened up for free. Some of them aren’t usually open to the public, and those are the ones I’m trying to focus on. I’m not sure how much picture-taking will be allowed inside these sites, but I’m looking forward to sharing whatever I can once I’m back, and you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook for posts while I’m traveling.
For now, though, I thought I’d solicit some help in choosing a cover for the book, so at least I’m making SOME progress beyond taking a copy of the current draft on my Kindle to proofread.
I’ve had a set format for the covers of the books in the series, each of which features a photograph I’ve taken, and this one has proven particularly tricky. As the title indicates, A Season Lost is set largely during 1816, which was referred to as the “year without a summer.” Actually, though, it was really about three years of agricultural depression beginning in 1816 that were directly caused by climate disruption following the eruption of Mount Tambora, in Indonesia. This was the most powerful volcanic eruption captured by humans, at 7 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, larger than others you may be more familiar with, like Krakatoa in 1883 (VEI 6) and Mount Pinatubo in 1991 (VEI 6).
The climate disruption manifested itself in different ways around the world, but in Britain, it largely resulted in winter-like rainfall, hail, and even snow throughout the spring, summer, and autumn months. Fields were flooded, ruining crops, and for crops that weren’t ruined, it was difficult to get enough sun for them to grow. This obviously has a huge impact on Pemberley and therefore the Darcys, in addition to Longbourn, Rosings, and Clareborne, the estate the Bingleys have purchased near Pemberley. The year without a summer and eruption of Tambora impacts other characters in other ways, and one of the things that I’m excited about in this novel was actually getting one character in a position to hear about the volcano – although it was many years before the link between the eruption and the climate disruption was actually understood.
What it means for the cover, however, is that I need some indication of rain or a disrupted climate, and this proved tricky. It’s easiest to take a good photo with good light, and that means sun! I suppose I’ve got one more shot if I get some rain on this year’s trip, but for now, these are the contenders, and I’d love your feedback on which one you prefer!
So which one would you choose? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. If it helps you make the choice, here’s the working summary of the book:
As the “Year Without a Summer” threatens estates across Britain, Elizabeth and Georgiana both go on journeys that take unexpected turns – journeys that will threaten the lives of those they hold dear.
Three of Elizabeth’s sisters find their lives changed by childbirth, while on Pemberley’s grounds, a surprising romance emerges.
A story of love and family, and the third instalment of the Constant Love series.