Make that…my book cover! — et son histoire

As promised…

Because the French are very good at mathématiques, here’s the story of the creation of my book cover, in an equation (une équation):

La serendipité L’artiste  *  [l’inspiration + le talent + la technologie]

MY BOOK COVER (La couverture de mon livre!):

Les détails:

Serendipity: Last spring — at long last — I finished the final edit of MAKE THAT DEUX, and began planning its publication. A top item on my to-d0 list was to find a cover artist. Then, just before Easter, my daughter and I visited beautiful Sarasota, Florida for several days during her spring break. “Kim” lives in Sarasota and she invited us to spend one afternoon with her and her husband at their beach cabana.

I told “Kim” about my plans for publication, and she mentioned a friend and cabana-neighbor, writer Peter McKenzie, author of THE PARAGON GANG. “Kim” suggested I look up Peter’s book on Amazon and give him a call. I found the book, downloaded it on my iPad, and called Peter. When I  complimented him on his book cover, he recommended the artist, Michael Faron of Sarasota. Back in Atlanta, I read through Michael’s website and sent him an email…

Et voilà! I had found my cover artist.

The Artist: First, Michael read MAKE THAT DEUX. Then we began discussing ideas and sketches that he sent me. We narrowed them down to one… and, aided by inspiration, talent and technology, Michael did the rest!*

As an added bonus, here’s the book description for MAKE THAT DEUX  that you will soon see on Amazon:

Three American college girls living in an apartment on the Mediterranean. Two boyfriends back home. “The One” (and only), if it’s “meant to be” — whatever that means! 
Jenny Miles has three goals: to speak French like a native, to travel all over Europe, and to have a blast. Meanwhile, two men compete for her attention and amour, ici et là. C’est compliqué! 
Take 10 months. Add 2 (surprise) transatlantic flights, 2 Greek isles, 1 moped (une mobylette) and beaucoup de lettres! Subtract 1 phone, 1 promise to be faithful, and 1 bikini top. La solution?  
Make that…a year that Jenny will never forget.

In the cover art that Michael created (and in the book description above), somehow I’m reminded that the more things change, the more they stay the same…

* Including the back cover, which I may reveal in the future…


Bonne Chance

As I searched for inspiration for today’s post, out of the blue, my husband (who believes in serendipity) forwarded WSJ article You Call That Lucky? Actually, Yes by author Anne Kreamer.

Kreamer writes that, although she’s been reluctant in the past to attribute successes to luck  (“circumstances beyond my control”), she recently reexamined the idea: perhaps luck played a part. Looking back at her professional journey, she describes “lucky moments” that presented themselves, and when opportunity knocked, she was prepared: she had worked hard. Her conclusion: Reasonable success = [good] luck + preparedness.

But we all know that luck isn’t always good. Kreamer provides an example of a situation that “looked like” bad luck, but wasn’t: it led to a better position and good fortune.

I believe in fate, in serendipity — in luck, whether good or bad — but I prefer the French word, chance. Why is it that, when circumstances beyond our control lend themselves to aid us in achieving our goals, we don’t want to call it (good) luck, but choose instead to claim all the credit? And why, when different, uncontrollable circumstances lead to the opposite, we’re so inclined to blame bad luck rather than ourselves?

I’ve had some professional and personal good luck, but I’ve also had my share of the opposite. But as I dealt with those unfavorable, unfortunate events in the past, I did the best I could. I survived. I worked, as Kreamer says one must, believing that my luck would change. When my husband and I faced a financial crisis in our twenties, we felt alone and snake-bitten. Blaming bad luck (at least, partially) then, rather than ourselves, or worse, each other, helped us get through it. But we also took responsibility for our situation and came together as a couple, learning from our mistakes.

Since then, we’ve faced many other challenges and trials professionally and personally. Just in the last few years, we’ve lost both our fathers and have watched our youngest son survive brain cancer. But my husband and I have also had a lot of (good) luck, and sometimes the difficulties we have faced together have turned into blessings. We’ve stayed together long enough — thirty years, today — to see a lot of things change. Luck can change, fortunately.

If you just give it a chance, and work hard.

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