Harrison County, KY Connections for My Book and Book Cover for Christmas Grace (Book 3 in A Smoky Mountain Christmas series)
This was my first experience of getting to choose my own book cover. Delia Latham of Heaven’s Touch Designs designed the background. She did the covers for all four of our novellas in the Smoky Mountain Christmas Series, including her own. When I saw her cover for Do You See What I See? it reminded me of a picture taken of my daughter and son-in-law, so I asked for their permission to use it, and also needed to get permission from the photographer. Then Delia put it all together.
Delia is from CA. But the author, models and photographer are all from here in central KY. My husband and I have lived in KY all our lives except for the 4 years he spent in the US Air Force.
My son-in-law (named Chris like the hero in the book) works at Toyota in Georgetown, and my daughter, Christy, is the technology resource specialist at Northside Elementary in Harrison County. They live and raise their 3 teenagers on a farm in N. Harrison County.
Dustin Clifford is the talented photographer. She grew up about a mile out the road from us, and she also works at Northside School and lives on a farm in Harrison Co with her husband and daughter.
I have 3 other characters who are named for Harrison Co. people—JoJo the policeman is based on Joe Nichols who handles security for the Harrison Co. Schools. Maria and Tom in my story are based on Maria and Tom Bell who also live on a farm in Harrison Co. Tom is a retired air traffic controller, and he and his wife Maria, who also works at Northside Elementary, raised their two boys on a Harrison Co. farm.
Grace’s wonderful decorating ability is based on Loretta Gibbons who lives in Georgetown, KY, now, but taught school in Harrison County for over 20 years.
Another couple in the book, the parents of my heroine, Grace, are named for Herschel and Lena McCauley who lived in Harrison County all their lives until they moved to Florida in the late 60s so he could continue to work for Webber Sausage which was started here in Harrison Co. The Lena in the book cooks healthy meals for her husband Herschel who like Chester’s Uncle Herschel also has had heart attacks and open-heart surgery.
I first thought of this book almost a decade ago when my daughter Christy’s best friend, Penny Sadler Prows, died from kidney/heart failure, so I have dedicated it to Christy and Chris and in memory of Penny who was a wonderful person and friend.
Hope you’ve enjoyed all the connections with family and friends in KY who gave me ideas for this book. Who do you think should play the leads if this gets made into a movie? Brad Pitt for Chris? Who for the lovely Grace/Christy look-alike? Fun, fun!