Posts Tagged ‘photo shoot’

Cover story: Rivals in the City

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Hello, friends. Happy Canada Day, and Happy Fourth of July this weekend!

This week, I’m very excited to bring you some behind-the-scenes images from the cover photo shoot for Rivals in the City.

These pictures were taken in New York by Candlewick Press designer Heather McGee. As you can see, Candlewick used the same model, Amber Ahlquist, to represent Mary Quinn on every cover in the series. What might not be so obvious is that they’re also working with the same costume stylist, makeup artist, and photographer! I’m so grateful for Candlewick’s consistent attention to detail. It makes such a huge difference in the final product.

Here’s a shot of Crystal Thompson (stylist; behind model) and Souraya Hamdi (makeup artist) at work.

photo 1

Victorian dresses often came in two pieces: a shirtwaist (ie, a blouse) and a skirt. As you can see here, this one is a single garment. It fastens at the front because, as a woman without a ladies’ maid, Mary Quinn would have to dress herself. Dresses that buttoned down the back were a sign of social status: the lady who wore those would have a maid who helped her to dress and undress.

photo 2

Here’s photographer Scott Nobles checking light exposures. Models seem to spend a huge amount of time getting prepped and waiting around, and a relatively short time actually being photographed.

photo 3

A few minor costume adjustments, between shots.

photo 4

And makeup, too. Perfectly historically accurate Victorian makeup, of course.

photo 5

I love the juxtaposition of jeans and pocket-cameras with 1860s costume!

photo 6

And there we are. I know I’m biased, but I love seeing how much effort goes into the creation of a book cover. Thank you, Candlewick!

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“Is that really you?”

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Well, hello there. This week I have some new pictures to you show you and in true, immodest writerly fashion, they are of me. Posing.

This fall, Kingston Life magazine profiled eight local authors (including Steven Heighton, Helen Humphreys and Jamie Swift, so I was in awfully distinguished company), had us talk about the writing life, and commissioned photos for all of us. Talk about living the dream! It’s now time for me to update my author photograph, so I asked photographer Scott Adamson for some images from the shoot and he kindly sent me a bunch. My only difficulty here is which to use. Here are my two favourites:

They were both taken at one of my favourite spots in Kingston, and the water I’m standing in is Lake Ontario. And no, the photos don’t lie; it’s glorious here.

Speaking of photos lying, though: with my old author photo, an acquaintance said, “Wow. You look so… good in that picture.” And with the new one, someone else said, “That’s a VERY flattering photo.” (WordPress lacks caps big enough to do justice to her “VERY”.) Both times, I was most amused.

What’s the funniest/most ridiculous thing someone’s said to you about a photo?

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The Body at the Tower

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

It’s now 3 months before the release of the second Agency novel, The Body at the Tower, and that means I’m finally allowed to show you the cover! Without further ado:

This cover, like the first, was designed by Caroline Lawrence at Candlewick. When she commissioned a photo shoot for Spy‘s cover, she photographed a second outfit for this novel, too. Caroline read both novels carefully and based both cover scenes – and the model’s outfits – on scenes from the books.

There’s been some discussion in the YA blogosphere about the way MQ looks – whether or not the model is an accurate choice. Without getting too spoiler-ish, I want to confirm that the model, Amber Ahlquist, definitely could be Mary Quinn. (Those of you who’ve read Spy know what I mean, right? If you want more info, email me!) Candlewick’s attention to detail here is amazing: they got MQ right and their stylist is an expert in Victorian costume. They went all out, friends, and I love them for  it.

Here are some shots from the second half of the cover shoot. I’ve been sitting on these for MONTHS (8, to be precise) and am so excited finally to share them with you!

As before, the talent in New York consisted of:

Crystal Thompson, wardrobe stylist (and I’ll say it again: she works on 30 Rock and Gossip Girl!)

Souraya Hamdi, makeup artist (also of 30 Rock)

Scott Nobles, photographer

David Gardiner, photographer’s assistant

I still find it strange that all these people I’ve never met have worked so hard on my books. It’s a humbling and glorious feeling, and I’m so grateful to them all.

This week in reviews:

Librarian Jennifer Hendzlik had low expectations but concludes, “Mary is a strong female lead that could stand head to head with any of Tamora Pierce’s fierce woman characters and the twists, turns and yes, even a love interest will keep readers engaged on many levels. I was expecting ok and I got wow instead.”

Reviewing for the Guelph Mercury, YA novelist Jean Mills says, “readers will love the intrigue and hints of romance in this mystery set in nineteenth-century London, where privileged young ladies wore lace and poured tea, while their less-fortunate counterparts struggled to survive. Marriage proposals, pickpockets, tea parties and pirates — A Spy in the House delivers a rollicking read.”

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Spy: the American cover

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Occasionally, I worry that all I do in this blog is squee about the Agency’s cover art. If you share that concern, you will be sadly disappointed because this week, I’m at it again.

Candlewick Press has just sent me the cover for A Spy in the House, which will be published on March 9, 2010 as a hardcover. Remember the images from that photo shoot I posted a few weeks ago? Well, here’s the final product from the hands of the amazing Caroline Lawrence. And I love it.

I love it.

I love it.

I hope you do, too.

A Spy in the House - US cover

A Spy in the House - US cover

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Agency photo shoot!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

I literally did cartwheels when Deb Wayshak, my editor at Candlewick (she’s a novelist, too – prolific and critically acclaimed and thus, y’know, not intimidating AT ALL) told me they’d commissioned a photo shoot for the US edition of SPY. While I love the elegant, glowing UK cover, I was so curious to see how other people imagined Mary Quinn. The final cover is not quite ready for the world but its designer, Caroline Lawrence, took some behind-the-scenes snapshots of the cover shoot so that we could all participate, too.

Have you recovered yet? I haven’t. Remember, you have just under 3 weeks left to enter to win a copy of SPY.

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