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Posts by accordingtohoyt

On the Road Again and Passing Thoughts

I’m sorry to interrupt the cover seminar again, but I’m “on the road again.”  This time headed to Fyrecon where I’ll be presenting over the next three days starting tomorrow.

Meanwhile a quick thought: I agree with very few of the opinions Clifford Simak expresses in is books. He’s still one of my favorite writers (and number #2 son is only not named after him, because husband says no one deserves to be called Cliff.) and in fact I have been binge reading him. Read more

Covering Alternate History

This one is difficult, because you have to convey three things: alternate time line, where it deviated from ours, and what in general the reader can expect from the book.  You know: funny, serious or adventure.

The easiest ones are the ones that are sf or Fantasy and obviously so.  For instance, my dragon-shifter-red-baron will eventually when finished and ready to go have a dragon with the paint to match Richthofen’s plane, flying over the trenches. Title and subtitle will help, and I’ll come up with something.

Alternate history that is “just” alternate history is more difficult, and you sometimes have to “represent things that aren’t in the book to represent something that is in the book.” Read more

Mystery and History

Mystery and history live together in perfect harmony, but not on book covers because they’re hard as heck to do with found objects.

Since none of you took my hint — okay beg — to give me a time period and title for our past mystery, I’m going to have to do this on my own. You brought this on yourselves, don’t make me do that again. Read more

Covering the Historical Mystery

Hi.  I’m Sarah Hoyt, and I’m finally returning to my cover series.  If you don’t remember it, check out here for the start of it.  Then go forth every week to find how to cover sf, cozy mysteries and historical romances.

As with everything relating to any artistic pursuit — and doing covers is art — remember your first efforts are going to be wretched.  There is a learning curve.  I am now, after years of doing this, at the point where I sometimes do a cover that astounds even me, but the majority are just good, serviceable covers.  It’s a similar curve as with short stories. Read more


I’ve been reading a book called Women’s Work, which is about archeology and what we know of what women in pre-history did, on the assumption partly, that this sets what women like to do/the type of work our ancestresses were selected for.

Rest assured I did not forget I was in the middle of a cover workshop, and I’ll return to it next week, but after 2 weeks in Portugal and a 35 hour journey back a week ago, I had the world’s worst case of plane crud. It seems to be a little better, though worse than yesterday. I hope to resume it next week, but it’s arduous work. So for now, we’ll discuss other things.

Like imperfect work, and the effects it can have on the world.

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Closing the Door


There is going to be a brief hiatus in the cover series for the next two weeks because I’ll be out of the country and can’t get access to my art computer, but I planned to have a post out today, I did.

Except we woke up to insurance confusion, bank confusion and airplane travel plans confusion.  This not counting “paperwork for ceremony in Portugal confusion” for number 1 son’s religious wedding. Read more

Covering History


Making covers for historical books is difficult for many different reasons.  At its base is the same problem as writing history: people will rate it as wrong if it doesn’t match their preconceptions, even if their preconceptions are wrong.  (There never was, and there never will be a writer of historical anything that is besieged by people who say they’re completely wrong, just making up stuff and pig-ignorant. And most of the time those people should turn those slurs on themselves.)

In sum, the problem of historical covers as of historical novels is bridging the gap between times and cultures.  But for covers that’s only the beginning. Read more