The making of Into the Brown Mountain Lights cover for CC Tillery

BML3 2560x1600-KDP-ebook-TN

Series are typically easier, the last one, book 2, being the exception, as you already have a theme, type and somewhat of a design layout to follow. 

Last year I was hired to shoot the Joe Pye Weed, the pink flower in the foreground. This third book, Into the Brown Mountain Lights, would use that along with changing the colors on the background mountain image. They are continuing to use the Brown Mountain scene I was hired to shoot with book #1, but the colors are edited with each new book, and typically another photo is shot for the foreground.

When I received the go-ahead on the ebook job and title choice, they hoped I could be done in a week, which is my minimum time after all decisions have been made (color, name, photos, book size, page count and paper color, file type(s) needed, blurb given). Plus I was working on another client multi-product photography job, on top of still having computer email issues as I consolidate all the email backups into one—so needless to say that was not easily doable.

Like the sisters typically do, they order the ebook first and follow that with a full flat for print and a square cover for an audiobook. I went ahead and made them a new Facebook banner free of charge since it was the 7th cover I’ve been hired to do. Not sure why they haven’t used it yet, then again they stay pretty busy.

Both sisters had some family and health issues that delayed this third book in the series, as they will often release one title per year. I think they deserve a pat on the back for completing it with everything they had going on. They had loss of family, along with illnesses and still completed this one.

It has been quite a while since book 2 in the series came out, so I was thankful to have hard copies of each title on hand to refer back to! My memory is only so good and I appreciate that they are kind enough to gift me a signed copy of every book I’ve ever designed or photographed a cover for. I’m looking forward to receiving this one too.

It’s always up to the author to let me know what kind of files they need and their printer had changed but Cyndi let me know what formats they needed. On this one, I went ahead and asked if they’d please update the credit like my website states I require for the cover design and the cover photography since I can do either or both and on all their covers it has been both.

Even though we were sticking to the layout,  I decided to give the sisters three title arrangements to choose from.


They picked the one that looked the most like the first two books (a) but requested a smokier pink. I hadn’t really gotten to the colors yet, as the background image had yet to be color adjusted. I had used the eyedropper tool in Photoshop and grabbed a pink from the Joe Pye weed. Since one person’s idea of “smokey pink” varies from another, I gave them several choices of pinks all pulled from the flower, with the original one I sent on the far right that I thought looked nice with the greens.


BML board (Small)

I was going for bold complementary colors that are opposite on the color wheel like 11:00 and 5:00, or the Teaberry gum, but the muddier, smokier pink for the title also works… and it is their book!

They continued numbering their series and using a series logo which is something I wish every author insisted on. It makes it so much easier for the reader to know what order to read. It amazes me on their Amazon reviews how many people comment negatively that they didn’t know it was in a series. That really is NO fault of these sisters. It is listed in the description and it’s on the back cover. So, if you start with book 3…. you can’t blame them and I think a low star review for that is ridiculous. IMO.

I read on their Facebook page that they are considering doing a stand-alone book with Bessie and Fletch about their time in West Virginia while Fletch worked at a coal mine. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?  I just can’t fathom how the two of them can write a book together, much less the ability to write Brown Mountain Lights #4 AND a Bessie/Fletch book at the same time. I can’t even read two books at once anymore and keep them straight. I haven’t received a paperback copy of Into the Brown Mountain Lights yet but look forward to it. Of course, like all their readers, I want more. 

Click here to check out more books by CC Tillery. They are available in paperback, ebook and audiobook. For some reason, not all of the titles on Amazon have the ability to click on CC Tillery as the author and then they all show up. Christy and Cyndi, the sister duo that writes as CC Tillery can also be found at WNC events where you can purchase signed copies and talk to them in person.

Here are my other post about CC Tillery covers

If you are interested in having a cover designed click for more info.

If you enjoyed this post, my cover design or photography -please share. If you’d like to follow my blog, (which includes pet food recalls) and get an email when I post, just click on the “follow” button in the bottom right hand corner of the page or on the homepage.  You enter your email address, and you’ll receive an email confirmation in return. I do NOT share email addresses. To learn more about my book cover design, photography or the books I’ve authored— my first homepage on this site has all the links.


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