Sunday, November 17, 2013

Introducing Jill Engledow!

Is there any more inspiration you need?
One element that I love about my life as a writer is the reach that it offers to other writers all over the world, all possible through the power of the internet.  And so this week I am pleased to introduce you to a writer all the way from Maui, Hawaii.  Jill Engledow is an award-winning writer who specializes in Maui history. Born in England, she grew up in Texas, Hawaii and Guam and moved to Maui, Hawaii, in 1968. After working for 17 years as a reporter and editor at The Maui News, she wrote The Maui News 1900-2000: 100 Years as Maui's Newspaper. Other books include Island Life 101: A Newcomer's Guide to Hawaii and Exploring Historic Upcountry.

Venice Falls, Maui, Hawaii
Her most recent nonfiction book is Haleakala: A History of the Maui Mountain, which tells the story of the mountain that makes up East Maui, the “crater” at its peak and the national park that protects its pristine lands and endangered species.  Her first novel, The Island Decides, is now available on

Today, she is sharing a few thoughts about cover design, and how she came up with her cover for The Island Decides.

I spent hours looking through stock-photo websites for the picture I imagined as the cover of The Island Decides. I was searching for something that showed two key elements in my book: a young woman and her child on their own in the world, and the beauty of Maui. I have lived on this Hawaiian island for many years and am still in love with that beauty.

 One by one, I collected images, though none seemed exactly what I had in mind. Then I sat down with graphic designer Cynthia Conrad and studied the images. One stood out – the silhouette of a woman with two children on the beach at sunset. The sunset, the palms, even the fringe of what looked like needles of the ironwood tree – all said "Maui." (On my to-do list: find out who took that photo, and where.) The extra kid in the picture? No problem; Photoshop turned him into part of the sunset.

We searched online for fonts from the 1970s (the book is set in 1971) and found this one, Pasdenom by Diogene. To me, it looks elegant, a bit tropical, a bit retro. The final cover not only satisfies my initial requirements but also is reminiscent of work by Don Blanding, a poet who lived in Hawaii in the 1920s. Blanding illustrated his own work with beautiful black-and-white drawings that captured a romantic vision of the Islands. His work made an indelible impression on me when, as a teenager, I first fell in love with Hawaii.

You can buy The Island decides on AMAZON

You can follow Jill on FACEBOOK and TWITTER

If you would like to get in touch with Jill, you can do so HERE

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