THE BOOK COVERS for Shadow of Ashland and A Witness to Life

"Behind the Scenes"

It's rare for an author's book covers to be as personal as mine have been -- especially novels -- but the nature of these particular fictions has lent itself to this. The books are the beneficiaries of  Tor/Forge's Senior Editor David Hartwell's instincts and experience. Upon learning that much of the fiction in the novels was based on actual events and on real members of my family, he asked to see some of the old photos and letters associated with them. I dug around and came up with a selection, passed them on to him, and his submission of these items to the publisher's Art Department led to the design of the books you see here.

The stories are thus gracefully presented and packaged. They have been blessed. I am lucky. The readers are lucky. Surely, the final book jackets are among the most beautiful and tasteful in all of publishing. Owning and looking at them is a joy.

For me, holding them in my hands is like turning the pages of an old family album. I see faces and people from my past, from my parents' past, and I am deeply moved.

Some details...

Shadow of Ashland

The letter on the cover is a real one, sent by Jack Radey (on spine, center) to his sister, Margaret (my mother), in the 1930s.
In lower right: Jack and Margaret, circa 1920.
Front center: my sister, Anne, and brother, Ron, backyard of 55 Maxwell Avenue, Toronto, circa 1934.
Back cover: Anne and Ron, again; my father (Tommy) and mother (Margaret), holding Anne, circa 1930-31.
Under the word "Shadow" (in shadow) on the front cover: my parents, Margaret and Tommy, 1930.

A Witness to Life

The photo on the front cover is one of Mike Radey (Mike is Martin Radey's older brother; Martin is my maternal grandfather) and 3 of his children (Mary, John and Kervin), on the front porch of 49 Gladstone Avenue, Toronto, circa 1914.
Back cover: photo at reception of Martin Radey's marriage to Gert McNulty, on verandah of 238 Gilmour Avenue, Toronto, August 9, 1927.

Gorgeous, don't you agree?

Until the next (beautiful) book...

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