CECELIA COX CATHIE PELLETIER KAY BLACK
Artist Kay Strong Black had read one of my novels while recuperating in a Nashville hospital. We finally met in Memphis while I was touring with my novel The One-Way Bridge. Two weeks later, I was back in Maine and doing a signing at the Jesup Memorial Library, in Bar Harbor. A couple from North Carolina saw that I was there and stopped in to say hello. That’s how I met another reader of my books, still life artist Cecelia Cox. I thank the stars, and book tours, for bringing us all together.
Both Cecelia and Kay came aboard as artists, with Cecelia painting the cover art. Kay did six of the chapter paintings, and then artistically edited the old illustrations we used for three of the chapters. They worked frantically with me to get it all done in a month. Imagine that. And so did book designer Tara McKenzie, of Memphis, who labored beyond the call of duty. No one complained. Ever. And that says a lot about their professionalism.
I met copy editor Laurel Robinson while I was visiting professor of writing at the University of Maine at Machias. (She has put the Oxford comma back into my life, but has taken away one of the two spaces that I loved to put between sentences.)
So here’s what happened: one day I looked up and realized that we are all women! That wasn’t planned, but it’s been one of the most rewarding projects of my career. And for the next book, an amazing woman in Nashville will be aboard to help with publicity. Thank you, everyone. It’s been a pleasure to work with you all. Now, to sell some books!
K.C. MCKINNON is the author of the best-selling novels Dancing at the Harvest Moon and Candles on Bay Street, both published by Doubleday. Dancing at the Harvest Moon was made into a Columbia TriStar film starring Jacqueline Bisset, Valerie Harper, and Eric Mabius. Candles on Bay Street became a Hallmark Hall of Fame film starring Alicia Silverstone. K. C. McKinnon is the pseudonym of author Cathie Pelletier, who has written twelve novels, including The Funeral Makers, The Weight of Winter, The One-Way Bridge, A Year After Henry, and The Summer Experiment, her first middle grade novel. She has returned to northern Maine, to the house where she was born and raised, on the banks of the St. John River. www.CathiePelletier.com
CECELIA COX is an accomplished artist who creates works of painterly realism and is best known for her evocative still lifes. Painting from life, and taking advantage of the natural north light in her studio, she works in oil and develops her paintings in layers, based on careful observation of drawing, value, color, and edges. Cox studied briefly at the Atlanta College of Art and spent a year in Europe, where she visited many major museums. Recently she has been inspired by the work of contemporary Dutch still life artists and by the ateliers of Florence, Italy. Her works are in many private and public collections. An associate member of the Oil Painters of America and American Women Artists, she lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. www.CeceliaCox.com.
KAY STRONG BLACK was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and has been drawing since before she could write. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design from the University of Tennessee, and has used her art and design skills in various markets, from designing casual wear for companies to her current job, in which she designs comfortable living spaces for her clients. She lives in Germantown, Tennessee, close to where she grew up.
TARA MCKENZIE has been a graphic designer since 2001. Her designs can be seen anywhere from the local newspapers to websites for various Fortune 500 global companies. She currently resides in Memphis, Tennessee.
LAUREL ROBINSON is a copy editor in Machias, Maine, who has worked with words her entire career. www.laurelcopyeditor.com.
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