I drew my own illustrations for The Only Genuine Jones, but The Atholl Expedition is an entirely different project and I had a very specific look in mind for the artwork. Classic Alpine mountaineering books like Scrambles Amongst the Alps and The Playground of Europe are brought to life by charming and distinctive black and white illustrations depicting scenes on the mountain. Since The Atholl Expedition is the first volume in my Alpine Dawn series, I wanted to evoke that style and take the reader back to the mid 19th century.
I have commissioned Catherine Speakman (also a talented mountain photographer) to create four pieces of artwork for my book, one of which is shown above – a quick snap, I must hasten to add, not the final high quality scanned article. I’m astonished by the quality of her work and also how perfectly she has managed to capture my characters and ideas. In the picture above we see Queen Victoria and Prince Albert watching the champion hart of Atholl, Damh-mor, at rest before the ice-filled amphitheatre of Braeriach and Sgòr an Lochain Uaine.
Catherine has brought my story to life just as vividly as Edward Whymper did for his own classic mountaineering books, and I can’t wait for my readers to see the rest of her illustrations.
In other news, I have sent my manuscript off to my editor for professional scrutiny and all is on track for a Christmas release of the Kindle edition. If you enjoy my work, please, please do all you can to build excitement and anticipation; I rely on the enthusiasm of my loyal fans, and so many of you have already shown much kindness in spreading the word and helping to build momentum.
For those of you who prefer the physical article, don’t worry: a paperback edition is also being produced, although it won’t be ready until early 2014. I’m really excited about this book and I hope it will serve as a worthy prelude for my new series of mountain fiction.
How to get the book before (almost) anyone else
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Image (C) Catherine Speakman 2013. All Rights Reserved.