The First of the Illustrations

As promised, I’ll be posting the full-color illustrations from The Christmas Carol Murders over the next few weeks as the publication date (September 25, 2012) approaches.

This was the first of Tina Granzo’s illustrations, which occurs early in the book, just before the first murder is discovered. My protagonist, Simon Alastair, is portraying Ebenezer Scrooge in a holiday tableau in Dickens Square, in the little town of Dickens Junction, Oregon. Looking on the scene is one of the Dickens Carolers. The person portraying the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is…well, you’ll just have to read the book to find that out.

I’m thrilled with Tina’s illustrations, and I hope you will be, too, as you see them. She captures that special “cozy” feel that I tried hard to achieve with my story, and her illustrations support that, but also add an extra dimension. Almost all of Dickens’s novels were illustrated when they appeared in serial form, and those illustrations were then reproduced when the novels were published in book form. In the case of A Christmas Carol, which was published as a stand-alone book in 1843, some of the illustrations by John Leech were hand-colored etchings, a choice Dickens made that increased the cost of the book and therefore decreased Dickens’s profits (The Carol was, as we would say today, self-published). I asked Tina to examine the Leech illustrations for inspiration for her own work, with this first illustration most closely following one from Dickens’s and Leech’s original.

I also asked Tina to examine Henry Holliday’s illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s poem, “The Hunting of the Snark,” particularly with respect to the recurrence of the image of the Bellman. I asked Tina to consider the Dickens Caroler in the same light, and she followed through with my request to highly satisfying results.

I hope that Tina’s artistry will pique your interest in The Christmas Carol Murders. See the evolution of Tina’s work on this illustration at her blog: http://fatesguild.com/page/2/

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