Here’s a sneak preview of some of the drawings from the book.
One of the most interesting things about working on historical fiction is researching the period. I’ve always been fascinated by history, I often think if I wasn’t an illustrator I’d have become a researcher or archaeologist, nevertheless I have to admit my knowledge of 1880’s Colorado was limited. Nowadays the internet is a great help in finding accurate period references, but the publishers also kindly sent me a package of material to give me a very clear idea of the setting. For book illustrators it’s important to be able to use the details of reference material to place yourself right in the location and time period. Often the pursuit of visual reference takes you in paths completely unrelated to the book. Thanks to Family Reminders I’ve learned a great deal about the gold rush, Colorado, and the late nineteenth century frontier in general.
Although the book is fiction, the location, the furniture, costume, hair styles and outside scenes are all based closely on actual references from Cripple Creek at the time, so I’m quietly confident that although I’ve never visited the town, my drawings fit accurately. If you see any slip ups however do let me know!