The cover is coming along, and some real life figures in the book…

I’m very excited to share with you a section of the cover of The Girls of Haviland. I met the talented illustrator, Lisa Fields, at a SCBWI Conference in Manhattan in 2015. We had lunch together and discovered we both hailed from the Northern Westchester/Putnam area of New York.

Fast forward to earlier this month when I cancelled an order for a pre-made book cover from an overseas company that did not get back to me in the time frame they promised. I found Lisa’s work sample cards in the briefcase that I had brought to the conference, and I contacted her straight away. I’ve loved the process of working with a local artist. I hope Lisa can say the same, as I’ve had a clear image of what Jay and Florence look like in my mind for years, and I’ve suggested several tweaks to make these images match what I’ve had in mind. I can’t wait to see the finished cover on 8/17, which I know will contain an image of the school as well as the biplane that Violet falls, or jumps from, in the beginning scene of the book.

I wanted to share with you two real people who appear in The Girls of Haviland. The first is Edith Diehl, a bookbinder who started the Brewster Public Library in 1905. Her father, Philip Diehl, owned Diehl’s Confectionary on Main Street in Brewster.

When World War One broke out, Edith closed her bookbinding shop and got involved with the Red Cross. Edith was commissioned to operate a Woman’s Land Army Training Camp at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. The Women’s Land Army trained women to perform farm work while male farm workers were fighting overseas. Jay mentions Edith Diehl during her conversation with Ruth Lefkowitz following the Women’s Party meeting in Lake Mahopac.

Marjorie Addis attended Edith Diehl’s Women’s Land Army Camp at Wellesley. Marjorie was editor of The Brewster Standard, a village newspaper. My character, Margaret Addison, is based on Marjorie Addis.

There is currently a display at The Southeast Museum on The Women’s Suffrage Movement and World War I. There you can find an exhibit on Edith Diehl’s accomplishments. The original sign for The Brewster Standard is hanging in the museum.

 

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