Donna Everhart

Meet Estelle!

Once a writer succeeds in becoming published, there are many milestones which are part of the process of getting a book onto bookshelves.  I have absolutely reveled in every step, from creating Readers Guide questions, to writing acknowledgements and thinking about dedications, to working on revisions and copy edits, and yes, it’s supposed to be work, but it’s not.  I enjoy it all too much to consider it in the traditional sense of what is thought of as a job.

One milestone in particular which stands out to all authors is the first time seeing their book cover.  The graphic artist has likely stared at hundreds, maybe even thousands of stock photos available.  The cover strives to convey a message about the story within, but, when one considers all the stock photos, it seems highly unlikely any author would ever come to know a model.  The photos are uniquely generic, sometimes of legs only, the backsides of people, ones with their heads turned – and yes, what would seem headless – like THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET.

Imagine my surprise when, several months ago, I received a private message from a very nice lady named Kami Cameron.  She had reached out to me, thrilled that her daughter’s stock photo was selected as the cover for THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET!  The photographer is a very talented man named Rodney Harvey.

Here is his original shot:

After Kami reached out to me, Mr. Harvey also messaged me, and I was so excited about that!  In my opinion, this is a once in a lifetime  connection to people who’ve become very special, particularly the young lady who graces my book cover!

So, without further do, meet Estelle! 

She’s eleven years old – why do I imagine if she were within earshot, she’d say, “almost twelve!”  🙂 and she is quite the musician in her own right, playing piano, flute and guitar.  Her mother also shared she plays by ear, which is amazing in of itself, because for those who’ve read the story, you know this too is the talent of Wallis Ann’s older sister, the autistic savant, Laci.

Estelle loves animals, has a dog named Pearl, pictured below, a fawn, (injured, but after a vet fixed her up, they decided to keep her) a mule, and I think a bunch of chickens.  🙂  She also does gymnastics, and her mama says she is quite busy!

I feel so honored to know Estelle, her family and the Harveys.  They are special to me, and always will be. How lucky I am to have had this unexpected introduction to them, and to get a peek into their lives in the lovely state of Missouri.





12 thoughts on “Meet Estelle!”

    1. What’s been even more fun is reading the letter Estelle sent to me – her personality matched that sweet smile on her face!

  1. This is outstanding and so moving, Donna! And I love everything about Estelle. She sounds absolutely amazing… <3 <3 <3

    1. She’s very special. Her entire family is…! I especially loved reading her letter to me – she can write! 🙂 <3 <3 <3

  2. I mean…look at that face! Adorable. And she has the personality (form what I can gather in her letter, and her mama’s descriptions of her) to match! A typical, all American girl!

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