Amy's e-book short story, Patriot Girls, is now available at all Amazon stores.
Amy's original story knocked the Æon editors' socks off back in 2008 with its lovely writing and haunting, innocent voice. We immediately snapped it up for a future issue. Before we could publish the story, Æon ceased publication. We gathered up our remaining inventory and took it to Patrick Swenson at Fairwood Press.
The Patriot Girls Cover
The illustration for Amy's story was one of my very favorites of the dozens I'd done for Æon's four-year run. To create it, I placed the picture of the girl in a prom dress in front of a photo of an antique American flag postcard. The flag is a bit dirty and tattered, which suggests that all is not right with America in this story, while the girl is oblivious and happy in her innocence.
When Amy agreed to use my illustration as an e-book cover, I was thrilled. To reinforce the theme of government, I used a classic Roman font, Perpetua Titling, for the title. I chose the matching Perpetua for Amy's name. The blue is a tint of a color taken from the flag behind the girl. Her hands lead the eye directly down to the author's name and the title.
Because the letterspacing in Perpetua Titling is a little wonky, it takes five separate pictures to properly kern the letters in "PATRIOT GIRLS" so that they look like two typeset words. The "A" is too far from letters on either side, so the "P" and "A" must be separate files. The letters "TRIO" had pretty good form, but the following "T" had to be separated and kerned in alongside the "O" so it looked like it belonged there. The letters in "GIRLS" had good letterspacing, but the space between words was excessive, so "GIRLS" had to be a separate graphic, pulled in toward the first word.
Amy also needed a publisher logo to represent her imprint, Tuxedo Bear Press. She wanted a simple graphic that evoked the spirit of the name, and I was lucky to find a nice negative-space drawing she loved for her logo. I added a geometric bow tie of the style seen in illustrations of the 20s and 30s, and chose the Art Deco typeface Broadway to evoke both the formality of the "tuxedo" idea, and the humor inherent in the concept. Its shapes also work well with the curves of the bear and the geometric shapes of the bow tie.
For the interior design of Patriot Girls, I wanted to incorporate elements from the cover. I used a scaled-down white star from the original flag artwork for the large images at the beginning and end of the story.
I wanted something slightly different for the scene break ornaments. Keeping with the red, white, and blue of the flag, I decided the pages needed a touch of red. There were of course no red stars, so I cut the white out of a star and inserted a red background in the form of a piece of one of the flag's red fabric stripes. Now everything in the book was working in visual harmony. I think the design does Patriot Girls justice, as I'd hoped I could.
Patriot Girls is available for sale at all Amazon stores, including Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. I think you're going to love it.