A New Cover for Trouble’s Daughter

A New Cover for Trouble’s Daughter

What happens when a book goes out of print? In the olden days, that was that. But nowadays you can reissue the book yourself via print-on-demand (POD) publishing. One of the pleasures of this route is to choose your own cover for the book. 

For years I’d thought of reissuing my young adult novel Trouble’s Daughter: The Story of Susanna Hutchinson, Indian Captive. Part of my reluctance was due to the computer-related challenges. I also had to choose a new cover because I didn’t have the legal right to use the one made for the Delacorte and Dell Yearling editions of the book. It’s relatively easy to find stock images at little or no expense. But I wanted a professional book illustrator, though I didn’t have the kind of money to pay one.  

So, the Trouble’s Daughter reissue remained on hold for a decade until recently when a small miracle occurred. One of the descendants of my true-life protagonist, Susanna Hutchinson Cole, came into my life and took a great interest in seeing the book return to print. Captain Robert K. T. Cole, Jr. (retired, U.S. Marines, and Purple Heart recipient) contacted me through my website to request more information about his ancestor Susanna, who married his fourteen-times great grandfather John Cole. The Captain was also researching Susanna’s more-famous mother, Puritan firebrand Anne Hutchinson. Our correspondence began. He wanted to purchase autographed copies of Trouble’s Daughter for his children and grandchildren. It was a pleasure to sell him the fifty remaindered hardcovers I’d been stashing in my attic. Almost unbelievably, the Captain sought to buy even more copies so we eventually got into the discussion of how that might be possible through a print-on-demand venue such as Amazon’s KDP Publishing.  

Captain Robert K.T. Cole, Jr.

It was my great joy and privilege to hire, with the Captain’s financial help, the talented artist Ronald Himler, to paint the new cover art for Trouble’s Daughter. Ron illustrated my book Redcoats and Petticoats twenty years ago and we’ve been friends ever since. I also engaged a professional art director (and artist), my friend Christy Hale, to work with him. You see the happy result here. The Captain now owns the original painting. 

Ron read Trouble’s Daughtercame up with a few cover concepts and allowed me to pick the one I liked best. I’ll explain the artwork. Susanna, whose original clothes had been burned by her captors, wears a deerskin cloak. The clouds behind her reflect her inner emotional tension. As the clouds descend to her right, the sun breaks through behind the misty inlet on which a Lenape warrior, Wam-Pak, rows a dugout canoe with Susanna sitting in front. Separated from her family, who were murdered in a massacre, she does not know what the future has in store for her. The two women behind her, her mother in Puritan garb, and the wise woman, Som-kway, represent the most important influences in her psyche. The swans, one of Susanna’s totem animals, express her wish to be free of emotional conflict.  

Ron Himler

I couldn’t be more pleased with the new cover art. I’m also happy that after much effort the technical challenges of launching the new edition onto the Amazon KDP website have been overcome. Susanna, again, has the promise of new life.

Now comes the fun of ordering books. If you want your own copy, it’s available as a paperback as well as an e-book. A hardcover edition through Ingram is in the works. 

Voyage of the Continental

Voyage of the Continental

 

voyage-of-the-continental-1Voyage of the Continental
Holiday House
Ages 12 and up

Recommended by The Seattle Times

“Gr. 5-8. When Asa Mercer makes a public plea for women to come to the Washington Territory, Emeline, 17, decides to go with the hope of becoming a teacher. Through journal entries and occasional letters, she tells of her 1866 voyage by steamer from a New England mill town to Seattle. Aboard, she meets a woman traveling under an alias who fears for her life at the hands of her abusive, swindler husband. The mystery surrounding Ruby Shaw is a main plot thread, but readers also see Emmy growing in assurance and ability throughout the trip. Courting, kissing, and learning how to distinguish infatuation from true love are at the heart of this novel, which includes some real people but doesn’t confine itself to known events. The combination of historical detail, murder mystery, and romance works well, keeping a long journey from becoming tedious. Eleven pages of historical and research notes indicate where the author has deviated from known facts. Readers who enjoy lighthearted historical romance will find that this one fits the bill.—Carol A. Edwards, School Library Journal.

Trouble’s Daughter

Trouble’s Daughter

Trouble’s Daughter: The Story of Susanna Hutchinson, Indian Captive
Delacorte Press

Ages 11 and up
Recommended by the New York Public Library, “Books for the Teen Age”

Now available on Kindle and in a new paperback edition

“Gr. 5-8. With this compelling saga, Kirkpatrick comes to the foreground as a historical novelist. In 1663, Susanna Hutchinson, daughter of religious firebrand Anne Hutchinson, moved with her family to the wilds of Long Island so her mother would not be persecuted for her beliefs and public statements. Not long after, Lenape warriors massacre the family and take Susanna hostage. Susanna’s evolution from hostile, frightened prisoner to member of the tribe through her transition back to white society is both detailed and credible. The extended author’s note tells how Kirkpatrick did her research; it was extensive and shows in the book’s rich detail. There is even an appended list of Lenape words and pronunciations. But all the research in the world wouldn’t have helped had the telling been ineffective. Happily, Kirkpatrick not only spins a good story, she successfully makes readers understand what is happening inside Susanna’s head as she tries to come to terms with the fact that the man who murdered her mother is also her rescuer and in the tribe, her father. Readers will go through the emotional adjustment process with her, making this a book in which children do more than just view history, they see themselves.”—Ilene Cooper, Starred Review, Booklist.

Keeping the Good Light

Keeping the Good Light

Keeping

Victoria Yeh's cover art for Keeping the Good Light, available on Kindle in 2014

Keeping the Good Light

Delacorte Press

Ages 12 and up

Recommended by the New York Public Library, “Books for the Teen Age”
Winner, New York State Marine Education Association’s Herman Melville Book Award

Soon to be released on Kindle

“Gr. 5-9. Whether she’s spearing eels with her brothers or exploring the shoreline with renegade Ralph, Eliza Charity Brown is not easily contained by the tedium of life at Stepping Stones Lighthouse off the coast of Long Island. In the tumultuous year beginning in September, 1903, she experiences great loss, liberation from her routine, and heart-wrenching romance with a feckless dreamer. She also encounters the strict social expectations of a traditional community, where young women do not go abroad at night or think independently. Eliza does both, and consequently is expelled from her beloved school. When she sees a loveless marriage as her only viable option, she is rescued, at the last moment, by a job offer that takes her away from the closed society of City Island. The plot is engaging and enriched with substantial historical detail, bringing time and place vividly to light. Eliza’s personality is vibrant and irresistible; secondary characters are varied and multidimensional. Formal diction is appropriate for the narrative and, in contrast, the dialogue is more natural. Overall this is an outstanding book with a truly contemporary heroine in a historical setting. Readers of L. M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” series will find in Eliza a kindred spirit.”—Carolyn Noah, School Library Journal.

Between Two Worlds

Between Two Worlds

Between Two Worlds

Wendy Lamb Books / Random House

Ages 14 and up

Washington State Book Award finalist

Available in both hardcover and paperback editions

Kirkpatrick sets this engrossing work of historical fiction in Greenland in 1900–1901, when an American ship arrives with supplies for Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary; on board are his wife and 10-year-old daughter (whose story Kirkpatrick told in her nonfictional 2007 book The Snow Baby). Narrator Billy Bah is a 16-year-old married Inuit woman who lived in America with Peary’s family for a year during her childhood. Her experiences motivated her parents to follow suit, but they died in America. Deeply Inuit in spiritual foundation and lifestyle, Billy Bah nevertheless feels caught between cultures, a feeling that intensifies when her husband begins trading her (a common Inuit practice) to an American sailor to whom she grows deeply attracted. Rich details about building igloos; hunting, preparing, and eating animals; and sewing clothing from their skins and furs (Billy Bah is an expert seamstress who outfitted Peary’s expeditions) create a total immersion in Inuit life. While the sexuality isn’t explicit, the story’s mature themes recommend it to older readers. Includes extensive and equally fascinating historical notes, as well as a timeline of the real-life events.—Starred Review, Publishers Weekly.