Thursday, November 3, 2011

Author Interview: Lisa Brown + Giveaway (US/CA)

Please Welcome Lisa Brown!

Lisa Brown is the illustrator for the haunting historical fantasy book Picture the Dead. I gushed about the knockout combination of pictures and text in my Picture the Dead review. Back story snoop that I am, I couldn't help but ask Lisa about the inspiration and development of her illustrations in Picture the Dead. Check out her answers below!

 There are NO spoilers here!

Jennie Lovell
Our heroine

Jennie Lovell, our indomitable heroine. I changed her hairstyle in later versions, after Adele described her hair as lush and curly. Her dress reminds me of the clothing in the "Sound of Music;" that is, made from old curtains.

William Pritchett
Jennie's fiance

William Pritchett. The epitome of "dashing." I'm fairly smitten with Will and his brother. Check out the wonderful Tumblr blog,, for more dead hotties.

Quincy Pritchett
Will's brother, a man with a secret

Quincy Pritchett, my absolute favorite. His original model is a bit too old for the part, so I regressed him to his teenaged self and removed his glasses. He gets even sexier, in my opinion, later on when he sports an eye patch. Arrrrrr!

The maid, Jennie's confidant

Mavis, the little Irish maid. Her dress is much simpler than her employers', no pattern or stylishly puffed sleeves. Note how she looks a bit frightened.

Henry Pritchett
Jennie's passive uncle

Uncle Henry Pritchett. I drew him unaltered from his original photograph. Couldn't improve upon perfection. I am especially pleased with the pattern I found for the background, however. All of the "wallpaper" patterns are made from actual Victorian designs that I mostly discovered in clip art Dover books.

Clara Pritchett
Jennie's awful aunt

I honestly had trouble finding a model who was detestable enough to represent Clara in all her vile-ness. I was particularly keen to portray Adele’s incredible description of a “chin that wobbled like aspic.” Nobody during the Civil War era seemed to have such a chin. I tried concocting a composite from several existing portraits, but, in the end, I had to invent Clara out of whole cloth, sketching her out by hand. I gave her the requisite double chin, little girly ringlets, and an air of entitlement. Voila. Aunt Clara.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Lisa! 

Lisa was kind enough to give me a copy of one of my favorite pictures from Picture the Dead. The picture is from Jennie's scrapbook and is of the horrible Aunt Clara--but Jennie has scratched out her face!

I love how clearly Lisa captures all of Jennie's feelings of loathing and frustration for her aunt in that one simple image. And after reading about Aunt Clara, I can totally relate!

Which picture is your favorite? If you haven't read the book yet, which of these characters are you most curious about? 


I have a copy of Picture the Dead and a PtD t-shirt up for grabs! Both are modeled below (in a photo taken just for YOU!) by Lisa's co-author Adele Griffin (you already know how I feel about Adele).

Info for the giveaway:
  • As always, you do NOT have to be a follower
  • You must have a US/CA mailing address
  • You must be 13 years of age or older
  • One entry per person
  • Your address is not required, but including it will help with sending the book out to you sooner
  • I will contact the winner through email and the winner will have 24 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen 
  • The giveaway will close December 7th

Ruby has an interview and giveaway today with one of my favorite authors. Click here to join in on their conversation! 

Check out our Historical Fantasy Jubilee full schedule of events and giveaways!

Have you entered to win our prize pack giveaways?


  1. Great post! I love these illustrations. What I think is really cool is that Lisa improved upon the old photographs. Like most old photos, the people pictured look tired and dowdy (and they probably were after sitting in front of a camera for a long time). Lisa's illustrations keeps the old fashioned look but makes them seem more alive.

  2. It looks totally awesome! Added this book to my TBR. I love the art, it looks amazing.

    Can't enter the giveaway though (:

  3. Too cool! That's awesome.

    (not an entry)

  4. Wow, don't tell Adele this, but the pictures actually make me want to read this book more than our interview with her. Probably it's the pictures of Will and his brother. I'm a sucker for men in period clothing. Whoa, I should have included that in my Why HF post. Perhaps it deserves a post of its own.

  5. I didn't know that this book got illustrations, now I want it more. :)

  6. Alison, Haha, YES! They look more vibrant in Lisa's pictures, don't they? That effect helped make me feel like I was currently living in that time period and not just looking back at old photos. And then Adele makes their personalities come to life even more. The combination is perfect.

    Celine, I really loved the book! I'm so sorry you can't enter the giveaway :( I hope you still can get your hands on a copy of the book. It kept me guessing right up to the end.

    Juju, I agree!

    Ruby, Haha, I think your secret is out! But, yeah, how can you not appreciate the hotness of Civil War era guys?? They're all rugged and manly. I don't blame Jennie for, well, don't want to spoil anything! I think men in period clothing definitely deserves a post of its own. With pictures :)

    Nina, It does! And they so perfectly complement the words.

  7. William and Henry are the ones I find more intriguing. I love the illustrations they are fab!

  8. what interesting illustrations - and kind of creepy. I'm going over to check out your review of the book. Love these author interviews!!

  9. Alex, They are SUCH intriguing characters! William has such secrets and mystery surrounding him and poor Henry! How I feel for him married to that monstrous woman :P I love the worn down expression in his illustration.

    Jen, I'm so glad you're enjoying them! The book is VERY creepy, both because of the living and the dead. :)

  10. Jennie of course! I want to know her story and I've been wanting to read this book ever since you did that cover post on Tighter and brought this one to my attention....a long time!!


  11. Lots of fun to see the old photographs that were the inspiration for the illustrations! And thanks for the awesome giveaway :)

  12. Oooh I want to know more about Quincy! Eye patches are hot!

  13. I think I'm partial to Quincy with Jennie coming in as a close second.

    I'm curious about this book since its on your Special Shelf, plus its been on my TBR for a long while.

  14. Awesome pictures and illustrations! I like her ghost shirt, too!

  15. Heather, Jennie is a very interesting girl. :)

    Danya, Isn't it cool? Glad you liked it!

    Book Sake, They are hot! Quincy was a very intriguing man.

    Gina, Quincy and Jennie are great picks! I wish I could say more about why, but you're just going to have to read it to find out :)

    Julie, I like the shirt too! It's a great quote from the book.

  16. William Pritchett is my favorite definitely! Leave it to me to pick the hottest dead guy there ;P

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  17. Lol, Asher just echoed my thoughts :) Thanks for the giveaway, Small.

  18. I havn't read the book yet. I'm curious in Jennie Lovell. Thanks for the great post and giveaway!

  19. I havn't read the book yet. I'm curious in Jennie Lovell. Thanks for the great post and giveaway!

  20. I havn't read the book yet. I'm curious in Jennie Lovell. Thanks for the great post and giveaway!

  21. I haven't read the book yet but I like pic of Quincy. I do wished he had retained his glasses.
    Glasses are sexy!

  22. I can't help being curious about Quincey's dark secret.

    I love these illustrations!

  23. i love the jennie and will portraits the best! Esp the pattern on jennie's dress! of course, they're the characters I'm most intrigued by!


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