Creating “Hope of the Future” book cover

Creating “Hope of the Future” book cover

Yesterday I shared the process I went through to create the front and back covers for Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. That creation was arduous partly because it was my first foray into creating a cover, and also because I had to create a back cover and spine for the print version.

Today I’ll share the steps in creating the cover for the second book in the Darcy Saga Prequel Duo. Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future has a tentative, hopeful release for June or July 2014. I have yet to create the back cover, so will probably talk about that at a much later date. The front cover I wanted to have done so I could reveal the news of two books versus one with a nice visual! Below is the finished product.

So, in approaching the cover for the second book I was at an advantage right off by having already spent hours upon hours gathering graphics, ideas, and images of paintings with couples together. Plus, I had the first book of the duo as a reference, so to speak, knowing I wanted the aesthetic of the two to be similar. I began by looking through all the images of painting with couples in love that I had gathered in files on my computer and on my Pinterest boards. You can see the latter by clicking this link: Pinterest “Paintings: Romantic”

WilliamABreakspeare copy
“Newly Married” by William A. Breakspeare (1856-1914)

In truth, there were several options that excited me, so narrowing it down was difficult. The painting I chose – “Newly Married” by William A. Breakspeare (1856-1914) – was, of all the options, closest to the Knowles painting used on A Season of Courtship. Plus, the title appealed! Another perk was that the pic was perfect, the only enhancement being a slight brightening of the colors and increase in the clarity.  Look carefully for one big difference between it and my cover. Yes, the sky was changed, but there is something else…


Did you see them? Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennet? Yep! Just for fun, I took the couple from the painting “An Afternoon Stroll” by Pompeo Massani (1850-1920) and used GIMP to erase the background and layer the people onto the main image. Doing so also served the purpose of covering the woman in the doorway. Cool!


An Afternoon Stroll by Pompeo Massani

Are they heading to the church? Or maybe leaving after the wedding? Or perhaps simply strolling the streets of Meryton in the week or so before the ceremony? Could be any of those options!

To make clear the theme of “wedding” I found the lovely painting of Saint Giles Church in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire for the bottom half. No particular reason other than I really loved the old look to this church.

For the title background I used a blank frame graphic, recolored it green to match Darcy’s jacket, and chose a marbled background. Again I went to Cool Text for the title, using “brock” script for a change, and the same green color as the accent.

All in all, this cover was much easier to put together. I used GIMP, of course, and worked on it in one afternoon, while watching the BBC version of Sherlock at the same time. Love that show!

What do you think? I am very pleased with both and can’t imagine changing anything. But, another nice aspect to creating my own covers is that IF I felt the need to alter something, I just open up the saved files in GIMP and tweak as needed. Sweet!

There you have it! I hope this brief education on cover creating was fascinating.




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Connie Raul

Has hope for the future been released?


This is also my question. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for it to be released. I know that you (Sharon) have said that you’ve lost your muse and interest in continuing this story for reasons of your own but please, please put is all out of our misery. You must have had a near completed novel if you had already designed the cover and set a tentative release date, so how can we convince you to continue on with it or to at least answer any of these comments, even if the answer is never to be finished!

Cathy Johnson

When will Hope for the Future be published? I’ve been waiting a long time!!

Lizann Hooper

Do you have a release date for Hope of the future yet? I’ve been waiting years!!!

Julie Wolf

I was wondering the same, I just finished A Season of Courtship and loved it, now for this 2nd book please 🙂

Jill Brock

Do you have a release date for Hope of the Future yet?


Hi Sharon, I love the gallery. It was so awesome to see all the pictures that co mingled with the story, they were lovely and really made the book come alive. I’m so excited about hope for the future I was wondering if there was an expected release date? Even though I’ve already read the entire series I want to re read it once this next book is published back to back. So any info would be great

Joy King

Absolutely beautiful, Sharon. It is the type of cover that draws the eye. You have far more skill than I do. What day did you say this would be available?


Mahal nut loa for you wonderful novels. I just finished A Season of Courtship and I am anticipating the next installment. I will be reading THE rest of the saga( for the 6th time) while I wait. Please keep writing new material.


I just finished reading a season of courtship and was extremely sad to find out the next book is not out yet 🙁 I’m not used to waiting so this is already killing me.. lol


Amazing Sharon. You have done a wonderful job on both covers they are both beautiful in their own right and I think the second is my favourite. I didn’t realise there are so many things to consider when you are adding and changing images. It is all so interesting to learn and I would have had no idea that so much work has gone into perfecting the pictures to suit the cover. I love your addition of Jane and Bingley very clever !
The pic of the kiss is very sweet too! I cannot wait to start reading your novel, I’m just putting it off so I can appreciate it all the more and so it doesn’t end too quickly 😉
Best wishes for the well deserved success of both books xox


You are very talented and creative, Sharon. Thanks for sharing the process of creating your book covers. I love both paintings of couples that you choose. And I’m another fan of Sherlock.


I like your choice of painting for the cover and agree the characters look similar…although your second choice would’ve been so romantic…but the choice is nice. I did see Bingley & Jane when you pointed them out…..I love the layout of the cover, another beautiful job. Looking forward to this release as well.

Georgia Boone

Love the pic in the snow!!! You did great on the cover!!! No explanation on the house??????

Emily Myers

Thank you, again, for sharing your process for the covers. It is so cool to know the “behind the scenes!” By the way, I love Sherlock as well AHHHHH and it made my day how you just threw that comment in there. 🙂 I am looking so forward to this book.

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