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Illustrate Your Novel?

Who doesn't love the illustrations in a book? Unfortunately, few adult books, fiction or nonfiction, contain llustrations. While nonfiction books might have a section or two with photographs, illustrations in adult fiction are seldom seen. A map, perhaps, a genealogy chart--that's the most readers can hope for, considering the cost. But there's another way to illustrate your novel: use Pinterest.

Set up a Pinterest page for each of your novels, using your own photos along with ones culled from the Internet to illustrate your story. Think about how you visualize your setting: woodlands? seaside? city streets? Historical novels and futuristic ones are particularly fun to illustrate. What do your fictional characters look like in your mind? Are there photos or paintings that resemble them? Is there a pet that plays a role in your story? What about significant objects: a paperweight, an antique desk with a secret drawer, a ruby necklace, a vintage car, or a pair of new shoes?

Readers have told me they enjoy the Pinterest pages I've created for my mysteries. Because mine are historicals, I try to find illustrations of places as they appeared in the 1920s, although many of the houses, train stations, police stations, and factories no longer exist. Because I weave real people through my stories (people like silent movie star Mary Pickford and vaudeville performer Jack Benny), I include photos of them as they appeared at the time my story takes place. I have photos of period cars, vaudeville acts, a "modern" washing machine, and a bottle of the poison I use on a number of victims. I posted pictures of my two antique beaded flapper dresses that inspired the party dress of my main character and pictures of the horses, dogs, and flowers that figure into the plots. Some of the most stunning images I found are of the Oregon coast and the sea caves there, which play an important role in one of my books. I illustrated my latest book, STOLEN MEMORIES (set in a castle in France), with pictures of chateaux, wine caves, vineyards, crooked medieval streets, and maps. For an example, see

Creating a Pinterest page before your book is published will give you the opportunity to mention it in your acknowledgments, author comments, Q&A, or wherever you put your personal information and website address. Add the Pinterest link to your blog, your website, and give the address at the bottom of your stationary below your signature. Illustrating your book doesn't take much time and is a heck of a lot of fun!

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