Allen asked me to illustrate one of these memorable swamp scenes for the cover. He wanted to include Johnny, Linc, Linc's dog Hooter, and Linc's treehouse-like cabin in the background. When doing research, I found a great Flickr stream with photographs from southern swamps during the 1930's.
He chose the third one. After several rounds of revisions I added color to the rough. Allen emphasized that he wanted a classic, nostalgic look. He had never worked with a digital artist before, and was a little worried that the cover would look too digital. So I went with a lot of golden light and a canvas texture on top. I was thinking of how period movies often have shafts of light streaming through dusty windows.
Here's the final. I think it captures the warm, adventurous spirit of the book - and completely relieved Allen's fears about looking too digital!
If you would like to order a copy of My Brother's Story, visit the Blackwater Novels website. Both hardback and e-book versions are available. (I do not receive any royalties from sales of the book.)