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One of the best things about making a book trailer was having the chance to work with pictures. I’m a visual thinker, but as a writer I mostly work with words, so immersing myself in images all day was a treat. And my favorite image from the trailer — Jeannette Faith’s stunning “Bride of the Sea” — has a great story behind it.

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Before I saw “Bride of the Sea,” I searched through many, many photo sites, trying to find an image of a girl by the ocean that felt right to me — an image that spoke of mystery and magic, of loneliness and strength, of storms and waves and the pull of the tide. A tall order, admittedly! I started to think it just wasn’t out there.

Then I saw Jeannette’s photo on Flickr, and I fell hard for it, and for her work as a whole. She creates haunting and truly inspired photographs. Each one sings a song; each one tells a story.

Wonderful as Jeannette’s sea photo was, I wasn’t sure I’d be allowed to use it. We had a shoestring budget for images, and I knew I’d have to ask for permission to alter the photo slightly. (The girl in the photo is blonde, and my heroine is dark.) I figured Jeannette would probably say no. But at last I girded up the courage to email her, explaining how much I loved the image and offering to pay her what I could afford to use the image in the trailer.

In return, I received the most incredibly generous letter from Jeannette, who granted me permission to use the photo for free, saying she “would be more than happy to help out a fellow artist.”

My book is about a girl who sings magic — and it turns out that Jeanette, in addition to being a gifted photographer, is a wonderful singer and musician. She does smooth, subtle vocals and keyboards for a terrific group called Hearts + Horses. (If you want to check out their music, you can find it on iTunes, bandcamp and Amazon. My very favorite track is “Be With Me.” )

She also composes and performs music for film. By the time I wrote to her, I was already committed to other music, but if any of you want to commission original music for your own trailers, take note!

I was amazed and delighted to discover all these musical connections behind “Bride of the Sea.” And every time I see Jeannette’s photograph, I’m amazed all over again – not just by the beauty of the image, but by the generous heart of the photographer.

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