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Dear Sir, I’m Yours: Behind the Scenes with Color

“White is virginal innocence, which brings out all my wickedness and debauchery. To a man like me, it’s like waving the white flag of surrender. I see you pure and innocent in white and I can think of nothing else but all the ways I might be able to get that pretty white a bit dirty.” ~ Conn

Maybe it’s just me, but if an author mentions a specific detail about a character in the story, I (as a reader) want it to mean something.  I don’t want to know about their favorite color, what books they read, where they work, etc. if it has no impact on WHO this character is.  So maybe it’s a foible of mine to make color so important to a story.

I’ve always assigned meaning to color.  I carefully select a color theme for each story BEFORE I begin writing.  I have to have a matching notebook for the story.  The pattern or color end up signaling to my brain which story I’m working on. 

For example, there’s a reason the blog is mostly black:  it’s in honor of Johnny Cash’s Man In Black.  But it also stands for the darkness I typically include, whether shadows, old hurts, or dark emotions.  I’ve always been intrigued with the Dark Side. 

In Dear Sir, I’m Yours, colors take on some subtle meanings.  Miss Belle could never have a parasol in any color other than pink.  It would violate her character.  Conn would never have a Mustang in any other color than black, and as you can see from the quote above, he loves to see Rae in white.

When I filled out the questionaire for the cover, I emphasized the importance of white and black.  I never mentioned that Rae’s favorite color is cherry red.  We went through a couple of different design ideas, and then Scott sent this one and I almost fell out of my chair.  All that glorious red.  I hadn’t asked for it, but it couldn’t have been any better for the story.

After all, this story is all about Rae.  Her preferences, her fears, her desires.  Conn would want her to have a red cover.

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