Sunday, April 13, 2008

Unsung Patriot by Virginia Vassallo

We want you to share your book cover with us. An attractive cover is a big element in the appeal of your book.

We want the details about yours.

  1. Did you design the cover?

The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. My editor/book designer originally wanted to collage of family photos on the cover. I wanted a photo of my grandfather, Guy T. Viskniskki, since the book was about him. I also wanted the photo of him that I was most familiar with – one from the late 1930s. My husband suggested that I use a photo of Guy in his military uniform from 1917, when he started The Stars and Stripes newspaper. After that I decided that the backdrop for Guy’s photo should be the first edition of the newspaper. I sent both to my cover designer and also told her I liked ‘color’ and maybe we should use red, white and blue to emphasize The Stars and Stripes.

  1. Did your publisher design the cover?

No, I self-publish so I was able to have lots of input into what I wanted on the cover of Unsung Patriot.

  1. Did you get to give any input about the cover design?

Definitely yes, as can be seen in question #1. I don’t think I’d like not having some input.

  1. Is there an interesting story behind the cover design? If so, please share the details.

I never knew my grandfather; I only saw him in photos and the most prominent one was of a bald-headed man in his late 60s. So that is my image of him. However, I have tons of family photos and when I realized that I had one of him in his army uniform from 1917 that seemed to be the photo to use. It certainly dates him and the time period of one third of my book. However, the man on the cover doesn’t look like “my” grandfather to me.

  1. Who is the cover artist?

Janice Phelps Williams laid out the cover design while I provided the photo of my grandfather and The Stars and Stripes. My daughter also helped. I emailed her the original cover design. She felt something was just not right and suggested that the print be changed to an older print that looked more like a typewriter than a computer. It made a big difference. She also made some other suggestions about exactly where Guy’s photo should be in relation to the first page of the newspaper.

  1. Are you happy with the cover?

Yes, I am.

  1. If not, what would you change and why?

Since I am happy with the cover, I wouldn’t change anything. I think having so much input into the design and having my husband and daughter look it over (in case I didn’t notice something) made me feel sure that I had the best cover I could have.

  1. Tell us what you think is the best part of the cover.

I like the way Guy is super-imposed on the front page of the first edition of The Stars and Stripes. Combining that with the red, white and blue motif really makes the book come across as being patriotic. Maybe that’s not such a good thing in this day and age, but I like it.

  1. Is there anything else about your cover that we need to know? Feel free to share.

I think having a number of people look at the original design helps. That way the author doesn’t get caught up in the excitement of seeing a cover. People who are not so involved can give a much more objective opinion – an opinion closer to that of the buying public.

  1. Please provide your website link.

  1. What is the link to buy your book?

You can purchase Unsung Patriot from or using Paypal. You can also send a check for $21.95 to Krazy Duck Productions, PO Box 105, Danville, KY 40423 and I will send you an autographed copy of the book.


Charles J. Westwick said...

I must admit I hadn't realized The Stars & Stripes was originally published during the "War to End All Wars."
When I was in the Army during the military occupation of Germany (as an MP stationed in Garmisch, Bavaria), I read every edition of Stars & Stripes I could get hold of. The publication was quite a treat for the typical G.I. in those far-off and lonely days.

Virginia G. Vassallo said...

Charles: Thank you for your comment. Actually, the very first issue of The Stars and Stripes was published in Bloomfield, MO, during the Civil War. And there was only the one edition. My grandfather started the paper that we know today during WWI. That edition ended in June, 1919, when our troops came home from France and was re-started in 1942 when we had troops in Britain during WWII. My grandfather's founding principles -- By and For the Soldiers -- are still in force today. And you can read the paper online.