Once upon a time, my talented Mother wrote a book called "Raspberries and Vinegar". No wait, that's a lie. She wrote a book called "Domino's Game". She thought about self publishing the novel and asked me about doing a cover. I played around with a sketch as I read the book, and came up with this:
A short while later, Mom sold the book to Choose Now Publishing and told Nicole (the publisher) about her lovely illustrator daughter who had already come up with a cover idea. I showed them both my sketch, and surprisingly they decided to trust me, even though it was clearly a hot mess at that point.
We changed the title to "Simply Smitten", Mom told me that Zach actually wanted to wear a newsboy cap, and I told her that really, he didn't have a mustache (see, I had already refused to draw it). She changed it to a short beard. And told me that Jo didn't have curly hair. Oh, and changed the name to "Raspberries and Vinegar". No more titles!
I asked a couple friends to model for me. Aren't they adorable? They got married later that week. This is actually two shots combined with photoshop magic powers.
Now, I knew that Zach was supposed to be about ten years older than my friend Kyle, and that he needed a beard and a hat. I wanted Jo to be wearing Hunter boots (I wish I had a pair, but for now I will just draw them). Also, I needed a border collie puppy. Time to hit up Google for some references.