History in Full Color

I love bringing history to life. I love historical books, historical movies, historical theater productions, historical clothing, historical re-enacting. All that. There’s just something about seeing history in full color that’s different from squinting at a blurry black-and-white photo and trying to remind myself that, despite all appearances to the contrary, the person in the photo actually lived in just as many colors as I do.

But speaking of black and white photos, that’s pretty much all I had to work with when I wrote Where Daffodils Bloom. Oh of course knew what most of the important colors actually where (like hair and eyes and such). But sadly, when it comes to actual colored photos from the time period of the book, I had a grand total of ONE colored picture of Fred, and ZERO colored pictures of Lily. In other words, I had to use a lot of imagination.

That’s why I’m SO excited to show you all a couple of photos that I just had restored and colorized. The first one is from Lily and Fred’s wedding day, and if you’ve read the book or hung around my blog much you’ve probably seen the old black and white version. I gave the company restoring the photos careful instructions to make Lily’s dress powder blue, since that’s what color we believe it was. (Bit of detective work there. Based on a passing comment in a letter from one her sisters that referenced the “blue shoes” she wore for the wedding). The pictures itself was an outdoor shot, and not portrait quality, but it’s still so cool to get an idea what it might have looked like in actual color!

By far my favorite of the two photos is this next one though. During the entire writing/publishing process for the book, I was wishing I had a really good, portrait-quality photo of Lily. I had 2 of Fred, one in civilian and one in military clothes. But for Lily, I only had group shots and a later passport photo. Nothing that really captured her.

However, AFTER the book was already in print, Lily’s daughter Sharon finally found the photo I’d been wishing existed all along. A real quality portrait photo. It was beautiful, even with the discoloration, scratches, and lack of color (yeah, it was still black-and-white). I did some DIY photo editing to get rid of some of the blemishes, and used it alongside a black-and-white version of Fred’s portrait for awhile. BUT I knew what I really wanted was to have a professional completely restore it and add the color the original lacked. This month, I finally got around around to having it done.


Isn’t she just GORGEOUS?

I requested that Photojoe, the company who did the restoration, make the background match the one in Fred’s portrait (which they also touched up) so I could have a matching set. I didn’t give them any special instructions for her clothes. They just happened to choose the yellow/gold color. I didn’t think much about it until I put the two photos side-by-side and realized they not only coordinated with each other, they also coordinated with the cover of the book! Blue and yellow. How perfect is that?

And speaking of the book, before I go I should mention that the ebook is currently discounted 33%, down to just $1.99! I dropped the price for Valentines day, and decided to leave it low in honor of….daffodils? They are blooming all over my yard right now. Yeah. Let’s say I left it on sale in honor of daffodils. Seems like as good a reason as any. Haha. So if you if you’ve been thinking of buying the kindle version, now is a good time to grab it!

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