Katharina: Section Breaks.

Now call me obsessive, (OH often does) but when my first book (Turn of the Tide) was published by Capercaillie I was asked what I’d like for the section breaks. ‘Tower house.’ I said. What  I got was undoubtedly a tower, but it was an English tower, not a

English tower



Scottish one. However, I didn’t discover that until I saw the printed books, and by then it was too late to protest. I consoled myself with the thought that a) it was more appropriate than asterisks or a random curlicue would have been and b) probably I’d be the only person to notice. (True.) Until I pointed it out, of course, which I couldn’t resist doing.

When it came to the second book (A House Divided) I determined to do better. So the artist who drew the map for the front of the book also produced a line drawing of the tower house that featured on the cover – Greenknowe near Gordon, about 7 miles from where I live. This was the tower that was the model for the exterior of the Munro’s house, Broomelaw, and it became the section break motif. The other contender, Smailholm tower, which was the model for the interior of Broomelaw, had a much less interesting roof line.

Scottish tower house motifAnd finally when Turn of the Tide was reprinted the tower house was inserted there too – result.

For Katharina I wasn’t sure what I wanted as a section break motif. At first I thought I’d use a cross, but decided that would it be too thin, then the Luther rose, but that didn’t seem quite right, given Martin’s place within this story. Finally, I settled on a curlicue, and discovered there are dozens, if not hundreds of examples to choose from. Which was when inspiration struck again.

Here is one page of my (many) attempts to draw what I wanted…

Curlicue attempts

and here is the final curlicue in print form

Curlicue in book

I’m pleased with how it turned out, but I wonder if anyone, other than me, will work out why I wanted that particular shape?


5 thoughts on “Katharina: Section Breaks.

  1. I’m tempted to suggest you were tempting a graphic on the initial of your name, but that can’t be right. Are you going to tell us?
    I’ve had a lot of fun in the past, designing these, but in the end didn’t use them.

    • Her headband was the inspiration, Andrew – if you look closely at her portrait.

  2. Maybe I’ll come clean n a week or two, Andrew, once I’ve given folk a chance to try to work it out…

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