Diana Murdock

Have you ever wondered what it takes to capture the heart of a novel and bring it to life on the cover?  Before Souled was first released in June 2012, I was fortunate enough to be able to convince, Crystalyn Abercrombie, my tattoo artist, to design the cover.  During the making of it, she shared with me her thoughts each step of the way.  I was so impressed with everything that went into the design, how she really, really grasped what I wanted, and went all out to bring my vision to life, I had to interview her so I could share the process with you.   You can catch that interview on my blog.

However, as much as I adored the original cover of Souled, I felt a change was needed to encompass more of the essence of the novel, which, in addition to ancient sorcery, was a story of love so absolute, so pure, it could transcend ordinary reason.  And because the location of the story takes place in North Idaho, I wanted to include the community of Sandpoint in the Souled experience.

I was very fortunate that Scott and Elaina, “regular” and very busy teens in Sandpoint, agreed to be the models for this cover.  Elaina is a very active student, a senior at the high school, involved in dance team, French club, NHS, and math club.

Scott, the youngest male to be named to the US Men’s Alpine Ski Team two years ago, is currently independent and is actively training with an eye on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.  You can check out his website here.

Although neither of them are professional models, they handled themselves like pros and gave the photographer 100% effort.  And in my opinion, it shows.

Also helping to put a professional touch to the make-up part of the session, I was thrilled to have Kimberlee Langford, a local make-up specialist, on board.

The tattoo from the original cover was definitely kept as part of this cover as that is a constant symbol in the story (as well as tattooed onto my own body).

It’s been incredible working with the people in the community on something such as this project, because after all, it’s their town, their turf, and their support of the novel is very important.


Now that  Souled has been released, I thought it would be fun to post some “on location” pictures  of where the story unfolds.

Sandpoint High School

Sandpoint High, where most of the action takes place.  To the left and around the back of the building is where “the portables” are.  Notice the overcast skies, which is more normal than not in these parts.

Panhandle Animal Shelter

The animal shelter here in Ponderay does a fabulous job of taking care of the animals.  This is where Dani and Seth spend a lot of time volunteering.  Well, Dani does at least…

Dub’s on Highway 2 – a favorite of the locals and tourists alike.  This is where Seth, Dani, and Justin hang out.  Burgers (served with tater tots!), shakes, fries…all the good stuff.

The Dive

I’m so bummed The Dive closed down since writing Souled.  I understand it moved to Spokane, WA.  It was a very cool place to hang out.

Sandpoint Events Center

This building is the restored high school, now turned into a beautiful building that holds some offices and a gymnasium size room for large events, such as  the Winter Dance.

Cafe 95 Restaurant at the Long Bridge

This restaurant used to be called the Long Bridge Grill, but halfway through writing Souled, I had to change the name as the restaurant changed owners.

Path to undercrossing

The Long Bridge undercrossing

Hidden under the Long Bridge, Seth is able to manipulate the water below.

The Library at Sandpoint

A really nice, really modern library.  A favorite place to go to use the computers, hang out after school, and great to grab the latest new releases and old classics.

Memorial Field bleachers

An across-the-field look at the bleachers where Dani and Alyx meet… way up there in the far corner on the left is where I envisioned them sitting.  Looks kinda lonely, doesn’t it?  A perfect place for a secret meeting.

South entrance of Long Bridge

One of the benches on the Long Bridge

The Long Bridge is the bridge to run, walk, rollerblade, or just enjoy the water.

The Commons

The Commons – the hub of Sandpoint High.  Lunches, meetings, and sometimes dances take place here.  Notice  the trophy cases lining the walls.

Zero Point

In my opinion, one of the coolest shops in town is Zero Point.  Here you can find an incredible selection of stones and anything stone-related.

Just a small portion of stones offered at Zero Point


Amethyst at Zero Point

Zero Point is where Dani comes to get a quick education on the power of stones.


The Statue of Liberty at City Beach.  This replica stands on a concrete pier at the water’s edge and stands about 30 feet tall (compared to 305 feet tall of the original).


Entrance to City Beach

When I mention City Beach, people ask, “There’s a beach in Idaho?”  Actually our beach is at the lake, but it has sand…just like the beach.  And a park.  And a boat launch.  Very cool, never crowded, even on busy weekends.  Gotta love that.



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