A Generation of Leaves

Posted by on Mar 1, 2014 in Illustration, Peaks Island | 1 comment


Peaks Island author Nicole d’Entremont debuted her second novel recently at the Peaks Island Library to a warm crowd, stating, “I wanted to launch my book in the community where it was written.” A Generation of Leaves begins in Pubnico, Nova Scotia, where Nicole’s ancestors settled centuries ago. The story follows two brothers who enlist in World War 1, and takes the reader from Canada to the trenches of France and back.

She displayed some of her rich sources of inspiration and information, including her uncle Leo’s attestation papers from 1914.


This Ladies’ Home Journal recruitment captures the glory of a fight expected to “be over by Christmas.”


The story began as a short piece of fiction five years ago and grew into a novel brimming with bravery, fear, and a deftly wrought cast of characters.

Nicole asked me to illustrate the cover for her book during a visit to Pubnico this summer. When she returned to Maine, we walked the island beaches at low tide discussing her vision. She wanted “a tree with a fierce swirl of leaves onto the back cover.”

I began here:


She’d seen a tree during a windy day that looked like a good model. I did a pile of small pencil sketches.


After seeing this image from WWI, I turned to drawing a different kind of tree.




In honor of the Canadian maple leaf, I tried a collage idea.


Then I tried a row of poplars, suggesting the human form.


This was the direction Nicole settled on, with a few more refinements for the final illustration.


Many thanks to Ascensius Press for designing this book, and to Nicole for bringing the story to life. I’m beyond thrilled to be part of it. You can read more about Nicole’s writing process at Peaks Island Press. 


Stay tuned to her website for future readings!

One Comment

  1. Lovely post Jamie! Great about both the book, which I cam currently enjoying, thanks to you, and your process. Thanks so much for letting us see and feel that process for both of you lovely ladies, neighbors and friends.


  1. The Launch | A Generation of Leaves - […] For a glimpse of the launch and a look at some of the evocative sketches that Jamie Hogan did…

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