My Models Died Years Ago: Guest Post by Lisa Brown

18th Feb 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Guest Posts

Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin


Today on the blog, I have the illustrator of Picture the Dead, Lisa Brown, and she’s here to talk about them. Without further ado, here’s Lisa….Yes! That’s an illustration of herself! :D (Check out my review HERE!)











ALMOST EVERY CHARACTER in Picture the Dead has a real-life 19th century counterpart, unearthed from the archives of the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Here are some of my models and their correspondent illustrated selves.



Uncle Henry Pritchett. I drew him unaltered from his original photograph. Couldn’t improve upon perfection. I am especially pleased with the pattern I found for the background, however. All of the “wallpaper” patterns are made from actual Victorian designs that I mostly discovered in clip art Dover books.



Jennie Lovell, our indomitable heroine. I changed her hairstyle in later versions, after Adele described her hair as lush and curly. Her dress reminds me of the clothing in the “Sound of Music;” that is, made from old curtains.



Mavis, the little Irish maid. Her dress is much simpler than her employers’, no pattern or stylishly puffed sleeves. Note how she looks a bit frightened.



William Pritchett. The epitome of “dashing.” I’m fairly smitten with Will and his brother. Check out the wonderful Tumblr blog,, for more dead hotties. (Hahaha! That tumblr is awesome!! –Jess)



Quincy Pritchett, my absolute favorite. His original model is a bit too old for the part, so I regressed him to his teenaged self and removed his glasses. He gets even sexier, in my opinion, later on when he sports an eye patch. Arrrrrr!
(I must say, I completely agree! Totally had the hotts for Quinn :) – Jess)

And here a little side note regarding dear Aunt Clara. I honestly had trouble finding a model who was detestable enough to represent Clara in all her vile-ness. I was particularly keen to portray Adele’s incredible description of a “chin that wobbled like aspic.” Nobody during the Civil War era seemed to have such a chin. I tried concocting a composite from several existing portraits, but, in the end, I had to invent Clara out of whole cloth, sketching her out by hand. I gave her the requisite double chin, little girly ringlets, and an air of entitlement. Voila. Aunt Clara.


Here, at least, is an example of a model for her dress, expanded:


Thank you so much, Lisa!! I will now go stalk the My Daguerreotype Boyfriend tumblr. :P

What do you guys think of these awesome illustrations? Tell me about it in the comments!


Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin

16th Feb 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Picture the Dead by Adele GriffinPicture the Dead by Adele Griffin, Lisa Brown
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: February 1st 2012
Pages: 264
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Historical, Paranormal, Suspense, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

Jennie feels the tingling presence of something unnatural in the house now that Will is dead.

Her heart aches without him, and she still doesn't know how he really died. It seems that everywhere she turns, someone is hiding yet another clue. As Jennie seeks the truth, she finds herself drawn ever deeper into a series of tricks and lies, secrets and betrayals, and begins to wonder if she had every really known Will at all.

"A perfectly haunting combination."
--Jon Scieszka, bestselling author and Caldecott Honor winner

Visit for more information on the authors, and discover the goodies, games, and pastimes available on the ‘Divertissements’ page.

Jennie’s beloved, Will, was killed in battle. At least that’s the official story. She believes that his spirit lingers in the cold Pritchett house and that he has unfinished business. Clues have been surfacing that point to something different. Something that could prove Will was not who she thought.

She decides to look for answers in the one person who seems to know what really happened, Will’s brother, Quinn. However, she doesn’t expect to find comfort and hope in him instead. While their romance blooms, Will’s presence and other more significant clues keep showing up, now making her question everything.

In Picture the Dead, Adele Griffin tells an eerie story full of mystery and suspense set in one of my favorite eras in history, the Civil War. And together with this mysterious tale, Lisa Brown has created some vivid illustrations to go along with it. Both of these elements together, along with some unexpected twists, sucked me in and made it difficult to put this book down until I knew everything there was to know. The end was awesomely twisty and it definitely surprised me.


Jess @ Gone with the Words

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