October 13, 2011

The story behind a book cover

I met Winnie in Kalymnos. This Greek island is not that famous like Crete, Corfu or Santorini but it has the same azure sea on its shore. There aren't that much tourists but you won't miss any. As everywhere I go, I looked for diving possibilities and had the chance to join a nice lady from Hong Kong. She went to Kalymnos for climbing but as a certified diver wanted to see the underwater world of the Aegean sea too so she became my buddy. Because there aren't too much guests our dive group consisted of our guide from Finland, Winnie the diver from HK and me. I liked our small international group who dived together in Greece... I'm used to dive in much colder waters than the Aegean so I enjoyed my time here but she was freezing. I remember when she sat in the boat after the dive and tried to collect as much of the warming sunlight as she can.

Anyway we had some dives there. I brought my camera as usual and Winnie was my underwater model. She is one of those nice buddies who happily help when I take photos. The only payment I can give to them is the collection of the best pictures. Without them my work would be much harder and the result would be much less satisfying so I'm really grateful for every moment when somebody pose before the lens of my camera. After the trip I browse the photos to find the best ones. I post them to our website or to the Facebook, I share them with my buddies but I never know if I will use any someday. After our dives in Kalymnos I especially liked a photo where Winnie was in a cavern and only some light from above covered her figure and her bubbles. I knew I needed to modify the picture's contrast to make it more dramatic. However I sent the original one to her to show. I still like this photo although it's far from perfect.

A few years later I wrote my first novel. It was a special project for me, as I wasn't only the writer but the publisher and editor too. I organized the printing and I designed the book cover. It's a scuba diving crime story and when I thought about which picture to choose I realized the portrait of Winnie would be cool after extensive modifications. I made it and I asked her to kindly give me the permission to use it. She did it and after a few weeks I proudly held my first published book in my hands. My friends asked me who is the model in the cover and I surprised everyone when I said she is my buddy and my friend from Hong Kong. I think she was really proud to be on the cover. I'm still sad because she couldn't read the Hungarian language book. Maybe someday we will meet and dive together again and later I can tell the story of the novel. That's all in this photo: when I see it I call up its making. A dive in a charming island, a buddy and another story from my diving past to remember...

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