Guest post: What a lovely picture! What a lovely photograph….

Nancy Jardine
Nancy Jardine


Today I’m delighted to welcome the versatile and irrepressible novelist Nancy Jardine to the blog. She’s writing about using images. So, over to you, Nancy.

Images. Who loves to pop them onto a blog or Facebook post? Or use them in advertising material for a new book launch?  Or use them in a book trailer video? Me! I raise my hand without hesitation. I can’t help it – I think it’s the ex-upper-stages-primary teacher in me believing that a visual stimulus can often make a more lasting impact than the written word.

Of course, any images used in the above situations need to have relevance to the accompanying text and be ones that can be legitimately used. I was so glad, as a novice author, to be pointed in the direction of some internet image sites where I can ‘buy the use of’ inexpensive images for my personal blog use – so long as proper accreditation is given.

Steering me to places like Wikimedia Commons was also a boon where you can find images that are ‘in the public domain’ that generally can be used on a personal blog or Facebook page. Checking the legitimate use is a bind sometimes, but worth it.

The above might make it all sound easy but finding the correct images can be a tricky task. As an author of both contemporary novels and historical ones set in the ancient world, I know exactly which images have been easier to source.

In my three published contemporary novels, I’ve included locations I’ve actually been to. I’m no great shakes as a photographer, so the snaps I took of these places aren’t perfect but when used for promotional material they’ve been relevant. If I’ve taken a photo of some iconic location, then that’s generally the kind of image I want for my book trailer video, or for my blog. I’m hoping that a reader has enough of a visual clue to get a perception of the place if, for example, I include the Eiffel Tower for Paris.

Nancy Jardine - Topaz Eyes

Acquiring images for my Celtic Fervour Series set in AD 71-84 has been a major challenge since finding photographs from almost 2000 years ago is a bit of a stretch. Locations I’ve used across the 3 books range geographically from Chester in England all the way to Aberdeenshire in Scotland.

Using photographs I’ve taken of York are sadly useless, since at the time of my novels any Roman settlement at Eboracum/ York was of a wooden construction. Yet, though a challenge, I have found a few images to use in promotional material which I hope give an authentic enough feel to the visual experience.

I’m currently searching for images for The Taexali Game, my YA Time Travel Adventure where a trio of early teenagers find themselves back in northern Britannia (Aberdeenshire) in AD 210. This was when the Roman Emperor Severus flooded the area with his Roman armies: this invasion is thought by historians to be the last major attempt of any Roman Emperor to totally subdue the Celts of northern Britannia. (If Severus had succeeded in his mission, I have no notion of what language I would be using to write this post!)

Sadly, I can’t go out wandering my area and just snap any old local view – too many anachronistic electricity pylons or telephone wires around to do that. However, there are still aspects of the landscape that have remained more or less the same and when the current snow melts away you can guess what I’ll likely be doing!

I’m also currently writing a family saga which starts in 1850. When I go seeking images for that, I think I’m going to be a very happy cat, hopeful of finding so many potential images to choose from.

Some authors might consider what I’m doing with images a waste of time…and they might be correct… but I love the challenge and the novelty factor.

What about you? Do you go ferreting for images to use?


Nancy Jardine lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland – currently with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, 3 year old granddaughter and almost 1 year old grandson. It’ll continue to be a busy household till late summer when the new build home should appear on the back garden for the young ‘uns. The great thing about that is Nancy now has less of her original garden to tend, and that garden job should be someone else’s! Childminding is intermittent over the day, so writing time is precious – normally between 9 p.m. and 1a.m.

Her published work to date has been two non-fiction history related projects and six novels. Three of the novels are contemporary mysteries, the others historical romantic adventures set in northern Roman Britain, late first century AD. All of these will soon be published by Crooked Cat Publishing. By spring 2015, she’ll have published The Taexali Game, the first of her Rubidium Time Travel series for a YA market.

All matters historical are a passion; ancestry research a lovely time-suck. She regularly blogs; loves to have guests visit her blog; and Facebooking is a habit she’s trying to keep within reasonable bounds! Any time left in a day is for reading.

Nancy Jardine - books

You can find Nancy’s books and book trailers on her Amazon author pages:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Also at: Barnes and Noble, W.H. Smith,, Smashwords, TESCO Blinkboxbooks, and various other places.

Copyright © Nancy Jardine 2015. All rights reserved.

Published by Vanessa in France

We moved to an 18th-century farmhouse in SW France in 1997. I'm fascinated by French history, rural traditions and customs. I also write historical novels and short stories.

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