Illyria was my first book — first published book that is. The original cover was a photograph my father took of me when I was a toddler at the beach, trying to carry a strange looking beach ball. My brother Richard is in the carriage behind me. It kind of expressed everything I felt about trying to write this novel, which was difficult. The second cover used a painting from the 17th Century in Spain, which somehow managed to capture almost perfectly one of the scenes early in the book, when the three boys are playing a board game in the woods: one with great intensity, one less interested but observant, and the last very worried about something.