My Third Novel's Conclusion, My Heartbreak

My heart begins to break when I think about completing this particular book -- because this narrative has sustained me like no other story I've known. It's both more personal and more universal than my other works. But beyond memory and archetype, it's a cri-de-coeur about needing to become the person one is destined to be. And in the writing, I have met my own life's work, my own fated journey -- having the sense all the while that the pages are suffused with a resonance, an energy, an electrified field that defies explanation. Writers hope and pray to be overtaken by a work in this way -- to be conscripted into passionate service of a profound story. To experience it even once in a lifetime seems a great privilege. I still have several months before this novel is complete, and this constitutes my reprieve. Because I'm not ready for the beauty to end.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Art That Conspires

What elevates a book cover to the ranks of the truly memorable?  A sense of beauty, mystery, contrast, revelation?  I find myself drawn toward covers that convey a palpable harmony with the narrative itself, as if the visual and the fictional have joined hands in artistic collusion, somewhere in the bookstore dark.

What is it about cover art that compels you to pick up the book?  Or allows you to pass it by?  I'd be more than intrigued to hear your comments.


  1. What an interesting question. I don't know that I've ever really thought about it before. But since you've asked I'll concentrate on the cover art I've seen and enjoyed and remembered.

    Judith Guest's novel Ordinary People has a simple graphite pencil drawing depicting the family in a snapshot-like portrait. The deceased son's picture is lighter and less distinct than that of his parents and brother. Yet he is still there, a part of the family, influencing them all in his absence.

    Of course, the delightful watercolor cover for The World of Pooh and the winged armchair on Accidental Tourist are memorable and pleasing.

    I must also add that the cover to your first book, Copper Crown, is both beautiful and evocative. The two friends standing in a field divided by a fence, dresses blowing and storm approaching perfectly captures the drama inside.

    It is such a delight to see words and art intertwined. I am so looking forward to seeing the cover art submissions for The Unfastened Heart. Your magical book will certainly inspire exceptional art.

  2. This is something i`ve been thinking about for some time.
    We all know "Don`t judge a book by its cover", and as a simple reader, I agree, I don`t really care about the cover, although it`s a colorful game to enter in a library and let your senses be absorbed by the covers,the first contact with the book, take it from the self,first action, touch it turn it over and put it back. Well this is my game. It can happen to start reading like it and if i have money buy it.
    On the other hand, as an artist, I find here more than a game a challenge. It`s something about a match of visions. A dialog between the writer and the visual artist, both tourists in a place they like very much taking a coffee in a place they accidentally found with their luggage "of infomation" at their feet taking the book much higher.
    So the cover I think it is a higher dialog.

    I look forward to read your book, right now i am in a different place taking the coffee.