Cover Art Excitement

Today I received a draft of the cover art for my upcoming novella! This will be released through Dreamspinner Press (www.dreamspinnerpress.com), and I’ll be saying lots and lots about it as we get closer to the release date, I’m sure. For now, suffice it to say that it is called The Clown and the Magician, and it’s about, surprisingly enough, a clown and a magician who find themselves working for the same stultifying talent agency. It’s also about their burgeoning romance, family troubles of many varieties, sexism in the work place, racism in the brains of well-meaning folks, and the art of the individualized clown nose.

Since the cover art may not be the final version, I won’t say a lot about it specifically, but I wanted to say something about the thrill of receiving it in my inbox.  In my experience, creation and collaboration are very closely linked.  You can make up whatever you want, but the magical part–and I mean magical quite literally–happens when someone else conspires with you to breathe life into what you have made.  When someone sees it too, paints your vision into their own brain, brings whatever offerings, images, bits of memory they have that makes what you imagined live for them– that’s the trick.  That’s what keeps me coming back for more.

This kind of shared creation is particularly important and visible in theater, which is part of why I love theater, but I’m fascinated to see where it also occurs on the road to publication of other kinds of works. I’ve noticed that kind of  collaborative opportunity in the editing process, which is pretty much the only time anyone will care exactly why you chose that word, and will actually ask to hear about it.   In the case of this story, the cover art is definitely the place I’ve experienced it most strongly so far.  I don’t know whether the artist read my whole story or not, but she clearly took the time to tune into it and to respond with beauty of her own.

So hooray for cover art!  And a big thank you to everyone who has cared enough about any piece of writing I’ve done to give it the kind of creative attention that really makes it come alive.

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