A Book By Its Cover

Multiple times this past month I’ve had to stop and smile because this is actually happening. I have put my foot down and determined that this time, this time, I was not stopping until I published a novel. Even when confronted with the costs of editing and cover design, I did not let myself stop. I had to get over my fear of failure and really, truly try.

And here is my proof. Here is the official cover for The Un-Life of William Moore.

The Un-Life of William Moore - Dana Lockhart

This cover was designed by Zakaria Nada, who was very polite, prompt, and professional through the whole process from beginning to end, as well as extraordinarily patient with my indecision and bombardment of questions. I didn't really know what I wanted as far as an actual design and image; I only knew what I wanted the cover to convey, what I wanted the cover to make a viewer feel.  I only had some minor color, font, and an additional image request, and in two revisions we got it to it's final version, which I think coveys the feeling that I wanted it to. Thanks, Zak!

-Pieces of Myself-

I’ve been a creative person for as long as I can remember.  I started out with drawings, then painting, then anything I could get my hands on.  As I created, I discovered that it was hard to part with anything I had made.  A few times I was offered money for my creations, but I would always turn them down.  It wasn’t the effort or the time that I put into my art that made me unwilling to part with it; the art was also a part of me. 

I really sympathize with the painter of the portrait of Dorian Gray, because he too feared how much of himself he was putting into his painting.  In a way, I do, too.  I really feel that my art isn’t just my ideas made manifest, but literal pieces of myself.  Can I live without those pieces?  Yes.  But can I let those pieces go without being sad to see them go?  No.  

"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. ...I am afraid that I have shown in [this portrait] the secret of my own soul."
-Basil Hallward, Chapter 1, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

-I Need to Tell You Something-

But writing… writing is different for me.  I have a furious need to share these pieces of myself.  I want to show you how I see the world and what I think about it and what I need you to know.  But it’s also not that simple.  I’m not going to straight out explain what I want to tell you.  Like Prospero making Ferdinand struggle in order to make his love of Miranda something to treasure, I’m not going to just give you the answers, because then they will have no real meaning.  Instead, I’m going to tell you a story.

Prospero: (aside)
They are both in either’s powers, but this swift business
I must uneasy make lest too light winning make the prize light.
-Act I, Scene II, The Tempest, William Shakespeare

I feel like a sphinx prattling riddles in hopes that someone will solve them.  If I told you the answer so easily, how would you learn anything?  As they say, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.  The quest towards discovery is the real adventure. 

Thank you for taking this journey with me.

-Dana Lockhart


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