One of the surprising things that's been so much fun about novel-writing is the fact that I've also had a tremendous amount of fun taking the photos for the covers as well. Rise of the Moon, Rush to Judgement, and Strength of Will have all provided me with opportunities to meet up with some amazing ladies (thank you to Reanna, Alex, and Udeme) and take photos for the covers that gel with the images I see in my head while I'm writing. (Fun fact...all of these brilliant young women were, at one time, students of mine.)
I've always had a great passion for taking creative portraits...even tried to have my own portrait photography business for awhile, but it just didn't work out. So coming back to photography as part of this process has been like sprinkles on my yellow-cake-with-chocolate-frosting cupcake (that's not actually a metaphor...it's literally my favorite kind of cupcake).
In a way the cover for Rise of the Moon actually inspired the story itself. Back when I was starting my photography business, I did a bunch of photo shoots just to practice my craft and get some shots for my website. One of my little projects was to take photos representing the Major Arcana of a tarot deck. The cover for Rise is actually a processed version of one of those photos. The cover model was a former student who I'd hired as a photo assistant, and who was my partner in crime in creating The Moon and The Star portraits.
The concept of the Major Arcana stuck in my mind after that because when I started playing around with the idea for a series in which ordinary (if somewhat quirky) teenagers discover that they've been imbued with extraordinary powers, I needed some sort of framing mechanism to make it all fall into place. The memory of my few-year-old photo project popped into my head, and I was off to the races.
Creativity comes in so many forms, and I think it's essential that we embrace that side of ourselves. It doesn't even really matter if we're all that good at it. Giving in to the power of creation, whether it's high art or silliness, is one way to reconnect with the best versions of ourselves. What great (or goofy) project will you embark on to reignite that soul spark? Drop me a comment so I can cheer you on!
And, just for fun, here are the card portraits I did way back when...