My first young adult fiction novel, The Tramp, must have been at least as much about the art as it was about the prose. I fell in love with the world of independent publishing, and for me that included cover design and interior formatting, plus marketing and promo material.
After working with several variations of my initial cover idea, I came across a painting I had made years before. It was perfect for The Tramp, and I decided to go in a completely different direction for the cover. That was when I realized how much art making and writing were intertwined for me–how they both come from the same subconscious creative well–and I began to emphasize the connection.
For the final design, I decided to use some of the new artwork from the initial cover sketch, and paint an author self-portrait instead of using a traditional headshot.
The Tramp quickly became a lesson in social media marketing, as I learned about blog tours, contests, author interviews, and networking with teams of independent authors.
And The Tramp wasn’t just a book. I joined with the band Her Last Boyfriend, who composed an original score based on passages from the story and main character Candy Vale’s poetry. The soundtrack follows the narrative from beginning to end.
I designed the album cover and a new band logo, and we toured together as quite a novel group. Hearing Her Last Boyfriend perform the soundtrack onstage was like listening to my book in music form.
We collaborated with fellow artists to put on an exhibition called “MAKE,” which served as a hybrid art show, book release party, and concert. The entire project was a thrilling, unique experience, full of creativity across genres.