I have a poetry collection just come out at Alpheratz Press. It’s very druidic, inspired by nature, the seasons, ritual, and philosophy. Much of it was written with the intention of being able to use it in rituals. So, I shall be talking about it over the coming days. I thought I’d start with the cover art.
When I first considered putting together a collection, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find a publisher, and thought about self publishing. Tom offered to do me a cover (because he is very lovely) and we went from there. Other opportunities arose, and Alpheratz were very happy indeed to get a Tom Brown cover, so that worked well.
The image on the cover has a longer history than just this book, however. More than a year ago, I’d talked with Tom about the possibility of him designing a tattoo for me. At some point I’ll get that sorted. I want a purple poppy on my hip. Poppy seed was traditionally used to make sleeping potions, and of course opium induces strange dreams and hallucinations. It’s a flower with considerable personal significance. Thinking about Tom’s poppy sketches, I thought one of those would make a lovely cover for my poems, and asked if I could do that.
Tom, being both incredibly generous and something of a perfectionist, was not at all keen on the idea of me using the poppy sketch for my cover, and insisted on doing a fresh image. He was familiar with the poems, because I’d read most of them to him while I was putting them together. The background is full of lovely details – trees, standing stone and water. I love the colours, they’re so rich and vibrant.
I’ve been blessed with some fine cover art over the years. Tom’s work on Hunting the Egret is gorgeous, and the artist I had for The Shifting Heart was awesome. Dawne at loveyoudivine does excellent work with photographs, I’ve had some very stylish covers from her over the years. But even so, there isn’t another cover on a book of mine that comes close to this one. Tom has excelled himself. I’m looking forward to having the original in the house, its destined for a frame and some wallspace.
I am blessed, having such a talented partner. He understands what I do, and being a fellow druid had an intuitive grasp of what was needed, artwise. I am going to try and arrange print versions of the cover art, and will make it known once that’s sorted out.