In the last blog post, Paul talked about creating a book cover that honours the fact that the contents of the book are “naturist fiction.” In addition, the image of the cover needs to “fit” with the story line. Paul showed my cover for A Small Company of Pilgrims which had someone who is “half naked” which was how the protagonist was often described, at least early in the story.
In the second book of the René Beauchemin series, I don’t have an image of a person at all. The image doesn’t let the reader know that the contents are about naturists or that there is a naturist story-line. For this book, I struggled to find an image that could illustrate the story. My eldest daughter, having read both books solved the problem with creating this cover – a man and a woman, the fleur-de-lys which figures in both French and Celtic history, the infinity symbol – all brought together in one story.
Now, if I take a look at both covers, a reader might wonder if there is an aversion to my using images of nude people (or fictional beings). My poetry book covers are all about nude people images. Book One has a man meditating nude at the edge of the sea; Book Two has a nude couple in a canola field; and Book Three, shown here, has a couple in the nude in the “Yab Yum” position, an image that is considered to evoke the eternal father/mother in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In all three images for my poetry books, nothing “offensive” can be seen to dissuade book stores from carrying the books.
What will the next cover look like in the René Beauchemin series? I don’t know. I will only make that decision once the story itself has been completed to my satisfaction. And likely, at that time, I will again turn to my artistic daughter for ideas, as well as to my colleagues here, Paul and Will. After listening, I will then add in my gut feelings and arrive at a cover image that will allow me to feel at ease with the new book’s cover.
Of course, I could always get a professional cover designer to take care of the problem and accept whatever they come up with for a cover. The only problem for me with that, I don’t know any cover art professionals who are naturists. I know that how one sees and understands the world influences one’s choices, and one’s art. For, when all is said and done, a book cover is a work of art.