Soho 1984: Two people meet and their worlds are changed forever. An unexpected meeting – a look that means their lives will never be the same again. In There Is Always More To Say, Lynda Spiro chronicles the lives of the couple through friendships, marriage, fleeting moments and snatched time. It is a passionate account about a connection between two people that never dies even when tested by distance and when life throws the unexpected at their feet.
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances. If there is any reaction both are transformed.” C G Jung
A few weeks ago, I read a really lovely review on Linda’s Book Bag. Now I know Linda’s reviews are always rather wonderful, but when she recommended There Is Always More To Say by Lynda Young Spiro with the words “a touching, intense and emotional book that deserves far more recognition than it has already had”, I really wanted to invite the author to be my guest on Being Anne. You can read Linda’s feature and review here, and There Is Always More To Say is available in hardcover, paperback and for kindle via Amazon and through the author’s website.
I’m sorry I don’t have my own review for you – this is a book I’ve added to my list and will be catching up with later. But I’m delighted to welcome author Lynda Young Spiro to Being Anne, with a lovely post on discovering her novel’s cover – and why book covers are so important…
Whilst I was writing There Is Always More To Say, the concept of its cover never really entered my head. And why would it? I was so captivated by my literary process. I am a first time novelist. I was just enjoying writing this story.
As a mixed media artist I was absolutely convinced that the cover for There Is Always More To Say had to be discovered, and not created. As with the artwork I have produced, and indeed with the novel itself, I knew that the cover was within me. I just needed to work out how to find it.
As soon as the manuscript had been sent to the publishers for proofreading, I began to focus on the book’s cover. I had already told the publishers that I wanted to supply my own image. But as hard as I tried I just couldn’t visualise the cover for my own book. I became both confused and frustrated as to why this seemingly easy task was so difficult for me.
Walking clears my head. And it was a couple of weeks after I had sent off the manuscript, and whilst out on one of my walks, that I saw the cobweb. The beautiful and intricate cobweb which covered the entire left-hand side mirror of a parked car. I took a photo of this glorious work of art and knew immediately that I had found my cover. I could see it in my head. To some, this cobweb would be an inconvenient and gross addition to their car. But to me it was exquisite.
Within this cobweb, I saw the intertwining relationships, conflicts, and patterns that my characters in There Is Always More To Say possessed. It seemed like the ideal metaphor for what I had wanted to convey. I was totally convinced that the photo I had taken of the cobweb would be perfect for the cover of my book. I can remember feeling incredibly excited and happy as I sent both the brief and the image to the designer.
That excitement and happiness turned into utter disappointment and misery as soon as I received the first draft. The image that I held in my hand looked absolutely nothing like the one that I held in my head. The designer had enlarged and darkened my beautifully light and delicate cobweb. The softness and beauty having been lost along the way. I could now see harsh intimidating cracks and sharp edges. The graphics were too bold. And definitely too red. Had I written a crime thriller it would have been the perfect cover. But I hadn’t. It was an impressive book cover. But it wasn’t mine.
I had wanted to translate my artistic ideas and vision towards an appropriate cover. It wasn’t so much about creating the right image. But it was about losing the wrong one. I abandoned the idea of taking the photo myself. As an artist I had felt somewhat disappointed. But I knew it was the right decision. Both for me. And the book.
I began the long process of searching for an image. I looked at a multitude of different book covers both online and in the shops. But still I couldn’t come up with an idea for mine. I spent days trawling websites. And when I stopped looking so terribly hard. I found it. The world map shaped clouds above a green field fitted the story perfectly. The image literally shouted out at me and I knew that There Is Always More To Say had told me what it wanted and what it needed. I saw in this image what I had once seen in the cobweb. I could create an attractive and appealing cover for my reader. One that would also complement aspects of the story. I knew that this beautiful picture would portray the tone and genre of the book accurately.
There Is Always More To Say is a never ending story about an everlasting friendship. It tells a universal story. I saw this in the clouds. I saw the distance in the world map. The softness of the clouds conveying to me the sensitivity of the story. And the grass. Isn’t the grass always greener on the other side?
Finding the perfect image for There Is Always More To Say had been an unexpectedly difficult process for me. But also a massive learning curve. I have learnt that whilst it is important to not judge a book by its cover, it is always important to remember that a picture tells a thousand words.
Lynda, thank you… a perfect image, and I really look forward to reading There Is Always More To Say.
Lynda Young Spiro is a mixed media artist whose love of textiles, found objects and recyclable materials are incorporated into her colourful work. Lynda was born in 1959 in Hampstead, London, where she now lives with her husband and two sons. There is Always More to Say is her first novel.
You can find out more about Lynda by following her on Twitter and visiting her website.