Word and image 2 …

Being published is tremendous, talking with one’s readers even more so. I count myself fortunate to have been able to correspond with so many readers since 2008 owing to this amazing technological world we inhabit. But one of the most exciting developments in my writing life has been establishing the informal partnership with Pat Sweet.

There’s a simple reason.

I write in text.

Yes, I try to write visually but in essence I’m merely providing stimulants for a reader’s imagination. So that when Pat takes my words and becomes eyes or a window on my world … it is the most astonishing feeling. The same feeling occurs when my cover designer passes over her concepts for my books. In a moment a tangible view lies before me.

Take for example the stumpwork robe.

I knew what I wanted it to look like in my own head and that’s how I wrote it. Pat Sweet went one better and began to design it. She went to old masters’ images and found the portrait of a woman she felt looked like Ana for whom the robe is made in the first instance. Then she began to build a robe around the girl until we ended up with the finished product. Pat has now released gift cards of Ana in the robe and cards that show a more conceptual idea of the robe and both are just how I conceived it to be.

Already I’ve purchased some cards and sent them to people who have bought the books and written to me about them.  I especially sent one to Jane Nicholas who is my stumpwork embroidery teacher and on whose wonderful work the robe and its fictional history was based. And perhaps I’m biased but I had a look at cards in the shops and these are so much nicer!

It’s frightening really … sometimes I wonder if Pat inhabits whatever part of my brain is creative.

Postscript: I’m a lover of silks. Being an embroiderer it’s a given. I have a collection in the cupboard … swathes that I can use as a background for embroideries: black, taupe, cream, white, brown, oyster and softest pewter. I could happily wander the shelves of fabric shops (before they all closed down) looking at bolts of silk, running my finger across the slub, listening to the hiss as one fold fell against another.

But I love other fabric as well. I love the names … http://phrontistery.info/fabric.html

Or if you prefer, the names of fabrics used in medieval times … http://rosaliegilbert.com/fabricnames.html

 Pat found an historic catalogue of beautiful fabrics and promptly created a miniature version and it became another book ‘I needed’ for my miniature collection. I leave you with images of it. It covers fabric from the 1500’s to the 1900’s!!!


If you want to window shop go to www.bopressminiaturebooks.com and I guarantee you will come away in awe!