Saturday, September 19, 2015

Life and Afterlife in a Cubicle

I had the pleasure of collaborating on a project with my husband, Daniel M. Strickland. His debut novel, Synergeist, has launched! My part in the collaboration process was the painting for the cover and having the privilege of being an early reader.

One challenge to painting a cover for the book was to try to capture the idea that energy is created when someone makes something. The art created continues to hold some energy after the artist has moved on.

As someone who has cried while standing in front of a five hundred year old painting, been moved to tears in a centuries old church, felt energized by words written by an author long dead and gotten shivers from music, this concept makes sense to me.

As is always the challenge, how does one capture the visceral with these meager visual tools? It sparked many interesting conversations around the dinner table about what something so etheral should look like.

Synergeist, 20x16, oil on panel, 2015 
Click below to see more painting details and info about the book.

The book is not easy to classify by genre. Yet, we always love to try, don't we?

One reviewer called it, "Hauntum mechanics. Riveting!" which I think is delightful. Another classifies it as, "Science, love, ghostly intrigue." One reader messaged Dan that his story was "a good old love story built out of nice new bricks." It's also been called, "a thinking person's love story."

There are many more clever reviews by his readers.

Synergeist is available on Kindle, in paperback, an autographed paperback copy, or free for a limited time for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

I had fun trying to imagine how light/energy would change color and temperature as it wrapped around to the darker side of the box. 

This is the back cover, taken from a detail of the painting. The cover is designed by our daughter, illustrator, Carly Strickland. I enjoyed how she managed to get the cover text to shimmer. I think she may be a wizard.

Martin and Millie, the main characters in the book are an IT guy and an artist. The setting is familiar to many: a corporate office hanging in the flux of downsizing and shifting management. So next time you are in the mood for a ghost story, a romance with a scientific aesthetic, or a touch of Dilbert humor give Synergeist a try.

I'm happy to say that Synergeist, the painting, has sold and moved to it's new forever home with Los Angeles, California, artist, Shanna Galloway. Thank you, Shanna, for inviting my work into your home. Your autographed copy of the book is on its way!

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