Welcome to My New Website

Hi everyone. Today, I’m so very pleased to introduce my new website. It was made by Jenny Medford at Websy Daisy, whom I recommend enthusiastically. On my end, everything was straightforward and easy; Jenny was patient, responsive, and imaginative; the parts of website-building that were beyond my abilities were magically lifted from my plate; I was delighted with her design instincts. And here it is! I hope you enjoy looking around! (If you’re receiving this as an email, please do click through and have a look.)

The paper collage art was created by me. Though it wasn’t my goal to represent characters or objects from my own books exactly, it was my goal to invoke my book worlds generally, so, if you’re familiar with my books, you may see objects or characters that ring a bell. If you see objects that don’t ring a bell, it might be because I wasn’t just working with my published books here. I was keeping my future books in mind. So some of these collages are teasers for books that will come out in time.

In terms of blogging, you may have noticed that I’ve dropped off recently. This is partly because during the pandemic, I’ve needed to simplify my life and my responsibilities a bit, for survival (I’m guessing you understand). It’s also partly because given the challenges we’re facing these days with the state of our democracy and basic human rights, I often find I don’t have anything useful to say in blog form. I feel like my most useful contributions to the conversation will be my books. So I’ve been focusing intensely on my books.

Despite breaks from blogging, I do intend to continue my series on the craft of writing, make announcements, and blog on random topics sometimes! I’ll close with a few photos from the process of making one of my collages.

I had the idea to make a picture of raptor monsters flying out of my book Fire. (You can see it on my Books page.) So, first, I opened up my Fire hardcover, and took a couple of photos. This one below for the left side of the page,

A photo of my book Fire in hardcover, held in my hand, open to pages 68-69.

And the one below for the right.

A photo of my book Fire in hardcover, held in my hand, open to pages 354-355.

I printed them, cut them out and shaped them, glued them together, cut a box out of the right side, and added page-looking edges from a picture in a magazine I found somewhere. Note (below) that on the left edge I had to scrabble together some pieces, because I didn’t have a piece big enough to cover that whole edge. I knew at this point that one of the raptor monsters flying out of the book would have to cover that patched spot on the left.

A photo of the beginnings of a collage held in my hand, showing pieces cut out of the previous two photos and glued. It looks like an open book, with a page of Fire on the left (page 68), and a page with a big empty box cut out of it on the right.

I added a few more things and then sent the following photo to my sisters, who told me they couldn’t believe it was flat.

Held in my hand, a flat paper object that looks very much like a three-dimensional open book. The left side is page 68 of Fire, the right side shows an illustration of a mountain peak, winter trees, and a blue and lavender sky. The book has a red cover showing at the edges.

So I sent them the following photo next.

A photo of the 3D-looking book described in the previous image, shown sitting flat on a desk.

At this point, I started making little birds and playing with where they should go and how they should look. I cut out, glued, and ended up rejecting a lot of birds!

Lying on my desk, my 3D-looking book collage, now with three different collaged birds of various yellows, golds, and pinks, positioned randomly. Behind it on the desk, my own pencil sketches.

But in time, I got to the look I wanted. The finished collage is below.

The finished collage. An open book with writing on the left side, and, on the right side, an illustration of a mountain scene. Three colorful birds are flying out of the mountain scene and out of the book. On the right, the birds are purple and fuchsia. The bird on the left is shades of yellow, green, and red.

When I was done, I had a little moment of serendipity. I hadn’t been paying much attention to the page of Fire I was working with, beyond knowing it involved mountains and raptor monsters. I hadn’t bothered to check how many raptor monsters, or what color they were. Imagine my delight when I read the actual page and saw the words, “Three raptors, two shades of fuchsia and violet and one apple-green.” Will you believe me when I say that this was an accident? I was looking for the numbers and colors that worked best with my background, nothing more. These types of serendipitous accidents happen in writing sometimes too. It’s one of the small delights of the process.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my explanation of how one of my collages was made — and I hope you’ll enjoy my new website! Welcome.